Way back in 2005 we noted how the rising price of oil was drawing the attention of investors to renewables and energy efficiency, so it would be logical to assume that recent price hikes would further drive investment to the green side. And while the jury is out on what moves by Shell to extricate itself from certain segments of the solar market really mean, there are signs elsewhere that interest and enthusiasm remains high. According the The Guardian, news that German engineering giant Bosch is buying solar panel manufacturers Ersol, a company that has recently invested heavily in thin-film manufacture, for â‚¬1.1bn (US$1.7bn) has sent stocks in other renewable energy companies soaring as investors expect further big buyouts:
"Shares in leading German solar companies rose substantially on expectations that other big players, including oil groups, are on the prowl in a market that grew to â‚¬6.6bn last year and is forecast to top â‚¬18bn by 2020.
Germany is by far the world's biggest solar energy market thanks to its "feed-in" tariffs, which pay a government-guaranteed premium of up to â‚¬0.47 a kilowatt hour for power produced by photovoltaic panels. It is expected to continue to grow despite government plans to cut subsidies by 8% or 9% in 2009 and 2010."
As the reporter notes, such investment is due in no small part to the far-sightedness of Germany's renewable energy policies. For more on the German solar boom, check out our articles below.
TreeHugger on German Solar
Germany's Johanna Solar to Produce Thin Film Solar
Freiburg Has Solar Flair
Germany Gets Creative With Renewables
German Parliament Building to be the Greenest in the World
::The Guardian::via site visit::