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The Economic Journal for Central Germany REGJO-Special: Solay Valley

ISSN 1614-2837

Solar Valley


7th annual addition ISSN 1614-2837 Editorial deadline: 20 May 2011 Advertising deadline: 27 May Date of publication: 7 June Published by: REGJO – Verlag für regionales Marketing GmbH, Marbachstrasse 2, RECLAM Haus, 04155 Leipzig, Germany; tel: +49 (0) 975 6039; fax: +49 (0) 341 590 3859; www.regjo-leipzighalle. de; email: REGJO is a registered trademark (39867052) of REGJO – Verlag für regionales Marketing GmbH. Editor-in-chief: Tobias Prüwer (legally responsible for content) Editorial management: Katja Trumpler Written by: Kai Bieler, Tobias Prüwer, Prof. Dr. Martin Maslaton, Dörthe Gromes, Franziska Reif, Katja Trumpler, André Jaschke Translated by: Chris Abbey Art direction & layout by: Matthias Hiller Photography by: Sebastian Willnow Advertisements: Steffi Emde, Claus-Peter J.O. Paulus Publicists: Steffi Emde, Claus-Peter Paulus Office assistant: Franziska Krüger

editorial 3

“Here comes the sun,” sang George Harrison in a glorious spirit of optimism. We can’t say for certain that he was actually singing about solar power, but with his veneration of the sun he was certainly in good company past and present! Many ancient cultures worshipped the sun, the Aztecs even believing it to be the engine of the universe. And thanks to photovoltaics, this inexhaustible source of energy can now be directly exploited by mankind. In central Germany, our sights have long been set on the sun. The oldest solar observatory in Europe is located here, while the Nebra Sky Disc discovered in Saxony-Anhalt is the earliest known depiction of the heavens. The periodicity of sunspots was discovered in Dessau. And Brandis Energy Park contains one of the world’s biggest photovoltaic arrays, consisting of 550,000 modules arranged over 110 hectares sparkling in the sunlight. Solar Valley just outside Bitterfeld-Wolfen has made the Halle–Leipzig region a major centre of the photovoltaic industry. Q-Cells, one of the world’s biggest photovoltaic companies, is based in the region, and will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of its first solar cell in summer 2011. Our detailed portrait of Q-Cells gives you the low-down on an international corporation which consciously chose to operate out of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. But the region also has a broad network of companies and research centres dedicated to renewable energy – and we introduce scientific flagship projects such as the Fraunhofer CSP Research Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics in Halle. Dr. Reiner Haseloff, the minister-president of Saxony-Anhalt, spoke to REGJO to explain the region’s development and advantages. Enormous importance is attached to supporting education and leisure to ensure residents enjoy a high quality of work and life. This policy is underlined by our look at local towns and cities as well as an account of life here by a family from western Germany. Both high culture and cultural niches are at home in the region. And we’ll point you towards modern art and historical exhibitions, family attractions and idyllic countryside. The exploitation of solar energy is being stepped up in many parts of the world – and that benefits far more than just big business in central Germany. Given the risks of nuclear power and the pledge to cut greenhouse emissions, it’s high time to switch to renewable energies. Here comes the sun!

Management: Claus-Peter J.O. Paulus Printed by: rohdesohn Ges. f. Komm. opt. mbH Leipziger Str. 7, 04519 Rackwitz

Tobias Prüwer Editor-in-chief




16 A success story: Q-Cells

28 Country life, city life

Bitterfeld was once regarded as the dirty heart of the chemical industry. But with the emergence of Solar Valley, it has become a forerunner of the solar sector. A substantial role in its ascent has been played by Q-Cells – originally a tiny seed company which within the space of just a few years has grown into one of the world’s foremost solar corporations.

Central Germany was infamous for its major industry. But that’s unfair – for it’s actually a far more beautiful, wide-ranging and historical place to live and work.

Market players in Solar Valley

Solar region

34 Sunrise industry seeks professionals Solar Valley Central Germany organizes training in the PV industry. Working closely with universities and the private sector, the network supports young adults in connection with training, higher education and career entry.

38 Training for solar and wind With the German government agreeing to phase out nuclear power, renewable energy is indispensable to our future and needs to be expanded. Of course, good specialists are required – and they can be trained by TÜV Rheinland Akademie.

24 Powerful solar cells from Halle Halle has outclassed its European rivals yet again in the competition for industrial investment. This time the city was picked over 30 contenders by solar power company ITS Halle Cell.

47 Aquatic leisure, cultural treasure 37 Flagship of sustainability EnergieCity Leipzig organizes networking related to alternative energy. One highlight in 2011 was an award presented by the Hanover Fair for the design of a low-energy building using a brand new material which is due to open before the year is out.

Against a fascinating background of industry past, present and future combined with a network of waterways, central Germany really does have something for everyone: pure relaxation, sports galore, historic sights and cultural amenities.


Contents 5

42 Lifelong learning

08 Keeping dreams realistic

In-service training and other forms of further training on the job are something employers encourage and employees are frequently keen to benefit from.

Dr. Reiner Haseloff spoke to REGJO about his new goals as minister-president of Saxony-Anhalt, about its role as a trailblazer in renewable energy – and explains why this isn’t incompatible with the continued use of lignite.



13 Valley of the sun Plenty of solar and photovoltaic companies have set up shop in central Germany in recent years. REGJO introduces some of the firms and projects making innovative use of the power of the sun.

05 A working environment REGJO asked its readers: What sort of working environment does central Germany offer you? What makes this region, once notorious for its pollution but now a far more pleasant place to live and work, so attractive to you and your business?

51 Cultural listings REGJO lists some of the forthcoming highlights in 2011 and 2012, including outstanding events in the worlds of music, sport and art.

14 Supporting the PV industry In an interview with REGJO, Dr. Carlhans Uhle (managing director of Saxony-Anhalt’s IMG investment board) talks about IMG’s activities on behalf of Solar Valley, the future of the photovoltaic industry, and drumming up investment.

41 Photovoltaics – no thanks? In his guest article, Prof. Maslaton controversially asks whether we’re expecting too much of photovoltaics. Should we abandon it due to its negative impact on buildings and the environment? And should our motto be “Photovoltaics – no thanks!”?

We could explain our expertise and experience regarding all aspects of private and public real estate. But we won’t – because that’s something you take for granted anyway. What matters is that we’re really nice people!!






Opinion 7

A working environment What makes central Germany – once notorious for its pollution, now a far more pleasant place to live and work – so attractive to you and your business?

1. Heike Hennig, producer, choreog­ rapher and director:

For me, Leipzig represents a constantly flourishing arts scene that’s unbridled yet well ordered, delicate yet strong, a mixture of mainstream and fringe, creative and clichéd, diverse and unambiguous, free yet disciplined, outrageous and commendable. It’s great living with my extended family here. It only takes five minutes on my bike to get anywhere or to visit anyone, and I love spending hours walking alongside the river. Maybe that’s part and parcel of Leipzig: this unknown, the ups and downs, this ebb and flow, this uncertain certainty, this constant state of flux – and that suits me down to the ground. 2. Stefan Morbach, sales and marketing director of Vetro Solar in Sandersdorf-Brehna:

Our decision to set up shop in Sandersdorf-Brehna was spot on! Photos: private; Vetro Solar GmbH; Domgalerie; private

The reasons include the presence of several of other photovoltaic companies, the road and rail network, and the favourable infrastructure, including schools and childcare facilities as well as all other types of amenities. In addition, residents’ quality of life has improved enormously thanks to the creation of Lake Goitzsche and the revamping of the chemical industry park in Bitterfeld. As a result of all these changes, people are now far more likely to move to the region. 3. Holger Leidel, owner of the Domgalerie art gallery in Merseburg:

For us and many others, the question was: Should we stay or should we go? We want to make Merseburg an attractive destination by opening up historical cellars to the general public and revitalizing them with guided tours, exhibitions and other events. At Domgalerie, we host exhibitions changing every six weeks where

contemporary art can be admired and purchased, arousing interest among both locals and visitors. This blend of idyllic countryside with history, art and culture is intended to encourage people to stay. 4. Eva Löber, chair of the Wittenberg Cranach Foundation:

Over the past twenty years, the places in Wittenberg where Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked here have been painstakingly restored. Nowadays, the Cranach Courtyards contain a permanent exhibition on Cranach. In addition, special art exhibitions are held. And we also run an art school, a cafe, workshops and artists’ studios, and a hostel. In a nutshell, the Cranach Courtyards have become an arts centre at the heart of Wittenberg that also stages music and drama presentations during the town’s frequent festivities.

Replacing nuclear

Photo: SRU Solar AG

Business development for AnhaltBitterfeld

Assisting the private and public sector in the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district

EWG Anhalt-Bitterfeld is a local authority business development organization set up to market the district of Anhalt-Bitterfeld. It provides advice and support every step of the way to startups and established companies doing business in the area. Located north of Leipzig/Halle in central Germany, Anhalt-Bitterfeld benefits from an excellent infrastructure and is an outstanding area for business, industry and education.

EWG Anhalt-Bitterfeld mbH OT Wolfen Andresenstrasse 1a 06766 Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany Tel: +49 (0) 3494 638366 Fax: +49 (0) 3494 638358 Email:

Solar replaces nuclear By 2019, SRU Solar plans to have replaced the capacity of a nuclear power plant by solar energy. SRU Solar from Berga in SaxonyAnhalt has set itself an ambitious aim. Over the next eight years, it plans to install solar power systems with a total capacity of 1,000 MW – about the same as a small nuclear power station such as Philippsburg Unit 1, now shut down, near the Franco–German border. Thomas Rakow, a member of the board at SRU Solar AG, explains his company’s strategy: “To achieve our aim, we plan to concentrate on marketing our main product, the VEGA factory building, which we feel harbours the biggest market potential. Since VEGAs have an average capacity of 2 MW each, selling 500 would be enough to reach our target. But in addition, of course, we’re also looking to expand our other areas such as outdoor and rooftop arrays.” VEGA is a system of stand­ard­ ized industrial buildings featuring a sloping roof with an integrated PV system. Depending on the model cho-

sen, the solar power system generates between 100 and 300 KWp. This power is fed directly into the grid, minimizing the operator’s energy costs. VEGA buildings can already be seen in Berga, Sangerhausen and Sundhagen. SRU Solar is a mid-size employ­er with a workforce of currently 120. According to Thomas Rakow, SRU Solar’s average annual installation volume is 60 MW, a figure which is set to rise to 100  MW. Asked about the impact of the melt­down at Fukushima on the solar industry in central Germany, Thomas Rakow replies: “Although we’re receiving more enquiries about projects, the volume of orders hasn’t changed yet. But what is apparent is a U-turn in the debate. Whereas the PV industry had to put up with a lot of criticism in early 2011 owing to lobbying by the major energy corporations, we’re now enjoying far more support.” DG

For more information, go to


Magazine 9

Photo: Solarvalley


Central Germany evolves into Solar Valley More than the sum of its members. The Solar Valley Cluster Initiative is promoting a joined-up approach to the development, production and use of photovoltaics. Clusters are industrial networks spawning technological innovation by encouraging cooperation within a particular sector. Four years ago, the German Ministry of Education and Research launched a cluster competition to promote high-tech industries in Germany. Winners were promised financial support with the government paying half their expenditure on R&D projects for up to five years. Central Germany’s Solar Valley Cluster Initiative entered in 2008 along with thirty-eight other competitors – and was one of the five clusters of excellence to win public funding, the others being the RhineNeckar Biotechnology Cluster, Cool Silicon in the Dresden region, the Organic Electronics Forum in Baden-Württemberg, and Hamburg’s Aviation Cluster. Sollar Valley fronts twentynine companies (including Q-Cells,

Bosch Energy AG Erfurt and JENOPTIK Laser GmbH) as well as nine research centres and four universities in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Their shared aims are to establish central Germany as the world’s foremost region for photovoltaics and, as they harness new advances in solar technology, to achieve grid parity by 2013 – the point at which solar power is finally no more expensive than conventional electricity. The cluster’s activities are concentrated on joint technology development projects, with currently around a hundred underway, and building up professional training in the photovoltaic industry. As a result, four new degree courses and eight endowed chairs have been set up in the region's higher education sector and a centre of excellence offering vocational training at all levels has been opened.

