Japanese-German Photovoltaic Forum

Hannover Messe

As part of the Hannover Messe 2008, the Japanese Foreign Trade Organization JETRO and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) organized a "Japanese-German Photovoltaic Symposium" on April 24, 2008.

Top-class speakers from both countries from ministries, research institutions and leading photovoltaic companies discussed in front of approx. 200 participants which energy policy measures can be used to promote the spread of photovoltaics and which technical possibilities there are to further reduce the manufacturing costs of PV systems and thus increase competitiveness.

Overall, the symposium organized by JETRO and AIST in cooperation with ECOS Consult highlighted the great potential of the Japanese PV industry to further reduce the costs of PV systems so that this technology will be able to compete with fossil fuels in power generation in the foreseeable future. However, without an active promotion policy - this was the message to the Japanese guests - the shrinking of the domestic PV market in Japan will hardly be stopped. In contrast to the active and practical subsidy policy in Germany, the Japanese government continues to keep a conspicuously low profile.

Despite different strategies on the way to a solar energy industry, however, both countries have a great deal of know-how in the further development, immense production capacities for PV technology and a great willingness to cooperate. The best prerequisites, therefore, for jointly maintaining the leading position on the world market.

The response of the participants to the lectures offered was almost 100% positive, and a continuation of such symposia was expressly desired.