Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Once Home To World-Class Opticians, Lens Cutters, Librettists, And Composers, Germany Now Accounts For 52% Of The World's Installed Solar Panels

"The former East Germany, once one of the world's gloomiest places, has become home to one of the world's brightest industries: solar power.

In late April ground was broken at a former Soviet air base near Leipzig for a $176 million, 40-megawatt photo-voltaic power plant, four times the size of the largest existing solar plant in the world. The facility, being built by Germany's Juwi International, is scheduled to begin production in late 2009. When it does, it will add significant capacity to eastern Germany's mushrooming solar power industry.

Germany has invested $1.3 billion in photovoltaic research over the past decade, creating a $5 billion industry that accounts for 52% of the world's installed solar panels. Of 45 producers in Germany, 33 are start-ups in the former East Germany, employing 70% of the industry's 8,000 workers, with 2,000 new jobs on the way. Even companies headquartered in the west have most of their production in the east.

The manufacturers have found a new foothold in an economically depressed place, which has an educated labor force, 20% unemployment, and old industrial complexes with redevelopment potential. Eastern Germany was the engineering center of the Eastern bloc, and top tech schools and research centers pepper places where solar manufacturing is now booming - near the world-class opticians and lens cutters of Jena and the old industrial centers of Dresden and Chemnitz." ...

Michael Dumiak, Fortune Magazine "Eastern Germany's sunny future" via CNNMoney May 22, 2007


'Let the sun shine in'.

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Dresden's Drama House, below, Zwinger Baroque Era Palace [including the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery)], center, and Semper Opera House, above.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.


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