For more information, go to

Solar Valley has initiated joint R&D projects designed to achieve grid parity in Germany. The partners from industry and research work together to tackle fundamental questions throughout the value chain of crystalline and thin-film solar modules. Their aims are to increase modules’ efficiency and to reduce their production and installation costs. What prompted all this activity was the brisk development of the photovoltaic industry in central Germany, which already provides employment for some 11,000 people. And this figure is set to almost quadruple within the next decade, reaching a predicted 40,000 jobs in the solar sector by the year 2020. Who knows – perhaps the region’s centuries-old tradition of mining will gradually give way to renewable energy? DG

Keeping dreams realistic Dr. Reiner Haseloff spoke to REGJO about his new goals as minister-president of Saxony-Anhalt, about its role as a trailblazer in renewable energy – and explains why this isn’t incompatible with the continued use of lignite.

Interview: Kai Bieler  Photographs: Sebastian Willnow

After five years as Saxony-Anhalt’s minister of trade and industry, in April you were elected the region’s minister-president. Has your view of the tasks facing you changed as a result? The economy and the labour market naturally remain my priorities as they have an enormous impact on SaxonyAnhalt’s well-being. But since becoming minister-president I’ve had to broaden my view to take in all policy areas and ensure the various departments work smoothly together. After all, many of the future challenges facing us such as demographic change can only be dealt with by taking a joined-up approach. Following your election, you announced your intention to make Saxony-Anhalt the foremost region in eastern Germany by the end of your period in office. How do you plan to achieve this?

If you look at the main economic indicators and compare us with the rest of Germany, although we started right at rock bottom, in recent years we’ve managed to work our way up the table. For example, we’ve halved unemployment to currently 11.9 per cent. I set myself this ambitious goal precisely because I totally understand the potential harboured by Saxony-Anhalt. These opportunities now need to be exploited to the full by means of a stable economic and legal framework, strategic incentives and plenty of creativity. What are Saxony-Anhalt’s strengths compared to other locations? One of its strengths is its ideal position in the heart of Germany and Europe, with tomorrow’s markets in Eastern Europe right on the doorstep. Saxony-Anhalt is well integrated into the national and international transport


infrastructure, an advantage which will become even more effective with the extension of the A14 motorway. And alongside our traditional skills in mechanical engineering and the chemical industry, we’ve managed to develop a raft of modern, competitive industries, such as automotive suppliers, the logistics sector and renewable energies. Investors in these industries find that Saxony-Anhalt makes an ideal setting thanks to the many reliable partners in operation. Corporate investment here means relocating human resources to Saxony-

Anhalt. What sort of quality of life can they expect to find? Saxony-Anhalt has plenty to offer in the way of soft factors, too. Great educational opportunities, an attractive arts and leisure sector, low rents and good shopping all make for an outstanding quality of life. They’re joined by the area’s rich history and what’s probably a unique density of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in such a small area. How important is family-friendliness to the region’s attractiveness? Potential investors now pay more attention than ever before to finding out


whether a region has reliable childcare as this makes their staff more flexible. In addition, a fully functional childcare network paves the way for improved educational opportunities, which in turn ensures that future demand for skilled personnel is met. In return, though, we expect the private sector to also contribute to making SaxonyAnhalt more family-friendly. I gather that lower wages in SaxonyAnhalt are no longer being emphasized in talks with potential investors... That was never the case. But you’re right – we can’t afford to put ourselves across

as a low-wage region. Competition for highly qualified workers is heating up, and they need to be paid commensurately – something which I believe has now been grasped by the private sector. Indeed, negotiations are now underway between employers, the regional government and trades unions in order to bring about greater adherence to collective agreements.

Yes. By merging the two ministries, we want to help redress the lack of spending on R&D by the private sector and create more stable, highly qualified jobs in Saxony-Anhalt. The transfer of knowledge to private companies has to be accelerated while the number of commercial spin-offs in the research sector needs to be increased.

Your government plans to make more focused use of incentives. Why? Despite all the progress achieved, one major shortcoming of our economy remains the lack of industrial research. The reason for this is that most businesses are simply too small. By contrast, we have a dense public research sector. Since additional growth can often only be achieved with cutting-edge products, we need to get universities, research centres and the private sector to collaborate more closely. Our ground-breaking networks have proved effective in this respect. For example, the success story of the automotive supply industry in SaxonyAnhalt would have been impossible without the MAHREG network. We intend to concentrate on supporting clusters more than before and to reduce R&D grants for individual firms. But we’re also working on building up the industry-related research infrastructure.

You began by mentioning demographic change as an import­ant aspect of your work. Could you be more specific? The scale of this task is highlighted by the fact that over the next five years, the number of people in gainful employment will shrink by around 155,000. If we don’t react, we won’t be able to maintain the positive development of our economy.

Will achieving this goal be helped by the recent expansion of the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s brief to include responsibility for research and higher education?

What political measures will you take to respond? Demography isn’t a matter of fate. It’s an open system which we can influence if we have the right framework in place – in economic policy for instance through better wages and salaries as well as the pact to safeguard skilled labour agreed by employers, trades unions and the regional government. At present, about 10 percent of school-leavers have no academic or vocational qualifications. In future, we simply won’t be able to afford an educational policy which lets so many people slip through the net. Regarding family policy, we need to encourage a higher birth rate by stepping up all-day schools and paying families’ childcare fees. Our towns and cities will have to be struc-



Dr. Reiner Haseloff was born on 19 February 1954 just outside Wittenberg in the village of Bülzig. From 1973 until 1978 he studied physics at Dresden University of Technology and the Humboldt University in Berlin. Afterwards he was a researcher at the Institute of Environmental Protection in Wittenberg until 1990. In 1991, he completed a doctorate on the use of absorption spectrometry at the Humboldt. Dr. Haseloff’s political career began in 1990 when he was elected deputy administrator of the district of Wittenberg. From 2002 until 2006 he was permanent secretary at Saxony-Anhalt’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment, subsequently being promoted to minister. On 19 April 2011, Dr. Reiner Haseloff was elected minister-president of Saxony-Anhalt. Married with two sons, he is also a member of both the regional and national executives of the Christian Democratic Union.

turally adapted to the dwindling, ageing population. And we have to get the message across to those who have left the region that it really is worth returning to Saxony-Anhalt. Energy policy is something that many people are very concerned about. Nuclear power is now going out of vogue, yet you’ve already been an opponent of it for years. Why exactly? Nuclear energy is beset by incalculable risks for mankind. In my view, playing down the danger by using the term ‘residual risk’ is unacceptable. Being a scientist, this was my opinion long before the disaster in Japan. I disagreed with the German government’s previous decision to extend the lifetime of nuclear power stations already in operation. We now need to ensure that we can exit nuclear energy as soon as possible. What needs to be done in order to switch our energy supply to one based on renewables?

In the current phase of reorientation, we need to set the right course. One important point is to develop new storage technologies in order to solve the base load problem. Another key aspect is to rapidly expand the grid, which currently acts as a bottleneck for new energy strategies. Some people want guaranteed supplies of cheap energy, preferably without the need for wind turbines or overhead power lines on the front lawn, but that’s just pie in the sky. Network expansion is crucial to whether Germany will be able to escape the old energy technologies. But this requires broad consensus among all stakeholders and society. You yourself laid the foundations for the development of renewable energies in Saxony-Anhalt. What was the economic impact of this decision? The path we chose is perfect in economic terms for Saxony-Anhalt, especially regarding employment. There are currently 16,000 people

working in the renewable energy sector, including several thousand each in the solar industry and building wind turbines. The share of renewable energies within net power consumption is presently around 35 per cent, twice the German average. We in Saxony-Anhalt were the first to demonstrate what is technologically, economically and socially feasible. And this pioneering role has made a great contribution to Saxony-Anhalt’s image as a modern, innovative region. What would it take for Solar Valley in and around Bitterfeld-Wolfen to become a competitive location with long-term stability? In my opinion, the key clearly lies in technological expertise and hence ensuring a competitive advantage. To stand up to international competition, we need to have products which are more innovative and efficient. Other countries will always be able to outdo us in the mass production of the cheapest standard solar cells.

What will the government of Saxony-Anhalt do to further enhance conditions for the PV industry in the region? We have to an establish and consolidate an integrated combination of R&D, production and practical applications within Saxony-Anhalt. Setting up the Solar Valley cluster of excellence in conjunction with Saxony and Thuringia was the right decision. And similarly, the next steps of development can only be taken in concert with our neighbours in central Germany. Therefore, the three regions will continue to jointly harmonize and support cooperation between solar companies, research centres and universities. This approach will characterize Saxony-Anhalt’s current parliamentary term. Using energy economically is almost as important as reducing the impact of power generation on the climate. How do you propose to tackle energy efficiency in Saxony-Anhalt? Our manufacturing companies have a very high interest in working cost-effectively and also making products which are energy-efficient, and the progress made in this area is remarkable. Now we have to pay more attention to encouraging private households to invest in energy efficiency. We’ll therefore try to persuade the national KfW reconstruction bank and the region’s own Investitionsbank to provide low-interest loans for this purpose. Moreover, we’ve set up an energy agency to advise businesses and the public on technical solutions and how they can be financed. In contrast to nuclear power, lignite is an important economic factor in Saxony-Anhalt you intend to keep using.

Isn’t that something of a contradiction? No. Of course we’d love nothing more than to have an energy supply consisting solely of renewables. But until renewable energy can meet base load power demand and we have large-scale storage technology in place, we need an effectual fuel mix for our economy. And to ensure reliable energy supplies, this above all means conventional fuels like lignite. It’s simply not possible to shut down nuclear power stations and simultaneously abandon lignite in order to protect the climate. We have to remain realistic. Four years ago, you said in an interview with REGJO that Saxony-Anhalt had become a completely different place despite the reputation still dogging it. How would you describe Saxony-Anhalt nowadays? It’s not just a different place – it’s become a very beautiful area with great future prospects. And with the population now identifying more closely with their region, we can present ourselves in a more confident, more credible light. Continuing to shape this development is a great privilege – and great fun. Gabriele, your wife, always gives you a quotation from the Bible to accompany you throughout the day. What was today’s? A passage from St. John’s Gospel: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.” For more information, go to


Overview 15

Valley of the sun Saxony-Anhalt is home to the oldest solar observatory in Europe – and it was here that the periodicity of sunspots was first discovered. Nowadays, of course, everything in Solar Valley revolves around solar power.

