Prospects brighten for German PV market

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Despite a sharp reduction in PV installations in the German market this year, there is growing optimism among industry experts that the sector’s dynamics have shifted significantly, leading to improved prospects for solar power.

One important factor driving this change has been the German government’s decision not to cut its feed-in-tariff. This has boosted the number of major new projects going ahead and raised confidence among investors of the long-term attractiveness of solar power.

In addition, with the drastic reduction in Germany’s dependence on nuclear power, following the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, solar energy is set to become a more important part of Germany’s renewable energy programme and economy.

“This is reassuring news for investors and the industry alike,” commented Engin Yaman, general manager of Tenesol Germany. “The German market slowed significantly at the start of the year following the announcement that the feed-in-tariff was to be cut. New installed capacity was only 700 MW (between March and May) – a figure that previously would have accounted for just one month. I think this demonstrates how severe the impact of the proposed cut was, prompting government officials to reconsider their proposals.”

The possibility of the cut being abandoned boosted the mood at Intersolar 2011, the world’s largest solar industry exhibition. The event, which was held recently in Germany, demonstrated that PV energy has a bright future.

Research shows that converting and storing solar energy will allow an increase in the use of solar power and make it more attractive as an autonomous power source. Tenesol is a part of Europe’s largest PV energy storage project. The project is an on-going research programme that will deliver an integrated energy conversion and storage kit. Currently, the majority of on-grid PV systems feed electricity directly into the grid. By developing an innovative, integrated, modular product, the energy storage project aims to link energy conversion with self-consumption.

“Investors have a much deeper knowledge of PV technology now,” concluded Mr. Yaman. “They know how it can be used and demand more from its application. Tenesol offers unique modules that are tailor-made to meet the needs of specific projects. This means architects can create unique BIPV designs that use solar technology in a unique way. We believe this evolution from standardised modules will help the industry to quickly recover.”

About Tenesol

A rapidly expanding global player in the field of solar energy (with a turnover of €304 million in 2010, which has increased 25% per year for three years), Tenesol works on behalf of businesses, local authorities and private individuals. For more than 27 years, Tenesol has been engineering, designing, manufacturing, installing and operating solar energy systems. Its services cover systems that produce or consume the energy they generate (off-grid sites, electricity grid connected, solar water heating) for customers around the globe. A benchmark player in its sector, Tenesol currently has a staff of over 1,100 employees across 24 subsidiaries including two production facilities.

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