German Chancellor Meets With Evergreen Solar and Q-Cells; Visit is Further
Validation for Solar Power's Growing Economic Importance
THALHEIM, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 8, 2005--German Chancellor Gerhardt
Schroeder met yesterday with Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR) and Q-Cells AG
in Thalheim, Germany, the city where a new $5 million solar panel
manufacturing plant will be constructed by EverQ, a recently announced
strategic partnership formed by the two firms. The Chancellor also met with
CSG Solar AG, a Thalheim-based developer of solar panels.
Evergreen Solar President and CEO Richard Feldt (center) tours the Q-Cells
plant in Thalheim with German Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder (right) and
Q-Cells CEO Anton Milner (left). Photo: Business Wire
Evergreen Solar, based in Marlboro, Massachusetts, is a manufacturer of
solar power products that leverage its proprietary, low-cost String
Ribbon(TM) wafer technology. Based in Germany, Q-Cells is the world's
largest independent manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar cells.
"This is a great example of how environmental sensitivity and economic
efficiency go together," Schroeder said. "Solar power has the potential to
secure the future energy supply in Germany and worldwide."
The German government plans to provide the new EverQ manufacturing facility
with grants totaling approximately $4 million at current exchange rates.
Construction is set to begin in August and the plant is expected to create
between 350 and 400 new jobs in the area. In total, the solar industry
employs approximately 30,000 in Germany and created 5,000 new jobs for the
country in 2004 alone. "Public funding of solar energy makes sense not only
economically but also in terms of energy policy," Schroeder stated.
The solar power, or photovoltaic, market was over $ billion in 2004 and is
growing at more than 40 percent per year. Germany is the world's largest
solar power market today, accounting for 40 percent of worldwide spending in
2004. Markets in Japan and the United States rank second and third,
"Evergreen Solar is establishing itself as a technology leader," stated
Evergreen Solar President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Feldt. "Our
ability to innovate and significantly reduce solar power manufacturing costs
is the foundation upon which this strategic partnership was established. We
believe the combination of our String Ribbon(TM) technology with Q-Cells'
high efficiency cell processing and proven ability to scale manufacturing
plants will enable us to become a world leader in the solar power industry."
"Germany has created a model for economic development by supporting the
solar power industry that is now being emulated by nations throughout Europe
and the world," Feldt concluded. "The continued strength of the German
market and the increase in solar power adoption globally is helping to fuel
Evergreen's continued expansion. We are eager to commence construction with
Q-Cells on the EverQ plant, which we anticipate will be fully operational in
the summer of 2006."
My response directed at title of this thread..
It's not pork, but a very wise investment in the future.
Even better.. they invest in a firm which build a local PV
manufacturing plant, directly employing hundreds of Germans.
75 Million plant investment verses 34 million in grants..
350 to 400 new jobs.. that's not bad..
Especially when compared to "Intel's" feeding at the tax payer trough
"Washington County and Hillsboro officials sign off on a package they
estimate would save the chip maker $79 million".
A secondary benefit is that unlike "Intel's" energy wasting product
lineup; Evergreen's products help reduce Germany's dependency on