Written by Tobias Prüwer  Photo: Solar Valley

Euroglas Float glass manufacturer Euroglas has been refining glass for use in thinfilm photovoltaics at its new factory in Haldensleben just outside Magdeburg since June 2009. Using a brand new method, Euroglas has succeeded in creating carrier glass with a high mechanical stability and extraordinary planity for use in thin-film modules. Klaron Solar Holding Based in the city of Halle, Klaron Solar Holding GmbH is a service provider specializing in the financing, construction and operation of solar power plants. Malibu GmbH & Co. KG Based near Magdeburg, Malibu GmbH & Co. KG has been producing thin-film modules with an annual output of up to 40 MW since 2009. Glass substrates up to 5.7 square metres in size for use in solar modules are coated on its fully integrated production line. And special installation systems enable Malibu modules to be used practically anywhere.

Sovello AG Sovello AG was established in 2005 and is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of integrated solar modules. The total capacity of its products already exceeds 180 MW – and they also have the best carbon footprint of all solar modules on the market. Paying equal attention to economical and ecological aspects, Sovello’s highly automated production plant in Bitterfeld-Wolfen is an outstanding example of green manufacturing. As a result, its patented STRING RIBBON™ wafers produce 100% of the energy while using 50% less silicon and energy. SRU Solar AG An established supplier of renewable energy systems, SRU Solar AG builds turnkey photovoltaic systems for permanently high solar yields. Choose from on-roof, in-roof, flat-roof or façade-integrated photovoltaic systems for installation by SRU Solar’s experienced fitters. In addition, SRU Solar has developed the VEGA system – a series of standardized factory buildings combined with a rooftop photovoltaic array.

Stadtwerke Bernburg Bernburg’s second solar power plant went on stream in winter 2011. The thin-film modules installed continue to generate energy even in poor light levels. Built on an area of around 25,000 square metres, the new solar park will deliver the power consumed by about 350 households. Its two equal shareholders are multi-utilities Stadtwerke Bernburg and Stadtwerke Merseburg – and the next project planned is a solar park in the town of Merseburg. Vetro Solar GmbH The DGS (International Solar Energy Society, German Section) awarded its 2011 Solar Prize to Vetro Solar GmbH for its new glass factory in Solar Valley. Vetro Solar’s state-ofthe-art VEGA building with outstanding energy efficiency is being built and financed by SandersdorfBrehna local authority. The cost will be refinanced through a combination of hire purchase and the electricity generated by the rooftop solar plant.

Dr. Carlhans Uhle who has been the managing director of Saxony-Anhalt’s IMG investment board since May 2007, is in charge of attracting investors to Saxony-Anhalt and marketing the region in Germany and abroad.

Supporting the photovoltaic industry Dr. Carlhans Uhle is the managing director of Saxony-Anhalt’s IMG investment board. He recently spoke to REGJO about IMG’s activities to drum up investment.

Interview: Tobias Prüwer  Photographs: Investitionsgesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, SolarWorld AG

First of all, what made you support the use of the term ‘Solar Valley’? The name was actually dreamt up by local industry, despite not sounding very German! The obvious move was to adopt this idea and develop it, and create a brand for an industrial segment. But the bottom line is that the ‘Solar Valley’ tag makes international marketing much simpler, and that’s what counts. After all, our primary task is to drum up new corporate investment by manufacturing industry in Saxony-Anhalt. How do you market Saxony-Anhalt? In many different ways. For example, we regularly attend the main solar exhibitions in Germany and abroad together with players from Solar Valley. The IMG Investment and Marketing Corporation Saxony-Anhalt organizes joint stands and offers small companies in particular a service platform for their marketing – always under the Solar Valley label. In addition, we publicize Solar Valley during road

shows and business trips to Asia – particularly Japan, South Korea, China, India and Taiwan – and also the USA. We don’t just tell them about the region – instead, we try to find potential investors who could reap added value by coming to Saxony-Anhalt. We present case studies and feasibility models for particular investments within the increasingly closing value chain of our PV industry and highlight possible links with products, technologies and customers from Saxony-Anhalt. About two years ago, one of the leading PV trade journals declared Saxony-Anhalt to be the best region in the world for manufacturing photovoltaics – and the conditions have remained as good ever since. Everyone knows that competition on the photovoltaic market at the moment isn’t fair, so it would be great if our marketing efforts – alongside the main aim behind them – benefited the companies here. Is the research sector involved in your work?



SolarWorld AG is one of the world’s biggest solar corporations. Its mission is to develop a global energy supply which is green, safe and reliable.

It’s a powerful partner and supporter of all IMG’s activities. For one thing, we invite research centres, universities and institutes to join us at our stands in order to showcase their own activ­ ities. Moreover, cooperation with for instance the Fraunhofer CSP Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics is invaluable in connection with new investment projects. Visitors to the Fraunhofer institutes are always very impressed, and because the CSP keeps IMG abreast of the latest trends in industrial research, we’re in a position to act quickly and competently. In a nutshell, this close cooperation with the research community is a huge benefit for the region in global competition, one we leverage to our advantage. By the way, the

new regional government also sees the vital importance of close dovetailing between industry and research.

much sought-after new jobs. It’s a fine distinction but we’ve always managed things so far.

Central Germany consists of three different German states – but I gather this isn’t especially relevant to Solar Valley. As far as marketing Solar Valley is concerned, we do indeed work together with our colleagues from the neighbouring regions of Saxony and Thuringia. Our exhibition stands are side by side and at many events we share the costs. What’s more, observers from industry are often unaware of the differences and the borders between the different regions. But despite joint marketing, there is still competition when it comes to investment given the prospect of

What still needs to be done? There’s room for improvement in what I’d perhaps describe as support for the regional market. We need to make more use of the high-tech PV products made here. Supermarkets have tags saying “From the region, for the region” to encourage people to buy local produce, and we need a similar approach to solar cells. That would increase our economic muscle and ultimately the quality of life of us all. To find out more, log on to

A success story: Q-Cells Bitterfeld was once regarded as the dirty heart of the chemical industry. But with the emergence of Solar Valley in Thalheim, it has become a forerunner of the solar sector. A substantial role in its ascent has been played by Q-Cells SE – originally a tiny seed company which within the space of just a few years has grown to become one of the world’s foremost photovoltaic company.

Transparency and communication form the basis for all innovation at Q-Cells. And the same goes for its headquarters at Solar Valley in Thalheim, just outside Bitterfeld-Wolfen.


Market players in Solar Valley 19

Career at Q-Cells: The employees use the variety of tasks and the high freedom to act independently – and thus identify with the vision of shaping the future of solar energy.

Written by Tobias Prüwer  Photographs: Q-Cells

“On the motorway exit to Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the uninitiated are quickly brought up to speed by a black arrow on a white background and the auspicious name pointing to an incredible success story: Solar Valley. On turning off, drivers on the main road see to one side a large field containing dense rows of shimmering blue solar modules which appear to have sprung up from the soil. The signposts at the roundabout point to Bitterfeld and Wolfen, to Greppin and Thalheim, and again to Solar Valley.” These sentences open Monika Maron’s much talked about literary report on Bitterfeld, in which she describes the success of Q-Cells and its positive impact on the surrounding region. “By the time East Germany collapsed,” she says, “Bitterfeld had become a synonym for a rundown economy, air pollution and contaminated soil – in fact a symbol of a country in ruins.” But twenty years later, the region is basking in its future prospects rooted in clean energy. Nowadays Solar Valley is the crystallization point of Germany’s solar production and research – and it’s all thanks to Q-Cells. Half seriously, half in jest, Saxony-Anhalt describes itself as the place where people like getting up early – but above all it’s in Solar Valley where the sun is rising and shining. Nowhere else in the world contains a higher density of

companies working in photovoltaics (PV). Q-Cells – one of the world’s leading PV companies – has its headquarters on Sonnenallee (sun alley) in the district of Thalheim, not far away from the town of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. With a workforce of 2,500 in Germany and abroad, it was here that the company laid the foundations for Solar Valley back in 1999. A modern-day fairytale Speaking at the 16th Renewable Energy Day in April 2011, Erik Gawel expressed his astonishment over Germany’s decision to cling to outdated forms of energy, failing to understand why “a high-tech country like Germany” could still be stuck so firmly in the past. The head of the Institute for Infrastructure and Resources Management at the University of Leipzig and the deputy director of the Department of Economics at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig continued: “We need a new approach, we need to think ahead.” This visionary attitude was shared by the founders of Q-Cells. Q-Cells’ history reads like a modern-day fairytale. Spurred on by the dream of inexhaustible safe energy, it was set up by four men trying to fulfil one of mankind’s age-old


Market players in Solar Valley 21

A profitable investment: Q-Cells has made a name for itself internationally with the planning, erection and maintenance of entire solar power plants.

dreams. The story began in 1999 at a party held in a backyard in Berlin when business consultant Anton Milner met inventor and freethinker Reiner Lemoine, who had already been exploring the prospects of ecological power generation for some time. Reiner told Anton of his intention to build a factory manufacturing solar cells. Anton was very excited by the idea and began working on the financial planning. Two scientists – Paul Grunow and Holger Feist – also became involved in the birth of Q-Cells, the letter Q standing for quality. It wasn’t long before funding had been received from investors, banks and the state. Work on building Q-Cells’ first factory began in January 2001, and the very first solar cells came off the production line that summer. Within just a few years, Q-Cells mushroomed from almost nothing into a major industrial corporation – a

rare phenomenon in Germany, where large companies are usually backed by venerable industrial families or networks. Listed on the stock exchange since 2005, in 2007 Q-Cells became the biggest manufacturer of solar cells anywhere in the world. In 2010, the turnover of the Q-Cells Group totalled €1.35 billion. Its success story is partly down to the region’s political framework and its receptiveness. And located near Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Solar Valley tran­spired to be a blessing for the region. After all, following German reunification in 1990, tens of thousands of people in the region had been laid off. Around 14,000 people had worked at the Wolfen film factory alone, along with another 17,000 at the chemical plants in Bitterfeld. But given their affinity to technology and industry, these people now formed a large pool of potential

workers. Hence the visions of Q-Cells’ founders fell on fertile ground in terms of both local government and human resources. Last but not least, the new company enjoyed a strong tailwind in the form of the changing energy policy introduced by Germany’s coalition government made up of the Social Democrats and Greens. Q-Cells benefits from the close dovetailing between research, development and production at its headquarters in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. The company develops its products here and puts them into mass production as quickly as possible at its plants in Thalheim and Malaysia. Q-Cells quickly assumed the technological lead in the development and manufacturing of solar cells made out of monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon. And the company repeatedly set new standards for the entire PV industry, such as the 6-inch cell format.

Welcome: Q-Cells stands for quantum leaps in the solar industry for an innovative and and an innovative and receptive bisiness culture.

