Solar energy industry in Germany falters as China begins to take the lead

Solar energy industry in Germany falters as China begins to take the lead

June 20, 2012 0 By Tami Hood

Alternative Energy News

German policies may put country at risk of falling behind in solar energy

Germany is no stranger to solar energy. In fact, the country is one of the leading powers in the global solar energy industry. The country had boasted of some of the most solar-friendly policies in the world before the government stepped in to nix these policies for the sake of stability. Since then, the solar energy industry in the country has been slowing down, despite the rise in demand from German residents for the alternative power. Now, Germany may be at risk of losing its position as a global leader.

Cuts to feed-in tariffs cause no drop in demand

Part of the country’s rise to power in the solar energy industry was due to its innovative feed-in tariffs. These tariffs sparked demand for solar energy installations, thus creating a boom in the market. At its height, Germany accounted for 20% of the world’s solar energy market. The country’s policies became a point of contention amongst lawmakers, however, many of whom suggested that the feed-in tariffs were causing more damage to the financial stability of the government itself. Thus, the tariffs were severely reduced. Demand for solar energy did not diminish with the tariffs, however.

Solar technologies from China may be having an effect on solar energy industry

As the demand for solar energy installations continues to grow, China is looking to fill the void left by Germany’s cut to its feed-in tariffs. Germany has begun receiving a tide of solar panels and other technologies manufactured in China. Indeed, these solar technologies are often cited as the cause for Germany’s decision to reduce its feed-in tariffs. More troubling issues may be present, however, as more insolvency reports come from German companies that have made use of these solar energy products.

China accused of manufacturing faulty technology to flood out competition

The fear that China may be inundating the solar energy industry with lackluster technologies is one that has prevailed for some time. The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, and advocacy group which aims to hold China accountable for these alleged actions, suggests that the country is responsible for some of the turmoil seen within the solar energy industry. The coalition has, along with other groups in the European Union, filed complaints with their representative governments concerning the matter. German companies have yet to file such complaints, but the likelihood of this happening appears to be on the rise.


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