Renewable energy increasingly competitive

Hamburg/Kiel, June 16, 2011 - The key points of the accelerated energy-policy turnaround that the German government recently decided upon will give expansion of renewable energy a further boost. There was unanimity about this during HSH Nordbank’s second meeting of businesspeople, held under the heading of “Vision”.

Well-known industry representatives discussed the opportunities and prospects of the renewable energy growth market on Wednesday evening in Hamburg.

“At the latest since the incidents in Fukushima it has once again become very clear that the future belongs to renewable energy sources such as the sun, wind and water. We anticipate an upsurge for the entire industry,” said Patrick Miljes, Head of the Energy & Infrastructure Business Unit at HSH Nordbank. About 100 participants had accepted the invitation to this meeting of businesspeople.

Chaired by Dirk Bergmann, the former business editor of the north-German NDR radio and TV station, the General Manager of Vattenfall Europe AG, Region Hamburg/Northern Germany, Pieter Wasmuth, the CEO of Nordex SE, Thomas Richterich, the Managing Director of Dii GmbH, Paul van Son, as well as the Chairman of the Offshore-Windenergie foundation, Jörg Kuhbier, also discussed the question when solar and wind energy would no longer require any subsidies.

Yet none of the participants wished to tie themselves down to a specific timeframe. “It is not possible to answer this reliably,” said Jörg Kuhbier, adding that offshore wind energy currently stands where onshore wind energy stood 20 years ago. The latter could become competitive with conventional technologies in the course of the next ten years, Kuhbier said.

Pieter Wasmuth emphasized that the precondition for accelerated development of renewable energy is expansion of the grid infrastructure and of storage technologies. Thomas Richterich commented that such expansion of the grid would also have to facilitate international exchange of larger amounts of electricity. Paul van Son stressed that Europe should collaborate closely with the Arab world on expanding renewable energy. Electricity from the desert could, in his opinion, become competitive in ten to 15 years.

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