Q-Cells’ products and solutions are marketed through a global sales network, which is controlled by the company's Berlin office on the prestigious Potsdamer Platz. Q-Cells has adopted a compact approach to production which not only keeps costs down but also reduces its environmental impact. Moreover, production in Thalheim is completely powered by renewable energies, which is why the company has been able to slash its CO² emissions by around 90 per cent. In order to boost the use of solar energy worldwide, Q-Cells supports for instance the International Solar Energy School. The school set up in 2007 in the Ethiopian village of Rema runs a unique training scheme designed to boost the expansion of solar power in the country. Graduates of the Rural Solar Energy Technician courses are given intensive assistance in setting up their own solar business in a rural environment. Crisis and opportunity: restructuring and strategic realignment The economic and financial crisis in 2008 as well as changes on the solar market placed enormous pressure on quality suppliers like Q-Cells. We know from

German lyric poet Friedrich Hölderlin that “... Where danger is, there grows also that which will save us” – in other words, every cloud, no matter how dark, also has a silver lining. Q-Cells responded by cutting costs, tightening up its investment portfolio, and expanding its business to include the planning and sale of complete PV solutions. And apart from producing and marketing crystalline cells, the group also supplies crystalline and thin-film modules as well as solar power systems for private, commercial and industrial use. The modules are suitable for rooftop projects, façades and in buildingintegrated systems. Q-Cells has now made a name for itself internationally as a project developer in sustainable power generation performing the planning, construction, servicing and maintenance of entire solar power plants and roof arrays. The company’s solar cells have also been installed in Weser Stadium in the city of Bremen. What’s more, Finsterwalde is home to Germany’s biggest solar power plant with a capacity of 82 MWp, which was built by Q-Cells. It can supply nearly 27,000 households. Despite the tough competition chiefly from Asian suppliers, in 2010 Q-Cells managed to return to the black.


Market players in Solar Valley 23

Staff keep track of cell production every step of the way, hence meeting the company’s high standards – for the Q in Q-Cells stands for quality.

Following a loss in 2009, turnover increased by 70%. Q-Cells already earns a third of its total turnover from its new areas of business such as solar modules and solar systems for commercial and industrial plants. Says CEO Nedim Cen: “The figures prove the success of our strategic realignment in 2010. By entering new fields of business and tapping new markets, we have taken the first necessary steps to restructuring the company in order to tackle future challenges.” Market development is predicted to improve over the next few years with sales markets increasing – a situation which is buoyed by the sea change in energy policy. Following the shocking nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan, the solar companies’ vision has proved to be correct. And following the shutdown of the oldest German nuclear power

stations, Germany’s solar capacity now exceeds that of nuclear. Q-Cells’s CEO Cen is cautious in response to the question of whether the solar industry will profit from this change of course. “The earthquake on 11 March in Japan and the meltdown at Fukushima nuclear power station shocked the world. But whether the debate about increasing renewable energy will result in the global energy supply actually changing remains to be seen. Despite the many good intentions expressed across the world, the global expansion of renewable energy is still comparatively low. Germany is seen internationally as a great example.” Driving development and employment In the PV industry, too, research is the best medicine. Around 200 peo-

ple are working at Q-Cells’ internal research centre to make solar power cheaper by means of new technology and to permanently raise solar cells’ capacity and efficiency. Scientists and engineers are busy exploring every avenue, including materials, manufacturing procedures and processes. In terms of development, photovoltaics is currently in a similar stage to automotive engineering in the late nineteenth century, says physicist Dr. David Rychtarik, summing up the historical view. He’s not being disparaging. On the contrary, he sees this as a great opportunity and a challenge. As one of the market leaders, he explains that Q-Cells is in a position to set the tone technologically and to set the course for future development. Dr. Rychtarik joined Q-Cells in Bitterfeld from

Bosch in autumn 2007 and now heads one of the R&D departments. “I wanted to change things and have always been certain about the importance of renewable energy, especially the use of solar power.” That by itself was a good argument to move to Q-Cells. But apart from his conviction, he was also attracted by the opportunity to conduct research largely autonomously within a team and at a growing company. “I wouldn’t have had this professional opportunity anywhere else in Europe,” declares Dr. Rychtarik. Together with his team of twelve, he is researching future trends in the solar industry. Q-Cells has manufacturing plants in Thalheim in central Germany as well as in Selangor in Malaysia, both of which operate twenty-four hours a day. To ensure they run smoothly, all computer-based processes are monitored by experts. Q-Cells is always on the look-out for specialists and executives in a wide range of areas including strategy, marketing, sales, technology, R&D, finance, controlling, IT etc. And it reacts to the need for suitable junior staff and qualified employees with training schemes, study opportunities and fast-track development programmes. For example, it has set up an endowed chair of photovoltaics at the University of Halle-Wittenberg in order to consolidate the study of solar power generation as a separate area of research and teaching. And at Q-Cells’ annual recruitment event known as ‘PV-Try-Out’, interested undergraduates, graduate students and young professionals can demonstrate their aptitude, meet

members of staff from various departments, and sample the working atmosphere at Q-Cells. Technology lead and secure yields The potential of photovoltaics as an alternative energy source is increasing. It won’t be long before solar power reaches grid parity, believes developer David Rychtarik. Indeed, it’s already cheaper than nuclear power when taking total cost of generation into account. This view is shared by Nedim Cen: “The costs of solar power are dropping dramatically. In the not-too-distant future, solar energy will substantially help to stabilize electricity prices, despite the rising prices of fossil fuels.” But he adds: “In order for this to happen, we have to change our energy system. All the stakeholders need to discuss how. Yet we also need the government to set the course for our future energy supply.” Nedim Cen sees the future in a fuel mix combining different forms of renewable energy. “Photovoltaics plays an important part in this mix because it can be excellently augmented by wind power and used locally. And because it enables direct power supply, it actually reduces the strain on the grid.” In its study entitled ‘The costs of generating elec­tri­ city with renewable energies’, the Fraunhofer ISE Institute for Solar Energy Systems concluded that photovoltaics is becoming increasingly viable. “The analysis of power generation costs reveals that grid parity – the parity between the price paid for electricity by consumers and power generating costs – can already exist in regions with plenty of sunshine


Market players in Solar Valley 25

Q-Cells operates 24 hours a day in Solar Valley. These laboratory coats are waiting for the next shift.

and where electricity is expensive, such as southern Italy,” explains Prof. Eicke Weber, the director of ISE. Assuming market development remains dynamic, ISE expects grid parity for PV electricity to be achieved in Germany in 2013. Various technologies are used in photovoltaics. Those used the most frequently at present are thin-film modules and monocrystalline silicon modules. The market is currently dominated by silicon modules. “Silicon will continue to prevail over the next five years,” declares Dr. Rychtarik. However, in many applications such as façade-integrated PV, silicon technology is ideally supplemented by thinfilm. Consequently, Q-Cells has also branched out into the promising CIGS thin-film technology through its subsidiary Solibro. Apart from efficiency and cap­acity, the most important aspect for end users is yield. All three parameters are considered and optimized whenever new products are developed. The durability of modules is also im­port­ant for their economic viability. Here, too, Q-Cells backs unparalleled quality. As soon as

the development team has produced a new module, it is exposed to adverse influences in ‘climate chambers’ in order to test it under extreme conditions. In addition, it’s put through its paces on an efficiency test bed. Q-Cells is continuing to push back boundaries with its cell and module technology, and has underlined its advances with a string of world records. That is why the enterprise proclaims proudly: „We secure yields.” With an efficiency of 17.84% in relation to aperture area, Q-Cells recently racked up a new record for polycrystalline solar modules, smashing its own previous record of 15.9% achieved in 2009. Its ultra-efficient solar cells are made out of polycrystalline silicon wafers with a thickness of 180 μm which are then reflectively coated and passivated at its internal research centre. Another world record has also been achieved by Q-Cells for monolithic photovoltaic modules with its CIGS thin-film module Q.SMART UF. The peak output of 100.3 watts and an efficiency of 13.4% in relation to total

area was measured on a mass-produced, monolithically integrated solar module. Eyes firmly on the future Q-Cells is continuing its realignment in order to be ready for future market developments. In particular, it has spread its marketing activities abroad. It has opened nine sales offices in various countries and is present on fifteen key markets, which in total make up 80% of the world’s photovoltaic market. Judging by the EPIA’s Global Market Outlook (May 2011), forecasts for the PV market are moderately optimistic for the medium term, with consolidation followed by growth predicted for Europe by 2012. The vision of Q-Cells’ founding fathers of the global success of solar power – a green, inexhaustible source of energy – now enjoys broad support and its long-term prospects are excellent. The restructured Q-Cells is powering ahead – shaping the future of solar energy. For more information, go to

Photo:: Fechner & Tom GmbH

Halle is also one of the many waterside towns and cities in central Germany.

With the technology park weinberg marketplace mean residents, visi-

Powerful solar cells from Halle Halle has scored outclassed its European rivals yet again in the competition for industrial investment. This time the city was picked over 30 contenders by solar power group ITS.

Written by Tobias Prüwer

Halle’s a great place to live and work. And photovoltaic corporation ITS Innotech Solar clearly agreed when it decided to site its new subsidiary in Halle. “The support provided by the authorities in Saxony-Anhalt and Halle itself was one of the key reasons why we opted for the city when deciding where to build our second solar factory,” explains Tommy Strömberg, CEO of ITS Halle Cell GmbH. Innotech Solar is a solar technology company and an international supplier of photovoltaic modules which specializes in analysing and optimizing solar cells and whose industrial methods are developed

by in-house research teams. Across the world, Innotech Solar examines, sorts and refines more cells made by various manufacturers than any other cell or module supplier. Based in Norway, ITS also has subsidiaries in Germany, China and Switzerland. And it recently opened a new site on the Halle Industrial Estate alongside the A14 motorway. After building work on its Halle plant began in October 2010, construction proceeded apace. ITS Halle Cell will start by processing up to 20,000 cells every hour made by different manufacturers by isolating impurities and restoring cells’

Solar region 27

Photo: Stadt Halle/Saale

Photo:: Stadt Halle/Saale


campus just a few minutes’ walk away from the city centre, the spacious boulevards and tors and students have plenty of room to live, work and study.

high performance. This approach minimizes the energy and raw mater­ials consumed to make high-quality solar cells. Innotech Solar is the only company in the world to specialize in procedures like this and works on behalf of renowned manufacturers such as Q-Cells. The 80 jobs created initially are only the beginning; this figure is set to rise to 160 before long once the

The Handel Festival is an annual musical highlight which is staged at various venues throughout the city.

plant starts producing a new module type which is especially inexpensive and efficient. Saxony-Anhalt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry subsidized the construction of Innotech Solar’s factory in Halle, investment in the new solar plant totalling around €40 million. As one of the world’s foremost locations in the solar industry, Saxony-Anhalt is supporting

the innovative upgrading of suboptimum solar cells and hence adding an additional link to the industry’s value chain. Those in charge are proud that Halle Industrial Estate on the A14 won out over some thirty other candidates. “The investment by the company was preceded by a year of intensive, concentrated work by Saxony-Anhalt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, the IMG

The region’s specialisTs in

biogas sysTems

Project development and consulting for investors

Drafting of funding and finance applications

Permit applications under the German Pollution Control Act

Construction management in all phases of development

ENgiNEERS Matthias Thorwirth

The agricultural construction experts

Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 136 14558 Nuthetal OT Bergholz-Rehbrücke Tel: +49 (0) 33200 51340 Fax: +49 (0) 33200 513423 Email:

The Nebra Sky Disc is made out of bronze and inlaid with gold symbols depicting celestial bodies. Also an item of religious significance, it is believed to be the world’s oldest depiction of the heavens and is one of the most important archaeological finds from the Bronze Age. It was discovered by looters on 4 July 1999 in a prehistoric enclosure near the town of Nebra in Saxony-Anhalt. Since 2002 the Nebra Sky Disc has belonged to the region’s State Museum in Halle.

