While the U.S. solar has shown hopeful signs of growth over the last year, despite the struggling economy, the German solar photovoltaic (PV) industry has all but exploded, and currently employs more workers than steel production in the USA.
Around 75 percent of European solar cells and modules as well as many components are made in Germany, which now boasts over 100,000 “green jobs” in PV alone. Record-breaking domestic demand has been a key driver of industry growth, according to Germany Trade & Invest, the country’s foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency. In 2010, a whopping 7.4 GWp of PV capacity was installed in the country.
Germany is also a manufacturing platform for other European PV markets. Italy’s feed-in tariff revisions, for example, set to take effect this month, include a Made in Europe clause that is expected to prove a boon to manufacturers based in Germany.
“Germany continues to confirm its leadership role in renewable energies as the solar photovoltaic market will soon enter the grid parity era,” said Thomas Grigoleit, renewable energies expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin, in a statement. “Political support for solar power is unwavering and industry players are already preparing for innovative new business models. Now is an excellent time to invest in Germany.”