German Federal Government lacks PV plan

The Federal Ministry of Economics considers the monies of the "Innovation alliance photovoltaics" sufficient for research and development.

Germany’s Federal Government is undertaking no targeted measures for the improvement of the competitiveness of Germany’s PV industry. Responding to a question of the Green Energy Expert Hans-Josef Fell as to the strategy being followed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and as to which additional measures are planned within the framework of the strategy, the Parliamentary State Secretary Ernst Burgbacher responded: "Fundamentally, it is first of all the task of the German photovoltaics industry to ensure its competitiveness in the face of international competition."

After all, the Federal Government had over the course of last year’s Renewable Energy Law (EEG) called the "Innovation Alliance Photovoltaics" into life. With this initiative, the Federal Government was apparently seeking, following the lowering of financial support for solar last year "necessary courses of adjustment," as Burgbacher writes.

In contrast, Fell considers the measures insufficient by far. "It is a poor sign for the Federal Government that they cannot develop an industrial policy strategy for PV. The Federal Government should learn from the example of the Chinese Government, which demonstrates great interest in a competitive solar industry," he responded to the Federal Government’s position. "Instead of burning up ridiculous sums of money for the nuclear fusion research reactor ITER, the Federal Government should set out an industrial policy strategy for photovoltaics," demanded the energy expert of the German Greens.

In the opinion of the Federal Ministry of Economics, the "Innovation Alliance Photovoltaics" is sufficient to ensure the international competitiveness of the German industry in the middle and long term.

With the program, the Federal Government is setting a total of €100 million to disposal for the research and development work of PV companies. At the same time, the industry has to come up with at least a further €500 million for the practical realization of results. In addition, PV companies are pledged to contribute an appropriate personal share of at least 50 percent in response to the Federal Government’s research subsidy.