Solar region 29

All photos: Stadt Halle/Saale


The Reformation Festival is celebrated every October by Protestants and Catholics together – both on the city’s streets and in its houses of worship.

Investment and Marketing Corporation and the City of Halle,” reported Dagmar Szabados, the mayor of Halle, speaking about the combined efforts to win over ITS Innotech Solar. What tipped the scales in Halle’s favour was the prospect of outstanding R&D cooperation, the excellent infrastructure and logistics, the quality of land available, and the way the project was handled

by representatives of the local authority and the regional government. “We’re certain that this investment by ITS Innotech Solar will not be its last here,” declared Dagmar Szabados. “New technology has always played an important role in Halle – and renewable energy is one of the key technologies of the twentyfirst century. By building a plant in

Halle, ITS Innotech Solar is combining Halle’s heritage with innovation and opening a new chapter in the city’s industrial history.”

For more information, go to

Dessau, home of the Bauhaus buildings. Originally founded in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925 – and nowhere else can so much Bauhaus architecture be seen in such a small area.


Solar region 31

Country life, city life Central Germany – the seat of the Reformation, an industrial region and a natural tourist attraction – was once notorious for its pollution, yet the Freundt family has found it to be a charming part of the world.

Photo: Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau

Written by Tobias Prüwer

It’s a glorious spring weekend, and the Freundt family has planned to put it to good use by tackling the garden together. Sabine (41) will be taking care of the strawberries and tub plants while her husband Stephan (43) mows the lawn. Their daughter Laura (14) has elected to do the weeding, and their son Jonas (11) will be wiping down the garden furniture. Many hands make light work – and after moving to BitterfeldWolfen three years ago, the Freundts are keen to get the garden shipshape again for the summer. “Five years ago, if anyone had told me that one day I’d be living and working here, I’d have said they were mad!” exclaims Stephan Freundt. “But now I feel really at home. Everything here’s just right.” Mind you, the Freundts aren’t the first people to feel so content in central Germany that they decided to stay. Back in ancient times, many were attracted to the Middle Elbe valley by its favourable climate, fertile soil and plentiful rivers and lakes essential for irrigation, transport and trade. Human settlements in the region date back 7,000 years, and the sensational discovery of the Nebra Sky Disc indicates the presence of an advanced Bronze Age civilization around 2000 BC. The ‘grey air era’ in the second half of the twentieth century, when Bitterfeld, Leuna and Leipzig were synonymous with air pollution, was hence just a short blip in the grand scheme of things. The air in the region has been clean for most of its history – just as it is nowadays, despite the continued presence of industry. The curious things is that this agglomeration of industrial locations is artificially divided by geographical borders, for it spans a relatively small area consisting of sections of three different German states: Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

“So much countryside, so many rivers and lakes, so much to do!” These days, central Germany contains a wealth of historic buildings and scenic areas. And that’s not just our opinion – ask UNESCO, whose list of World Heritage Sites includes the Luther memor­ ials in Wittenberg and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. Among the countless monuments in the region are castles and palaces bearing witness to the influence of past rulers. They’re in particular evidence along the Romanesque Road, whose wayside features a raft of secular and sacred buildings dating back to between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Then again, other epochs such as the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Classicism also left their architectural mark on central Germany while the areas of fin-de-siècle housing in Halle and Leipzig testify to an intensive phase of prosperity and economic development in the late-nineteenth century. The Freundts are participating in the region’s current spate of development buoyed by renewable energy. The family arrived here three years ago, chiefly because of the healthy job prospects in central Germany. Stephan, an engineer, had been employed by an automotive supplier near Karlsruhe in western Germany. “But things were getting tough there,” he says. “Here, I actually had a choice between different jobs and employers,” he explains, pointing out an unusual aspect of the region. For in contrast to many other parts of eastern Germany where good jobs are thin on the ground, that’s certainly not the case here. Although Sabine wasn’t exactly overenthusiastic about moving at first, she was surprised to discover that the quality

of life here far exceeded her expectations. “When we started checking out central Germany on the internet, we were amazed!” she recalls. “So much countryside, so many rivers and lakes, so much to do!” A qualified business consultant, Sabine Freundt soon found employment in the town of Köthen. “Whichever way you look at it, we really feel at home here. The only thing we miss is the mountains!” One reason why the Freundts find living in Bitterfeld-Wolfen so pleasant is the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. That’s not to say things are boring – for the hustle and bustle of city life is also near by. “We never have to drive more than three quarters of an hour for the important things we need,” says Stephan, summing up the area’s outstanding transport links. “Leipzig, a major city, can be reached in next to no time, and even Berlin’s only an hour away by train.” Shortly after the Freundts’ arrival, the local geography also revealed some undreamt-of expertise in the family – for Laura turned out to be a bit of a history buff when they first went to Wittenberg. She’d just learned all about Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation at school and so was able to explain quite a few things to her parents. They were immediately smitten by Wittenberg, whose centre includes historic buildings like Castle Church, Luther House, Town Church and Melanchthon House, and they’ve been returning regularly ever since – so it’s useful that the town is virtually on their doorstep. It was to the door of the Castle Church that Martin Luther is said to have nailed his Ninety-Five Theses condemning the church’s sale of indulgences, a practice which supposed­ly enabled people to buy absolution.

Photos: Stadt Halle/Saale; Stadtarchiv Dessau-RoĂ&#x;lau; Stadt KĂśthen; Robert Doppelbauer (by kind permission of Stadt Bitterfeld-Wolfen)


Solar region 33

Change and innovation Probably the most influential movement to emerge in central Germany was the Protestant Reformation. Not far away from Wittenberg in the town of Dessau lived Prince Franz, an enthusiastic supporter of the Enlightenment. He enacted a number of reforms in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which apart from agriculture also encompassed education, healthcare, the social services and road construction. As a result, Anhalt-Dessau became the most progressive German principality, attracting erudite and humanistic contemporaries and also prompting a major economic upsurge. During this time, Johann Basedow founded a state school in Dessau known as the Philantropinum, which in contrast to the other schools at that time focused more strongly on the natural sciences and practical life skills, and broke new ground in progressive education. The energetic Gottfried Leibniz, whose activities were too numerous to be listed here, studied in Leipzig and Jena before going on to found the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Halle was one of the main centres of Pietism, another reform movement within Lutheranism which, however, clashed with the Enlightenment. Even though it was the Enlightenment which finally won, the social and educational institutions set up by the Pietists lost none of their importance. The writers and poets in central Germany such as Schiller, Goethe, Herder and Wieland exerted a big influence on their contemporaries. Some of the region’s famous composers such as George Frideric Handel, Georg Philip Telemann, Robert Schumann, Felix Bartholdy, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler and Kurt Weill became world-famous, with many annual festivals now held in their honour in the towns and cities where they once lived and worked. And between the world wars, the Bauhaus School with the likes of Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Lyonel Feininger began to influence twentieth-century art, design and architecture, numerous examples of which can still be seen.

Industrialization in central Germany During the Weimar Republic, debate raged about the territorial division of Germany, including in central Germany. Given the concentration of major industry there, the idea was floated of a single region to be known as Mitteldeutschland with Magdeburg as its capital – which didn’t go down well in Halle. Moreover, Halle objected to the fusion with Saxony favoured by industry. Leipzig, too, had aspirations to become the capital city of the new region, although Dresden put paid to these plans with the 1929 proposal for the division of central Germany into the three districts of Saxony, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt. However, owing to first the Great Depression and then National Socialism, these plans were shelved until the end of World War II. The province of Saxony-Anhalt was established in 1946 under the Soviet Military Administration in Germany but dissolved again in 1952, to be replaced by the East German counties of Halle and Magdeburg while part of its territory was transferred to the county of Leipzig. This did not prevent the industry destroyed in the war from being rebuilt in the once and future Saxony-Anhalt, and the chemical industry there flourished. Today’s federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia were set up in 1990 in connection with German reunification, meaning that the industrial region of central Germany is still not governed as a single entity.

Photo: Stadt Bitterfeld-Wolfen

At that time, Luther had already been professor of theology at the relatively new University of Wittenberg for about three years. Established in 1502, it rapidly advanced to become the foremost German-speaking university, and Wittenberg’s importance rose accordingly as it became the spiritual centre of the Reformation. Martin Luther is buried in Castle Church – and not far away, the great reformer’s house is now a museum devoted to his life and times. Melanchthon House, an architectural gem with its round-arched staggered gable, was once home to theologian and humanist Philipp Melanchthon, a close companion of Martin Luther. Leaping a few hundred years into the future, Wittenberg’s House of History contains a fascinating exhibition on everyday life in East Germany. Containing four living rooms each representing a decade of the regime’s history and furnished accordingly, the Freundt family are especially impressed since it allows them to relive life in East Germany prior to reunification. Another popular attraction is Luther-Melanchthon School, whose visually striking refurbishment was masterminded by Viennese architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. ‘On the Saale’s fair banks’ A few years younger than his sister, Jonas Freundt can meanwhile also appreciate the fact that some of the places

mentioned in his history lessons are just down the road. Indeed, his parents weren’t expecting to see so much history in the region. “We work in modern businesses yet we’re surrounded by history!” proclaims complains Stephan! “Of course I already knew something about Bach. But I’d never heard of the town called Köthen, where Bach worked for six years.” The proximity of cities like Halle and Leipzig isn’t to be sneezed at either, and the Freundts often go there to catch up on life in the fast lane, enjoying the day shopping before sampling the nightlife. The Freundts were staggered to discover vineyards near Naumburg on the slopes of the Saale and Unstrut. The hilly countryside superb for hiking is guarded by the castles of Neuenburg, Schönburg, Rudelsburg and Saaleck. In 1826, the romantic view inspired Franz Kugler to write the famous German folk song ‘On the Saale’s fair banks’. The spate of economic development sparked by renewable energy and being experienced by the Freundts is by no means the first to sweep central Germany, the region having frequently spawned major development. The current upsurge can above all be compared to the boom of industrialization in the nineteenth century. Be it sugar production in the north, mechanical engineering in Dessau and Halle, textiles and paper in Leipzig, or the chemical industry in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, industrial expan-

Solar region 35

sion has always benefited from central Germany’s great transport links. But in addition to shaping the region, industrialization also wrought great social change. Starting in the first half of the nineteenth century, more and more people poured into the towns and cities to work in the factories springing up there. Employers’ huge demand for energy was met by lignite mined mainly around Halle, Leipzig and Bitterfeld. During World War I, plants supporting the war effort were opened in the area, such as the Leuna plant built by BASF. The eponymous town was established by merging several nearby villages to create one of the first garden cities, where the Leuna workers lived close to the countryside. The invention of colour film Close to industry and yet close to nature – that sums up the Freundts’ new home! The family is constantly

bowled over by its new habitat, every outing revealing something new and surprising. “I’d never have guessed that amber could be found here,” declared Laura in amazement while exploring Bitterfeld-Wolfen. But it’s true – for apart from lignite, ‘northern gold’ was mined in the region until 1993. A total of 400 tonnes of this fossilized tree resin was extracted and another 1,000 tonnes is said to lie beneath Lake Goitzsche – a flooded opencast mine. The lake testifies to the recultivation of the countryside which began on a massive scale following German reunification. Today’s Chemical Industry Park is an example of modern industry and continues Bitterfeld’s heritage as a key location of the still thriving chemicals sector. Wolfen, the other half of the double-barrelled town, continues to be dominated by the chemical industry – and this time it was Stephan’s turn to be amazed

Photo: Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Photo: Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau

Photo: Stadt Halle/Saale


to learn that Agfacolor, the world’s first colour film, was invented there back in 1936. After being hived off from the Agfa film factory in 1960, ORWO – ‘Original Wolfen’ – went on to become a household name in much of the world. In a sign of the times, the old site is now home to ORWO Net GmbH specializing in digital photography. Their work done, the Freundts sit back in their spick and span garden and relax in the spring sunshine. They’re planning to cycle across to the Mulde reservoir the next day. And in the evening they’ll be back here again, barbecuing with friends and thrilled to be living in such a delightful part of the world!

