Meyer Berger: This is a big blow to the German solar renaissance – WELT

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a job Meyer burger

The United States instead of Saxony-Anhalt – a heavy blow to the German solar renaissance

From the end of 2024, Meyer Burger wants to deliver solar cells From the end of 2024, Meyer Burger wants to deliver solar cells

As of the end of 2024, Meyerburger wants to deliver “Made in the USA” solar cells.

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

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Photovoltaic manufacturer Meyer Burger is moving its expansion with a new plant to the US – and is halting the expansion of a site in Germany. The example clearly shows what Germany and Europe cannot offer.

IM Jun is still the Federal Minister of Economy Robert Habeck Announced support for local manufacturers of photovoltaic energy. But this is not enough for the most important European manufacturer of photovoltaic modules: instead of continuing to invest in Germany, the Swiss company Meyer Burger now prefers to invest in the USA. The group wants to build a new factory in Goodyear, Arizona, where solar cells will be produced from the end of 2024. “Made in USA” delivery.

The decision in favor of the United States is a blow to the hopes of the federal government and the state government of Saxony-Anhalt in terms of renewable energies. Meyer Burger originally planned to expand its Thalheim location in Saxony-Anhalt. This project will be paused for the time being.

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But now investment incentives have prevailed in the US. In addition, the US market is growing significantly, and units of domestic production are especially encouraged there. The United States demonstrates how, by intelligently defining the terms of these subsidies, it can prevent suppliers from Asia from taking advantage of the subsidies. In doing so, the country avoids the mistakes of German financing in the struggle, which primarily benefited Chinese manufacturers.

He announced funding from the European Union

However, the plant in Thalheim could still be expanded in the coming years – if there is EU funding for it. In a January guest article at WELT, Meyer Burger chief Gunter Erfurt has already heralded the German photovoltaic renaissance and announced EU funding:

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“High-performance solar cells and solar modules can be manufactured competitively in Germany, as we show at Meyer Burger every day with our factories in Thalheim (Bitterfeld-Wolfen) and Freiberg (Saxony).”

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The urgency of action

Even then, he referred directly to US financing: “Germany and Europe are in fierce competition with the US. The green manufacturing program IRA that started there a few months ago is worth hundreds of billions of euros. Solar companies in Europe are being courted aggressively by US state governors and lured by favorable site conditions.”

Cheaper electricity and water rates as a selection criterion

Meyer Burger now names reduced electricity and water rates as factors for the location of production in Arizona. In Germany, the electricity rate discount for this industry is not yet ready to be approved. The US states are currently soliciting money from the IRA. There is no similar support for PV manufacturers in Germany yet.

The US Treasury Department has cleverly set new standards to promote domestic expansion of solar energy. The guidelines allow for a 10 percent tax credit reward for investments in local content. In this way, the US government ensures that subsidies for the expansion of renewable energies remain in their country.

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To view embedded content, your revocable consent to the transfer and processing of personal data is required, since providers of embedded content as third-party providers require such consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the toggle switch to ON, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain Personal Data to other countries, including the United States of America, in accordance with Article 49(1)(a) GDPR. You can find more information on this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and the Privacy Policy at the bottom of the page.

The group commented on the decision: “Meyer Burger strongly believes that domestically manufactured solar cells bring added value to our customers, both in terms of using premium, high-performance ‘Made in the USA’ solar products and qualifying for additional tax credits.” There is no similar legislation in Germany, but due to EU regulations it would be difficult to implement on our own. The corresponding concept must come from Brussels.

In his guest contribution, the President of Meyer Burger Erfurt noted the technological leadership of German photovoltaic research. “Currently the best Chinese solar cells are still based on German developments,” he commented. American production is also based on German technology. But there is a lack of incentives from the EU to locate production in Europe. “It is clear that the urgency of the problem is not yet understood – despite statements by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.”

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To view embedded content, your revocable consent to the transfer and processing of personal data is required, since providers of embedded content as third-party providers require such consent [In diesem Zusammenhang können auch Nutzungsprofile (u.a. auf Basis von Cookie-IDs) gebildet und angereichert werden, auch außerhalb des EWR]. By setting the toggle switch to ON, you agree to this (which can be revoked at any time). This also includes your consent to the transfer of certain Personal Data to other countries, including the United States of America, in accordance with Article 49(1)(a) GDPR. You can find more information on this. You can withdraw your consent at any time via the switch and the Privacy Policy at the bottom of the page.

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