Germany's Renewable Energy Challenges And Opportunities

rooftop solar panels in Germany
Germany has embraced renewable energy and isn’t about to turn back now.
(cc) Till Westermayer

A decision is expected by the end of March on changes to Germany’s cornerstone law – the Renewable Energy Sources Act. Drastic reductions to solar subsidies are still on the table, but even this scenario cannot curb Germany’s march forward in renewable energy, according to Germany Trade & Invest experts from this year’s Green Energy Expo, taking place from March 28 to 30 in Daegu, Korea.

Tobias Rothacher, renewable energy expert at Berlin-based Germany Trade & Invest, commented, “Regardless of the scope of the amendments, Germany has already succeeded in developing the most extensive renewable energy infrastructure in the world. The ongoing debate is a sign that Germany has entered the grid parity era, in which entirely new opportunities are available.”

A new survey by Germany’s Renewable Energies Agency shows that acceptance of renewable energy in Germany is remarkably high. Nationwide, 94 percent of Germans find the further development of renewable energy to be important.

Rothacher continued, “Companies here benefit from strong public opinion and an excellent legal framework for business models beyond feed-in tariffs. It’s already possible in Germany to consume the energy you generate or even sell it to your neighbor. This framework is creating completely new markets for products and services.”

Recent news from the industry underpins Germany’s strong position. Just this month, Heliatek opened a new factory for the production of organic thin-film solar panels. And in the growing energy storage segment, fuel cell manufacturer Ballard decided to locate its European headquarters in Germany. The project was supported by Germany Trade & Invest.

Following the events in Fukushima last year, the German government opted to end all nuclear power generation and increase the country’s focus on renewable energy.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

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