To find out more about leisure and tourism in Saxony-Anhalt, go to

Sunrise industry seeks professionals Wanted: qualified experts for a sunrise industry. Training in the photovoltaic industry is organized by the Solar Valley Central Germany.

Written by Solar Valley GmbH  Photographs: CiS Forschungsinstitut fßr Mikrosensorik und Photovoltaik GmbH, Solar Valley GmbH

The photovoltaic industry is one of Germany’s booming industries. In order to strengthen R&D and provide the skilled labour and specialists required, the Solar Valley cluster of excellence in central Germany is working on three fronts: technology development at the level of products and production, education and training, and cluster management and network development. In response to the need for academically qualified employees, the cluster has developed an integrated education and training scheme for school and univer-

sity students. In addition to training at various levels ranging from vocational to postgraduate programmes, it also includes making school students aware of the importance of photovoltaics. This is done at events held jointly with schools and universities as well as by means of exhibitions and competitions. Furthermore, Solar Valley has set up a platform aimed at school leavers, trainees, students, employees of all ages and jobseekers which presents a concentrated yet clear overview of the educational and professional oppor-


Market players in Solar Valley 37

The solar industry in central Germany: Manufacturers, initiatives and R&D centres as well as related training institutes have joined forces under the banner of Solar Valley Central Germany. Solar Valley was one of the winners of the national competition held in 2008 for clusters of excellence in education and research.

tunities available in the PV industry. Users can obtain information about courses of study as well as openings in training, work experience, postgraduate study and employers. The careers platform lists job vacancies in industry and at research centres and universities. Search operations can be tweaked to look for certain categories of jobs in specific places.

The Solar Valley Graduate School for Photovoltaics is aimed at graduates with a master’s degree keen to take a doctorate. A wide-ranging interdisciplinary course has been enabled in Solar Valley thanks to collaboration between three complementary universities: Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, Ilmenau University of Technol-

ogy, and the University of HalleWittenberg. Research work during graduate training is organized in close conjunction with industry and concentrates on areas such as new solar cells, inorganic thin-film solar cells, module and system integration, light management and innovative functional principles. The programme ensures postgraduates

Manufacturing flexible thin-film solar modules is expensive and time-consuming. Each individual layer needs to be applied in a separate system one after the other. This exacting challenge has been successfully mastered by companies based in Solar Valley.

quickly achieve their doctorate, puts them in touch with solar companies, helps them find industry internships, supports international networking with postgraduates and faculty elsewhere (e.g. through the Climate Knowledge & Innovation Community as well as partner universities), and contains additional professional qualification modules. The Graduate School includes a Summer School bringing students and postgraduates together. It provides a platform to debate the latest research developments and scientific issues in seminars, try out various laboratories, and visit employers based in the region. The 2011 Summer School will be held at the University of Halle-Wittenberg from 12–16 September.

Solar Valley’s management platform: A powerful, professional and efficient information and contact platform has been set up. In order to work closely with local industry representatives, Solar Valley Central Germany operates rapidly, reliably and efficiently from its three regional offices in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. To find out more, go to Contact: Solarvalley Mitteldeutschland e. V. and Solar Valley GmbH (Erfurt branch), Konrad-Zuse-Strasse 14, D-99099 Erfurt, or Solar Valley GmbH (Halle branch) c/o Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Heinrich-Damerow-Strasse 4, D-06120 Halle (Saale).


Market players in Solar Valley 39

The new Info Cube at Leipzig Central Station will be an example of pioneering architecture. André Jaschke, a co-founder of EnergieCity Leipzig GmbH, came across the energy-saving material known as ultra-high-strength concrete on the internet.

Flagship of sustainability EnergieCity Leipzig recently received a top award from the Hanover Fair for its Info Cube – a design for a ground-breaking low-energy building due to open in December 2011.

Written by Claus-Peter Paulus  Photographs: EnergieCity Leipzig GmbH

Although the name EnergieCity Leipzig GmbH (or ECL for short) might sound like a project limited to Leipzig, the company has set its sights far higher. In a nutshell, the goal of initiators Prof. Hans-Jochen Schneider and engineer André Jaschke is to bring together and network the many individual stakeholders and firms operating in the two areas of sustainable, lowenergy construction and power and environmental engineering throughout central Germany. Under the banner of EnergieCity Leipzig, businesses and specialists will be invited to use a cooperative marketing platform to combine their ideas and benefit from a shared knowledge pool. The prestigious companies which have already signed up for the platform include BOSCH Solar Energy, Dow Chemical, REHAU, TÜV Süd, EHT Siegmund, AIG GmbH, multi-utility Stadtwerke Leipzig, Schüco and Krensel. In addition, EnergieCity Leipzig supports specialists and small businesses in

connection with innovation, subsidies and marketing schemes. All those interested are welcome to contact ECL to find out about the latest technical developments. One highlight of EnergieCity Leipzig in 2011 was its successful participation in the Hanover Fair in April, where ECL was declared one of twelve international flagship projects. Awards were presented by the Hanover Fair to projects all over the world related to future aspects of megacities, energy efficiency and environmental issues, the other prize-winning projects being located in places as far flung as Stockholm, London, New Delhi, Jakarta and Mexico City. ECL was selected for its design of an architectural first: the use of a totally new type of building material known as ultra high-strength concrete in its Info Cube. Producing this advanced hybrid stone developed in the town of Leinefelde in Thuringia requires just 15 per cent of the energy normally consumed, and

what’s more it provides ideal thermal insulation thanks to a density approaching that of steel. Once the Info Cube opens in December 2011, the operators and initiators expect it to attract 26,000 visitors every year. The Info Cube is intended to appeal to target groups like engineers and architects, the skilled trades, and private and industrial users. ECL also received a political fillip when its stand was visited by Günther Oettinger, the European Commissioner for Energy in the European Commission. “As well as being an additional honour and also a positive personal experience, his visit signified recognition of our efforts and hard work,” declared André Jaschke afterwards. Günther Oettinger has already promised to attend the Info Cube’s opening ceremony. To find out more, visit

TÜV Rheinland Akademie offers various training courses for specialists in the wind industry.

Training for solar and wind With Germany phasing out nuclear power, renewable energy is indispensable to our future. However, far more specialists are required – and this is where TÜV Rheinland Akademie steps in.

Written by TÜV Rheinland  Photographs: TÜV Rheinland

The German government has decided to shut down all its nuclear power stations. Its new energy programme plans to double the share of power provided by alternative energies over the next eight years. Currently accounting for 17 per cent of the country’s energy mix, by 2020 this proportion is set to rise to 35 per cent. In order to achieve this ambitious aim, a large number of well-trained specialists is required. The Agency for Renewable Energy predicts that more than 130,000 new jobs will be created in alternative energy by 2020. And TÜV Rheinland Akademie is responding by offering a large number of training courses in the booming photovoltaic and wind industries. Photovoltaic seminars According to the BSW German Solar Industry Association, the share of photovoltaics in Germany’s power consumption in 2010 was just 2 per cent. This figure may seem low, even though it was generated by more than 2.3 million solar energy systems installed across the country. To maximize the efficiency and lifetime of these photovoltaic arrays, it’s essential that they are

properly installed and serviced. To meet this demand, TÜV Rheinland Akademie in Erfurt offers special training courses. During the modular course ‘Photovoltaic Systems Consultant (TÜV)’, participants start with the basics of photovoltaic systems, learn about typical errors and problems, and are trained to provide expert advice on all aspects of photovoltaics. This scheme is designed for professionals from areas related to solar power such as roofers, electricians and mechatronics technicians with a master craftsman’s diploma. Moreover, building technicians, energy consultants, architects, civil engineers and consultants qualified under the EnEV German Energy Conservation Regulations are all welcome to apply. The next courses will begin in October 2011. Moreover, TÜV Rheinland Akademie offers a series of training seminars taught on clients’ premises. Businesses can have their staff schooled to become installation managers and service technicians for photovoltaic systems. The course ‘Introductory Electrical Skills for the Construction of Photovoltaic Systems’ is designed for non-electricians, who acquire the electrical expertise necessary to install and sell photovoltaic arrays.


Market players in Solar Valley 41

Special emphasis is placed on practical issues during the modular ‘Photovoltaic Systems Consultant (TÜV)’ course.

Wind Power Centre of Excellence in Lauchhammer Employment is set to grow on a similar scale in wind energy. According to the German Wind Energy Association, around 100,000 people are already employed in the planning, construction and operation of wind turbines in Germany – more than in coal-mining. Nevertheless, the potential growth of the industry is still enormous. Old wind turbines are now being replaced by modern, more efficient ones, the first offshore wind farms are being built, and exports are also rising. TÜV Rheinland Akademie has concentrated its training expertise in this growth industry at its Wind Power Centre of Excellence in the town of Lauchhammer. During the six-month training course for wind power service engin­ eers (certified by the Chamber of

Industry and Commerce), applicants are taught how wind turbines work, the principles of health and safety, about the materials and technologies of rotor blade production, and about the servicing and maintenance of rotor blades. Participants also undergo work experience in order to prepare them for their future professional activity. In addition, participants can become qualified service technicians specializing in the repair of rotor blades. During this training lasting about a fortnight, participants acquire prac­ tical skills concerning the restoration of rotor blades, lamination and bonding work on faulty blades, and safety measures to be observed when working at heights. The next course will begin in Lauchhammer in November 2011. Furthermore, shorter seminars and training courses on plastics processing in the wind industry are

available following the rapid establishment of welding thermoplastic materials in this sector. It won’t just be Germany’s energy market which will be changed by the government’s renewable energy drive. Experts believe the country will make the running for others in the use of alternative energy – for never before has such a highly industrialized country plumped for clean energy. And with enough well-trained specialists in place, Germany will be able to achieve this goal. Photovoltaic training courses: Wind energy training courses: More information: Tel: +49 (0) 341 900 4080

Prof. Martin Maslaton is a lawyer specializing in administrative law and a managing partner of the MASLATON law firm, which concentrates on all aspects of the legislation governing renewable energy. He also lectures on the law of renewable energy and environmental law at Chemnitz University of Technology and Freiberg University of Mining and Technology, and publishes and speaks on these topics (which he dealt with as a researcher working at the German Parliament from 1987) both in Germany and abroad. In addition, Prof. Maslaton holds posts in a number of professional associations.

