- BMWK is funding a study called Libertas to explore the feasibility of setting up entire PV ecosystem in Germany and Europe
- It will also focus on adding competitive and innovative products along with CO2-neutral manufacturing
- VDMA, RCT Solutions and ISC Konstanz head the consortium which is also open to other participants
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) has formed a consortium of German mechanical engineering industry association VDMA, solar factory developer RCT Solutions GmbH and research institution ISC Konstanz to conduct a feasibility study for re-establishment of the entire PV industry value chain in Germany.
The trio will attempt to find answer to how the PV manufacturing ecosystem, mechanical engineering, supply chain, research institutes and skilled human resource ecosystem can be fully established in Germany and Europe in the shortest time possible.
Focus will also be on adding competitive and innovative products, sustainable, CO2-neutral manufacturing. Currently, Germany is dependent on Asian PV products since there are ‘critical gaps’ in the supply chain in Germany and Europe.
“Germany is in a position to set up large- scale, fully integrated production immediately. Even if this requires investments in the billions,” said RCT CEO Dr Wolfgang Jooss.
“All important innovations in the modern crystalline silicon solar energy come from Germany. The research institutions here are working on the technologies of today and tomorrow,” added Head of Research at ISC Konstanz, Dr Radovan Kopecek. “It is the dream of all of us to have large factories here again where these developments are used and further developed.”
Titled Libertas, the BMWK funded study will also be open to other participants who will be apprised about the initiative during the Intersolar Trade Fair.
Recently, BMWK launched its draft PV Strategy outlining the German government’s roadmap for solar energy to meet 2030 EEG target (see Germany Invites Public Consultation For PV Strategy).
However, funding conditions will largely also depend on Brussels, where the rules are made for competition laws and funding in the European Union. As pressure from all sides builds up, the European Commission (EC) is now speeding up its renewable energy support measures with the latest decision expanding the timeline for state aid schemes till December 31, 2025 and also enabling investment support for manufacturing of ‘strategic equipment’ including solar panels. In mid-March it presented its Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF), which is aimed at continued support for renewables and clean tech manufacturing in the bloc and should enable member states to speed up renewable energy and energy storage deployment till 2025-end (see EU’s New Measures To Boost Solar PV Manufacturing). A few days later, the European Commission presented proposals for its Critical Raw Materials Regulation and Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA) claiming these will create ‘best conditions’ for sectors crucial to the bloc’s net zero goal of 2050, including solar PV (see EU Proposes NZIA & Critical Raw Materials Regulation).