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Solar Production Technology
Solar research at a crossroadsThe crisis in the photovoltaic industry is endangering the leading position of German solar scientists. However, there are some good chances to successfully continue this tandem of innovation. Germany’s laboratories are full of innovations which could help the industry gain a new competitive strength. Targeted policies could make investments in advancement easier.
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Storage units are a prerequisite for the energy turnaround. German researchers are promoting developments in the field of electrolysis with great commitment. (Photo: DLR)
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With headlines such as “The end of German solar cells” or “The demise of the solar industry”, the media is currently leaving no doubt about the fact that: The location of Germany has become run-down in terms of solar production. The argument is that China is making prices spiral downwards radically - and manufacturers in Germany are having to file for bankruptcy by the dozen because they can no longer keep up.
If this bleak prognosis proves to be founded, solar research may as well pack up and go home as well. “It is heavily application-oriented and must quickly transform its results into real productions in order to make any advancements,” explains Michael Powalla, board member of the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Without feedback from the industry, science will stagnate.