EU PVSEC: Day 3 takes off as Germany ups the promotion ante

A surprising stand that drew attention was a vibrant red and white one with the familiar, majestic Brandenburg Gate emblazoned across it. ‘Berlin’, it yelled. Berlin in Valencia?

Marc Rohr, senior manager for manufacturing industries in the Mobility and Clean Technologies sector of Berlin Partners squeezed a few minutes out of his hectic schedule to speak to pv magazine. "It is the first time that we are here at the EU PVSEC. We want to be more active and promote Berlin and the greater Brandenburg area as active zones for photovoltaics (PV) developers, researchers and investments," he said.

‘Right in our backyard. The German Capital Region: More value for your investments’, heralds the motto. The concept goes on to assert that the solar industry in the Berlin-Brandenburg region of Germany is the growth cluster at the heart of Europe. Rohr went on: "The highest concentration of solar energy research and development is here."

Berlin Partners assert themselves as the home to the leading solar industry associations and energy agencies. The region also has attractive prices to offer on the manufacturing front, though details cannot be revealed at this point. Compared to other regions, Berlin-Brandenburg holds 40.5 percent of the photovoltaic module production in Germany. Coming in second are the Saxons at 19.9 percent, according to a survey done by ZAB Brandenburg Economic Development Board Survey in 2008/2009.

Prenzlau already houses aleo solar with an annual capacity of 180 megawatts, operating as one of the largest production sites for solar modules in Germany. The region is buzzing with solar activity when one looks at the map Berlin Partners has on the region, displaying PV presence.

Research Institutes like Fritz Haber Institute at the Max Planck Society, Leibniz Institute for Crystal Growth and Fraunhofer also have their roots firmly planted in the region. Universities that nurture the workforce are present: Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Technische Universität Berlin and Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbuss, to mention but a few.

Rohr continued by talking about Adlershof and Marzahn. According to him, Adlershof has been in the media for its PV activity, but Marzahn is still relatively unexplored. Christian Gräff, Councilor for economics in the Berlin borough of Marzahn-Hellersdorf calls this business park the 90 hectares for the future of the industry.

The park promises investors lower investment requirements coupled with subsidies up to 35 percent for their investments, reduced time-to-market in an industrial area, which is 20 minutes away from Berlin and designed for companies active in the field of renewable energies.

It is safe to say that Berlin-Brandenburg is being pro-active in promoting itself and is definitely making its voice heard at this year’s EU PVSEC.