Germany’s maturing "cleantech" sector geared for growth

While Germany’s photovoltaic industry has been confronted with major changes to government support programs and producers face still competition from imports this year, two reports have indicated that it will continue to have a globally leading roll.

The Roland Berger Strategy Consultants’ report, released on Monday, has predicted that the cleantech industry will continue to grow and will maintain its 15% global market share in the coming years. The second report, produced by the "Germany Trade and Invest" body, has confirmed this also, writing that Germany’s maturing photovoltaic market and industry presents a range of investment opportunities.

The Roland Berger report, "GreenTech made in Germany 3.0," shows that German firms in the sector currently accounts for €300 billion (US$387 billion) of the €2 trillion (US$2.6 trillion) global cleantech industry. This figure for Germany is predicted to rise to €674 billion by 2025. That German firms can defend their 15% market share, in the face of, "aggressive new competitors on the international markets," is evidence of, "just how strong," the German firms are, writes the report’s authors.

"The economic and financial crisis has not stopped the worldwide expansion of the greentech industry," says report lead author Torsten Henzelmann. "On the contrary, the worldwide market volume has now overshot the €2 trillion mark, thus exceeding our forecasts from the second edition of the GreenTech Atlas in 2009." Henzelmann predicts the global market to double in value by 2025 to €4.4 trillion.

The German photovoltaic industry has felt the forces of the "aggressive new competitors" sharply in 2012, as the recent host of insolvencies in the manufacturing industry has proven. However, "The Photovoltaic market in Germany Report," produced by "Germany Trade and Invest," points to a powerful photovoltaic cluster in the country, as being a factor in the industry’s future success. "Leading global PV players, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, renowned research institutes, and equipment and material suppliers help form the most innovative and most holistic industrial PV cluster in the world," the report’s authors write. It points in particular to the 35% market share enjoyed by German inverter manufacturers.

In releasing the Roland Berger report earlier this weekend in Berlin, Bloomberg reported that German Environment Peter Altmaier indicated that the industry would continue to enjoy ongoing governmental support. "Green technologies are growth technologies," said Altmaier, who commissioned the report. “We still have a leading position in clean technologies and we will do everything to defend that.”