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PV Industry and Policy in Germany and China

Published: March, 2011

As building-integrated photovoltaic (PV) solutions can meet around one-third of electricity demand in Germany and China, both countries are interested in exploring this potential.  Large-scale global application of PV, however, requires further technology improvements and cost reductions along the value chain.

In this paper, we provide an overview of the PV industry and policies in Germany and China, including deployment support, investment support for manufacturing plants, and R&D support measures.  We find that

  • deployment support in both nations has been successful but that adjustment mechanisms may be necessary given that prices can change quickly,
  • investment support in these nations has not been sufficiently tied to innovation incentives, and
  • R&D support has been weak.

This paper concludes with a discussion of the need for global policy coordination that reaches beyond increasingly national/local interests.