The possibility of heavy cuts to the German solar feed-in tariffs could not only reduce demand for solar installations in what should become the largest market in the world in 2009, it could also see reduced investments and job losses in the sector, according to Masdar PV CEO, Dr. Rainer Gegewart. Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit currently being held in Abu Dhabi, Gegewart warned that should muted FiT cuts be made, the a-Si thin-film manufacturer would revise its investment plans in Germany and look for new opportunities abroad as those markets would grow, compared to a possible contraction in Germany.
“It makes me angry when politicians only look at the cost for subsidies, but do not bear in mind how many jobs were created in the solar industry which are put at risk once again. This might cost even more in the long run,” remarked Gegewart. “We at Masdar PV have the opportunity to ship volumes abroad, but many smaller companies that benefited from this growth market do not and will disappear from the market.”
Taking a swipe at politicians, Gegewart said, “We have seen in Spain what harm wrong national politics and incentives can do to the world market.”
Masdar PV is one of the most financially secure of all a-Si thin film start-ups, which is a subsidiary of the globally operating Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co.
The company recently started volume production at its first manufacturing line in Erfurt, Germany, and has plans for over US$2 billion in investments in module production at multiple sites, in Germany and internationally.