With oil prices exceeding $100 a barrel, the US, and the world, is being forced to recognize that fossil fuels may not only be damaging the environment, but also losing their competitive edge regarding price.
Germany is pioneering solutions to this problem. It has demonstrated that renewable energies can play an important role in a sustainable industrial policy - providing jobs, returns to investors, and carbon emission reductions. Results from Germany and how to benefit from them will be presented to investors at WIREC 2008, the Washington International Renewable Energy Congress from March 4-6. Smart legislation has helped make Germany a renewable energies leader. Its Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG in German) states that owners of renewable energies systems, such as solar panels, receive a “feed-in tariff” when energy from their systems is sold back to the local utility. This price is guaranteed for twenty years and, depending on the type of energy and system, can be twice the price paid for energy by private households, making it profitable to produce renewable energy.
Germany wants to be the world leader in all renewable energies by 2020. This will mean a worldwide market share of over 20%, €20 billion ($30 billion) in domestic investments, and over €80 billion ($120 billion) in exports. Furthermore, networks of research institutes and universities work with industry to develop new technologies. For example, the Fraunhofer Institute in Freiburg, Germany is a leading location for the study of photovoltaic technologies. The German government has pledged €15 billion through 2009 to aid advanced R&D projects.
Germany’s favorable legal regime, strong workforce, and network of scientific experts all contribute to the renewable energy industry’s impressive statistics: €23 billion in revenue in 2006 plus €6 billion in exports and €9 billion in domestic investments. Many American firms are taking advantage of Germany’s leading position. General Electric, First Solar, and Nanosolar have all made major new investments in Germany within the past two years.
Invest in Germany is the inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. It provides investors with comprehensive support from site selection to the implementation of investment decisions. Its booth can be found in the German Pavilion at WIREC 2008 at the Washington Convention Center. (Trading Markets))