EU PVSEC 2011, BERLIN & HAMBURG, GERMANY: With German soccer season in full swing, international solar companies are aggressively marketing to the country's die-hard soccer fans. On jerseys and in soccer stadiums from Bayern München to Dortmund, fans are courted by the biggest names in the industry. This confirms the ongoing importance of the German market and the emerging battle for brand recognition among end customers.
Such outreach marks one of the first conspicuous signs of the coming grid parity market, in which the demand is expected to grow in the rooftop segment for homeowners rather than for utility-scale installations, making end customers an increasingly important target group. Germany Trade & Invest industry experts will be at this year's EU PVSEC 2011 in Hamburg from September 5-9 to share the latest opportunities in Germany's photovoltaic industry.
Thomas Grigoleit, director of Renewable Energies and Resources at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin, said: "With nearly half of all solar installations worldwide, Germany has long been the most important photovoltaic market. And with grid parity around the corner, our extensive infrastructure of manufacturers, project developers and researchers will ensure that Germany continues to be the top player and a test bed for innovative technologies and business models."
Germany's grid parity market means that falling system prices are making solar electricity cheaper than power from the socket, spurring homeowners to purchase rooftop systems. This is currently Germany's fastest growing market segment. With a stated preference for high-quality products and local production, manufacturers located in Germany are able to market a "Made in Germany" product with a significant competitive advantage.
This shift is expected to create business opportunities for PV companies, as new market dynamics are accelerating development of energy storage, smart grid and smart home technologies, as well as financing, leasing and utility business models.