Photovoltaics – no thanks? Is solar power over-incentivized? Should subsidies be phased out altogether owing to PV systems’ unsightly im­pact on the built environment and the countryside? And should our future motto be “Photovoltaics – no thanks!”?

Written by Prof. Martin Maslaton  Photos: MASLATON Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH and Flughafen Leipzig/Halle

To answer this question, the debate needs to be made more objective. Module prices falling by about 35 per cent over the past two years combined with feed-in tariffs remaining more or less unchanged has undeniably led to over-subsidization. This development was also highlighted in the draft progress report on the EEG Renewable Energy Act tabled by the German government. Then again, given that the feed-in tariff for rooftop systems has been slashed from 57.40 cents/kWh in 2004 to a maximum of 28.74 cents/kWh in 2011 (an amount which will be cut again in July this year), legislators are clearly on the right track. This halving of the feed-in tariff is largely due to the complicated system laid down in the EEG based on the volume of new photovoltaic systems installed every year. True, changing power gen-

eration costs during the course of a year aren’t taken into account, and it’s not easy for either the German Network Agency or the BSW German Solar Industry Association to predict the actual volume of additional systems fitted, and so partial over-subsidization will remain inevitable. But it needs to be pointed out that this isn’t intentionally initiated by the solar industry. Photovoltaics and the solar industry have developed enormously over the past ten years – and innovation has been driven by the learning curves and falling costs. In addition, it should be borne in mind that oversubsidization may to some extent also spark technological progress – something which isn’t a bad thing considering the urgent need to boost the efficiency of solar cells. Since the semiconductor technology used in photovoltaics is about ten


Opinion 43

This photovoltaic system with a capacity of 232.65 kWp on the new vehicle and equipment building at Leipzig/Halle Airport consists of high-powered Sunways modules made in Germany and was fitted by the Leipzig-based Windolph Elektromontagen GmbH. KB

years behind that in computers, it can be assumed that crucial progress will be made in research in this area over the next few years. But this is expensive and will make solar cells temporarily more expensive for consumers. On the other hand we need to remember that improved efficiency ultimately benefits everyone and could in the long term help to offset the constant rise in energy prices. Another aspect of photovoltaic systems which comes in for frequent criticism is their appearance. Rooftop systems are said to be ugly,

while ground-mounted systems lead to ideologically unsound soil sealing. OK, like wind turbines and biogas systems, photovoltaic systems cannot be built without impairing the view – but these are minor evils which we simply have to put up with if we are to reap the benefits of alternative energy and to combat climate change. The same applies to solar panels on listed buildings. As for soil sealing, that’s now less of a problem. The 2004 EEG and its successor in 2009 provided primarily for the installation of solar systems

on buildings as well as land that was already sealed or in some other way ecologically inferior – and this policy is set to be continued when the EEG is amended in 2012. Of course, photovoltaics can’t be the sole engine of the energy U-turn. Then again, there aren’t enough other types of renewables available to discard solar power. The answer must therefore be “Photovoltaics – yes please” – as a component of our future energy mix! To find out more go to


Overview 45

Further training opportunities Practical and interdisciplinary: the universities in central Germany offer plenty of opportunities for lifelong education and training – and applicants don’t even have to speak German to enrol!

Written by Tobias Prüwer

In-service training and other forms of further training on the job are something employers encourage and employees are frequently keen to benefit from. Apart from traditional forms of distance learning, face-to-face options range from special lecture programmes to parttime courses taught closer to home. REGJO introduces the main centres of higher education in the region as well as a combined primary and secondary school in Leipzig where English is the language of teaching.

Photo: Handelshochschule Leipzig

Business administration: HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management As far as business management training is concerned, HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management – is probably the first choice. The aim of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate bold, effective and responsible business leaders. In addition to its international focus, a prominent feature of HHL is the combination of theory and practice. In spring 2011, HHL attained one of the top places in the league table compiled by business magazine WirtschaftsWoche. Five hundred HR officers in the private sector were asked which German college turned out the best graduates.

HHL with its business administration course came 12th out of 69 universities – and 4th among private business schools. Indeed HHL, the smallest business management faculty among those rated, was voted the best management school in eastern Germany. Meanwhile, the CHE league table found HHL to be the most practical MBA in Germany. To meet the needs of students in a global labour market even more effectively, HHL will be altering its part-time MBA programme in 2012. In future, courses will be held from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, reducing the number of weekends from currently 42 to 17. In addition, participants will spend a week in the USA attending seminars at for example the Harvard Business School and MIT and also visiting employers. HHL will also be augmenting the curriculum of its part-time, very practical MBA programme to include business law and social networking as well as a soft skills seminar. Research specialists: Fraunhofer CSP Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics The Fraunhofer Center for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP collaborates with partners from science and industry. For example, it works closely

with universities, research centres and firms located on the weinberg campus in Halle as well as with the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. It is also known for its partnerships covering substantial parts of the photovoltaics supply chain in central Germany. CSP conducts applied research in the field of solar wafers, cells and modules, and also develops new materials throughout the value chain. And in conjunction with other partners, the Fraunhofer Centre at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences organizes a work-study degree programme in solar engineering (see below). Practical focus: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences Science and innovation are closely combined at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. With premises in the towns of Bernburg, Dessau and Köthen, it conducts teaching and research at an international level in a range of more than sixty-five bachelor’s and master’s degree courses. In order to produce the specialists required for the region’s solar industry, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences has teamed up with the Fraunhofer CSP Centre for Sili-

Photo: Handelshochschule Leipzig

Teaching at HHL – Leipzig Graduate School of Management is conducted solely in English in order to consolidate students’ language skills and their international spirit.

con Photovoltaics, Q-Cells and Sovello to offer a workstudy degree in solar technology culminating in a Bachelor of Engineering. Taught at Köthen, the course consists of compulsory and elective modules (for which both grades and credits are awarded) and enables students to specialize in either systems engineering or technology. One distinguishing feature is the combination of theory at Anhalt University with its practical application at the Fraunhofer CSP, students passing through the various departments there during university vacation periods. Moreover, students can take distance education courses to earn a Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, or alternatively a Master of Science in industrial engineering. Employers can have their qualification and furthertraining requirements analysed by experts from Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, who will then compile specially tailored training courses.

The library of the Francke Foundations in Halle. tion of social skills and foreign languages as well

The degree programmes taught range from applied mathematics and publishing to international management and packaging technology. Some bachelor’s courses (e.g. electrical engineering, computer science, power engineering and environmental technology) are taught on a work-study basis and involve periods of vocational training at a suitable company. Visiting students are welcome to attend HTWK following registration, while options are also available for external students who in their work, further training or by simply teaching themselves have acquired a level of knowledge satisfying the study and examination regulations to acquire a degree as external candidates. The various series of public lectures under the title ‘Studium generale’ are open to all those who would like to find out more about science and research from an un­familiar angle. Meanwhile the internal museum of automation provides a vivid illustration of the exciting history of technology.

Applied variety: Leipzig University of Applied Sciences All welcome: the University of Halle-Wittenberg Founded in 1992, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (known in German as HTWK Leipzig) teaches a wide range of practical degree courses in engineering, business administration and the social sciences. Students benefit HTWK’s networking with companies based in the region as well as international cooperation.

Further training courses for executives at all levels of management as well as needs assessment for corporate clients are provided by the Further Training Transfer Centre at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. Established in 1817 through the merger of two very old universities,

Overview 47

Particular attention here is attached to the acquisias musical and intercultural training.

Photo: HTWK Leipzig

Photo: Franckesche Stiftungen zu Halle


Leipzig University of Applied Sciences was set up in 1992. With 7,000 students enrolled, it’s one of the biggest institutions of its kind in Germany.

the University of Halle-Wittenberg has its own further training schedule. Apart from postgraduate programmes in subjects such as corporate law and commercial law, further training and related events are organized for interested professionals. For example, visit­ing students can attend a wide range of regular lectures and seminars without having to meet any qualification requirements or take any exams. And during the ‘Studium universale’, faculty members open up certain of their lectures to outsiders. Mankind and the environment: the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) was established in 1991 and has about 1,000 employees in Leipzig, Halle and Magdeburg. They study the complex interaction between humans and the environment in cultivated and ravaged landscapes, especially densely

populated urban and industrial conurbations as well as semi-natural landscapes. UFZ’s scientists develop strategies and methods to help safeguard the natural basis of human life for future generations. The wide audiences attending UFZ’s colloquia and public events can share in its work and findings. Interdisciplinary platform: Merseburg University of Applied Sciences Merseburg University of Applied Sciences was founded in 1992 in Merseburg, a town which had already been a centre of higher education for decades. The courses taught include a workstudy degree programme in industrial engineering. The programme is based on a broad course of basic studies, during which students learn about both technical aspects and business administration. Depending on their interests, they then go on to specialize in either chemical and environmental engineering, power engineering,

design and construction, computer science or mechatronics. HoMe Akademie provides an interdisciplinary platform for personal and professional further training at the interface between research and practice. Its range of subjects includes cultural and social themes, current events, and practical aspects of engineering and economics. A wide variety of personal training is available to employees and employers in the region in the seminar programme. The Department of Further Training and Personnel Transfer devises and organizes individually adapted further training programmes tailored to specific companies for additional professional, methodological, social and personal staff training. Home and away: the University of Leipzig The time-honoured University of Leipzig has a history dating back more than 600 years. The events organized

Handelshochschule Leipzig Jahnallee 59 04109 Leipzig Tel: +49 (0) 341 985160

Photo: Fraunhofer CSP

Fraunhofer-Center für Silizium-Photovoltaik CSP Walter-Hülse-Strasse 1 06120 Halle Tel: +49 (0) 345 55890 Hochschule Anhalt Bernburger Strasse 55 06366 Köthen Tel: +49 (0) 3496 67 1000 HTWK Leipzig Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 132 04277 Leipzig Tel: +49 (0) 341 3076 0 Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg Universitätsplatz 10 06108 Halle (Saale) Tel: +49 (0) 345 5520 Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung Leipzig Permoserstrasse 15 04318 Leipzig Tel: +49 (0) 341 2350 Hochschule Merseburg (FH) Geusaer Strasse 06217 Merseburg Tel: +49 (0) 3461 460 Universität Leipzig Ritterstrasse 26 04109 Leipzig Tel: +49 (0) 341 97108 Leipzig International School Könneritzstrasse 47 04229 Leipzig Tel: +49 (0) 341 337 5580

View inside the vacuum chamber of a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer, where the surfaces of thin-film solar cells are removed one atomic layer at a time using a beam of ions.

in the ‘Studium fundamentale’ programme and the scholarly debates held every Sunday featuring experts from various disciplines are open to the general public. Scientific further training courses are usually attended by graduates with some professional experience. In addition, the further training team analyses commercial companies to establish their training requirements and then compiles suitable training programmes. The University of Leipzig mainly offers distance learning programmes in foreign languages. However, it also contains a study centre run by FernUniversität Hagen, Germany’s only state-run distance learning university, where students from central Germany can take basic and advanced courses. In addition, FernUniversität Hagen also runs academy programmes where those enrolled can study individually at university level without having to meet the normal admission requirements. Young citizens of the world: Leipzig International School Leipzig International School (LIS) is the oldest school of its kind in cen-

tral Germany. Since it was opened in 1992, this privately run Englishspeaking school has helped make Leipzig more attractive to corporate investors. Its motto is “Learning to be a citizen of the world” – and its educational strategy includes attention to children’s cultural and social development. The originally eight pupils on the school roll have since increased to 530 children from more than 40 nations. The teachers are all native speakers of English. An all-day school, LIS is divided into a nursery school, a five-year primary school, and a secondary school level all the way up to year 12. French is taught starting in year 6. Apart from the core subjects, much of the curriculum is devoted to science, IT, music, art and sport. At the end of year 10, students take the IGCSE (International Certificate of Secondary Education) exams, which are granted the same recognition as the allembracing examination taken by pupils throughout Germany at the same time. Students then go on to take the International Baccalaur­ eate in years 11 and 12, qualifying them to enter universities in Germany and all over the world.

