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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Recent Changes in US Energy Policy Promote Business Opportunities for German Cleantech Companies

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German American Energy Conference showcases the U.S.-Market Potential in Renewable Energy and discusses Germany's and America's Energy Future
Berlin/Houston, TX - May 3, 2011 The United States take on a new direction in terms of their power supply. In this year's State of the Union address, United States President Barack Obama called for the ambitious target of obtaining 80% of U.S. energy from clean energy by 2035.

In order to achieve this goal, the American government will focus on a massive expansion of renewable energy, which offers German companies the unique chance to invest in an emerging market. To showcase the US market potential in renewable energy and to discuss Germany’s and America’s energy future, the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) and the German Energy Agency (dena) are hosting the 3rd German American Energy Conference in Berlin on May 12 – 13, 2011.

German American Energy Conference: Strong Focus on Business Opportunities for German Companies

Noted experts will discuss prospects for investments in the US energy market during the conference, which is titled “Global Energy Challenges – Transatlantic Business Opportunities” in Berlin on May 12 – 13, 2011.

The 3rd GAE is hosted by the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACC) and the German Energy Agency (dena). During the event Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the GACC will present the survey “German American Renewable Energy Outlook” which assesses the emerging opportunities and possible restraints on the US energy market that German companies may face.

“The United States has much ground to cover on their way towards becoming more reliable in clean energy. This provides excellent business opportunities for the German clean energy sector,” says Jan Christoph Wiedemann, Managing Director of the GACC of the Southern United States in Houston, Texas. “German companies are amongst the top leaders in the renewable energy market. The American market offers excellent conditions for strong growth.”

Claudia Vogel, head of the renewable energy section of the dena, emphasizes “The German American Energy Conference offers noted speakers from various backgrounds, as well as practical hands-on advise for market entry strategies in the United States. This makes for an excellent platform for companies, which are interested in the US market.”

Amongst the top-class speakers is the German Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, Mr. Rainer Brüderle, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Philip D. Murphy, the US Counselor of the EU for Energy, Environment and Technology, Mr. Louis Bono, the German Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Ms. Katherina Reiche, the Managing Director of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Martin Wansleben, the Managing Director of the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH, Mr. Stephan Kohler and the Member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries, Dr. Stefan Mair.

Strong Growth Expected for Solar and Wind Energy Projects in the United States

Due to a missing legal framework on a federal level, many US States are pushing towards the expansion of renewable energy on a state level. Market leaders are California and Texas, which promote a strong growth of renewable energy by offering various incentives and initiatives. German manufacturers already have a strong presence in these markets. In December 2010, Siemens was commissioned to construct 258 wind energy turbines with a total capacity of almost 600 MW by the American utility MidAmerican – the largest order in the history of the German group. Solar Millennium AG is currently building the world largest solar energy system in Blythe, California, where ultimately 1,000 MW will be produced by four solar heat power plants (CSP).

In 2010, investments in photovoltaic accelerated by 67%, summing up the total investment to 6 billion US-Dollars in the United States. A capacity of 965 MW was installed bringing the total solar energy capacity to 2.6 GW. As of now, more than 65,000 homes and companies use solar thermal systems in the United States. The solar industry aims to provide two million homes with solar energy by 2015.

New installations in the American wind energy market declined from 10 GW in 2009 to 5 GW in the past year. However, experts expect a strong recovery in 2011. At the beginning of this year, new projects with a capacity of 5.6 GW are already under construction. The total wind energy capacity in the United States expanded to 40,180 GW (+15%). One fourth of this capacity was installed in the State of Texas alone. It is expected that the construction of the first offshore wind energy projects will begin by end of this year.

Up to now, there are no feed-in tariffs on a federal level in the United States. Renewable Energy is mainly promoted via tax credits in the United States, e.g. with the “Investment Tax Credit” and the “Production Tax Credit”, which offer tax deductions when investing in solar and wind systems.

The German American Energy Conference is supported by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology, by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federation of German Industries, by Germany Trade & Invest and the Representative of German Industry & Trade (RGIT). Premium Sponsor is Tüv Rheinland North America, Inc. Conference partners are amongst others the American Council On Renewable Energy, and the Council of American States in Europe.

Further information in regard to the program and registration can be found at www.gae-conference.com.

Contact:

Julia Schulz, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US
1900 West Loop South, Suite 1185, Houston, TX 77027, USA
Tel.: +1 (832) 384-1211 | E-Mail: jschulz@gaccsouth.com

Isabelle Riesenkampff, Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena)
Chauseestr. 128a, 10115 Berlin, Deutschland
Tel.: +49 (30) 7 26 16 57 20 | E-Mail: riesenkampff@dena.de

Press contact:

Matthias Struwe | Eye Communications | Agency for Public Relations
Stühlingerstr. 24, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
Tel.: + 49 (07 61) 137 62-21 | Fax: + 49 (07 61) 137 62-24 | E-Mail: m.struwe@eyecommunications.de

The German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs):

The German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs) in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco all work together under the network of AHK USA. With approximately 2,500 members an extensive national and international business network, the GACCs offer a broad spectrum of activities and services. Other German American organizations and chapters are affiliated with the GACCs. AHKs are closely connected to the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) in Germany. The umbrella organization of the IHKs is the German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), which also coordinates and supports the AHKs.

Please find further information at www.ahk-usa.com

The Deutsche Energie-Agentur Gmbh (dena):

The Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) - the German Energy Agency - is the centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. dena's mission is to gen-erate economic growth and maintain prosperity with ever lower energy inputs. If this is to be achieved, energy must be generated and used in both a national and international context as efficiently, safely and economically as possible with the least possible impact on climate.

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