Solar Energy Jobs

Keep Solar Energy Jobs in Germany and Europe

We have been building more than 100.000 jobs in Germany in the Renewable Energy Industry over the last decade. Other countries were closely following our activities and have taken Germany as a shining example for fighting climate change in a modern economy. Many people from around the world have congratulated me for Germany following this path. We have shown that fast growth of wind and solar power generation is possible based on feed in tariffs and with existing technologies. We have shown that the electricity grid can support 23 % renewables today without causing blackouts. The growth of the renewable energy industry was creating employment in many sectors from raw materials (e.g. silicon, metal pastes), to equipment suppliers, solar cell and module manufacturers, wind turbine manufacturers, inverters, installers, financing, marketing, insurances... Import of fossil fuels was reduced in the same time. I was so proud of my country which was taking the risk and walking ahead to demonstrate how the transition of our energy system to renewables can work in a highly industrialized and densely populated country with high energy demand.

A year ago, German government has suddenly decided to leave this successful path. Feed in tariffs were cut drastically and since on a monthly basis. Security and trust for large investments was destroyed. At the same time, prices for solar modules were declining due to overcapacities and strong import of PV modules from China created additional pressure on European manufacturers. Instead of helping the industry with investments, securities and a stable home markets, we are now loosing thousands of jobs every month, creating unemployment and putting the local renewable energy industry at risk. Big companies like Schott Solar, Siemens, Bosch are leaving the sector with billion Euros of lost investments. The damage can not be repaired as these big investors will not come back to lose money again. I can not describe the anger which I feel for this lost opportunity. I will have to apologize to my son and daughter who will hate our generation for the inability to act in time and despite having all the necessary knowledge to understand the risk we are leaving them in.

I insist: Germany must transform its energy system to 100 % renewables as fast as possible. We are a rich country and we can do this! 8 GW of solar modules installed per year is a fantastic achievement and should be continued. We need to invest additionally into storage and the electricity grid. We have to maximize local value generation in the renewable energy industry and find market instruments to promote this. Watching the steady death of the industry is completely irresponsible.

Frank Dimroth / 31.3.2013