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How can Germany re-establish its position in the solar cell market?




Photo: RainerSturm /

The photovoltaics sector is currently undergoing a structural transformation as it attempts to grapple with the problems arising from surplus capacity, plummeting prices and high pressure from competitors, particularly China. The effects of this struggle can be seen in the current financial situation of many solar cell manufacturers in Germany. The German Federal Ministry of Economics advises that long-term international success will only be achieved by companies that manage both to cut costs and to establish themselves as technological leaders in the field. An emphasis on research and development is therefore crucial. With this in mind, the German government is offering sustained support to research in the photovoltaics sector through the Photovoltaics Innovation Alliance. In addition to this, German companies are encouraged to make their businesses more international and improve their distribution strategies. The government is helping the German solar industry tap into foreign markets through its Renewable Energies Export Initiative, and insuring exports of renewable energy with export credit guarantees (“Hermes cover”).

The press office of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) answered this question.