Solar region 49

Photo: Lutherstadt Wittenberg


Aquatic leisure, cultural treasure Against a fascinating background of industry past, present and future combined with a network of waterways, central Germany really does have something for everyone!

Written by Franziska Reif

Central Germany is home to a whole series of tourist attractions and unusual ideas. In some areas they’re still taking shape as the ravaged landscapes left by lignite mining are being replaced by a string of new lakes, the exciting opportunities for swimming, diving and sailing increasing all the time. Some of the other lakes in the region are a little older, having been flooded decades ago. For example, few would guess that Lake Bergwitz near Wittenberg was once an opencast mine. And the network of lakes and rivers in SaxonyAnhalt is ideal for both nature-lovers and sports enthusiasts. Central Germany’s lake district When complete, Lake Geiseltal not far from Halle will be the biggest artificial lake anywhere in Germany, while Leipzig New Lakeland is already a major tourist attraction. Looking more like a series of lunar craters just a few years ago, a wide range of water sports can now be enjoyed there, including of course canoeing, rowing and sailing as well as more modern sports like wakeboarding, kitesurfing, Nordic blading, Segway riding, quad biking and whitewater rafting. What’s

more, it’ll soon be possible to chart a course from Leipzig New Lakeland to the North Sea via the River Saale and the River Elbe. The youngest of these lakes is Lake Störmthal, where flooding only began in 2001. Its Magdeborn peninsula hosts an annual indie rock highlight every August: the Highfield Festival. A more contemplative affair altogether is the Vineta pro­ ject – a floating church cupola on an artificial island held firmly in place in the lake. It marks the location of the village of Magdeborn, which in 1966 was swallowed up by lignitemining. To get an impression of the sheer scale of what used to go on here, visit the mining equipment park near the A38 motorway. The two massive pieces of machinery on display – a giant spreader and a bucket wheel excavator – can be seen from a long way off, for example from Belantis amusement park. The biggest theme park in eastern Germany, Belantis has some unusual, hair-raising rides in the form of, say, a pirate ship or an Egyptian pyramid. Then again, those of a nervous disposition might prefer the gentler atmosphere along the trail exploring the way of life of the indigenous Americans. Not far from

Belantis is Lake Markkleeberg, where visitors can choose between a leisurely stroll along the lakeside promenade or white-knuckle whitewater rafting at the canoeing park. Like the Leipzig region, BitterfeldWolfen, too, would have a completely different appearance these days if it wasn’t for its mining heritage – to which Lake Goitzsche owes its existence. Bitterfeld Arch, a bridge-like installation on Bitterfeld Hill, affords a far-reaching view across the landscape – on a clear day as far as Leipzig. Lower down, Pegelturm (‘Gauge Tower’) floating on the surface of the water provides a 360° panorama of the lake. Art projects and the amphitheatre on the Pouch peninsula also make the lake are popular with tourists. Another major attraction nearby is Ferropolis – the ‘city of iron’ – comprising five huge mining machines on an island in Lake Gremmin between Dessau and Bitterfeld. This outdoor museum is also frequently used to stage concerts and festivals, including the famous Melt! devoted to electronic and rock music. Just a few kilometres away to the east is the start of an enchanting stretch of woodlands known as Dübener Heide, which is known as a great place to find mushrooms.

Lake Cospuden in southern Leipzig is one of the most popular lakes in Leipzig New Lakeland. Most of the routes there from Leipzig and Markkleeberg pass through countryside or woodlands. The sandy beaches attract tens of thousands of swimmers every year while cyclists and skaters adore the 10.4km tarmacked path circumnavigating the lake.

Halle on the River Saale About 50 kilometres to the south is the city of Halle nestling on the Saale. Since the river flows into the Elbe, there’s nothing to stop you from canoeing right up to the North Sea! But for those with les far-flung destinations in mind, gliding through and around the city is also an enjoyable experience. Up past the steep banks, the walls of Giebichenstein Castle can be seen on the left through the treetops. The lower part of the castle is home to a famous art college, but not much remains of the upper section apart from the foundation walls – although this spot does offer a magnificent view over the river. In Halle itself, one place to make for is Saxony-Anhalt Museum of Prehistory, where the Nebra Sky Disc, a bronze disc showing a depiction of the heavens and estimated to be about 4,000 years old, can be admired in all its glory. Handel House meanwhile tells about the life and works of the great Baroque composer. Somewhat hidden away in the city is Halle Cathedral, distinguished by its unadorned, highly regular architecture, while visitors may be surprised to stumble across the Beatles Museum. Halle also has a busy nightlife: apart from the various bars and clubs, there’s usually plenty to choose from at the opera house, the three theatres and

the concert hall. Finally, while navigating up to the North Sea may still be a little too far for some people, while not canoe up to the confluence of the Saale and the Elbe to visit Wittenberg or Dessau? A wealth of waterways To make your way up and down the River Elbe, both motor power and muscle power are an option – although perhaps the most sedate way is by steamer. But if you also plan to make detours along the way to visit local attractions, the Elbe Cycle Route is probably the most suitable alternative. The Elbe basin is a natural river landscape which in SaxonyAnhalt has been designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve. As well as a bird sanctuary, it also includes the remains of old river courses – a habitat for rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. You may even be lucky enough to canoe or cycle past a beaver’s lodge or two! Mind you, it’s not just ornithologists and beaver lovers who are recommended to disembark or dismount. With the waterways linking up towns and villages throughout the region, they’re ideal for exploring places off the beaten track. Upstream of the confluence of the Mulde and the Elbe, canoeists glide past Wittenberg. You might want

Photo: Andreas Schmidt / Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH


to get out and visit the town, whose character still owes much to the Reformation. But if you’ve overdosed on history during the day, try out Wittenberg’s Phoenix Theatre in the evening for a change of pace. Apart from plays, operas and operettas, the venue also hosts standup comedy, musicals and readings. Alternatively, performances at the local Clack Theatre range from cabaret to travesti. Every June, Martin Luther’s Wedding is celebrated in the courtyards and streets of Wittenberg. It’s one of the most delightful Renaissance festivals and brings the Reformation to life in the town where it was born. Continuing downstream along the Elbe takes us to the banks of Dessau-Rosslau. It’s a good idea to stop off for some refreshment at Kornhaus, an architectural and culinary gem, before visiting Des-

sau’s main tourist attractions: the Bauhaus and the Masters’ Houses. But Dessau also rose to international fame in the 1920s on account of the Junkers factories. The sought-after Junkers engines and aircraft made Dessau the centre of the aviation industry and figured highly in the Nazis’ armaments industry. Nowadays, the engines and aircraft can be seen at the Hugo Junkers Museum of Technology. Another popular destination is the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. The grounds made up of forty parks and gardens could be described as the biggest garden in central Europe and visitors could literally spend days exploring them – given decent weather, of course! However, the planners’ aim wasn’t by any means to show off Duke Leopold III of Anhalt-Dessau’s riches. Instead, they wished to demonstrate how stunning nature could be com-

Solar region 51

Baedeker goes green! New guidebook helps travellers explore renewable energy in Germany A whole host of places making prom­ inent use of renewable energy are turning into veritable tourist attractions, such as Dobberkau energy trail, the Sieben Linden ecovillage, and Lake Markkleeberg with its solar-powered boats, to name but a few. And to help visitors find their way around, a brand new guidebook has just been published by Baedeker. The company is famous for its excellent travel guides – and Germany – Discovering Renewable Energy is a worthy addition to its catalogue. Produced in conjunction with the Renewable Energy Agency, the book contains a wealth of information on over 160 energy-related destinations throughout Germany, as well as background texts on sustainable travel, climate change, and the new technologies used to generate electricity. The 23 places selected in central Germany encompass old and new windmills and thematic gardens, waterfalls, monasteries and convents. It turns out that apart from photovoltaics, wind energy is especially prominent in the region, for example on the ridges of the Thuringian Forest. Many of the sights listed promise an experience that is both exciting and educational. Including plenty of maps, making it ideal for planning both day trips and longer excursions, this guidebook is essential for German-speaking travellers keen to find out more about the use of green energy. TPR Deutschland – Erneuerbare Energien entdecken, Karl Baedeker Verlag: Ostfildern 2011, 192 pages, €14.95

Photo: Andreas Schmidt / Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH

Leipzig really is a far more watery place than most people expect with nearly 300 km of rivers and streams criss-crossing the city. Although it’s not yet connected to the European waterway network, that’ll change shortly once the Karl Heine Canal has been connected to the River Saale.

bined with horticulture, and thus to create an experience for visitors that was both pleasurable and educational. The imaginatively laid out gardens also serve as a backdrop for a series of events in the warmer months of the year featuring concerts as well as theatrical and dance performances both outdoors (which spectators can enjoy from a boat on the lake) and in the splendid hall. Meanwhile, productions at Dessau’s Anhalt Theatre take place the whole year round. In addition to drama, music, dance and puppet theatre, the venue is also used for concerts by the Anhalt Philharmonic Orchestra. High culture, fascinating fringe Leipzig is justly famous for its heritage of stand-up comedy, with seven permanent venues in the city – although you’ll need to be good at German if you’re going to keep up with the rest of the audience! Those in search of slightly more serious entertainment will be keen to see what’s on at Centraltheater, Leipzig Opera House or the Gewandhaus concert hall. During the day, visitors to Leipzig usually take in historical sights such as St. Nicholas’s Church and the Bach Museum, or simply enjoy a little retail therapy in one of the most popular shop shop-

ping streets in eastern Germany. In the evenings, Leipzig has a busy independent scene to lap up including fringe theatre and art house cinemas. And every Whitsun, the Wave Gothic Festival attracts disciples of dark music and arts from all over the world. Industry and nature coexist in perfect harmony in Leipzig. Boating along the River White Elster or the Karl Heine Canal, riverside copses and secluded countryside alternate with the brick-built industrial architecture of disused factories before we arrive at first the southern stretch of Auenwald – a swathe of urban woodland cutting right across the city – and then Leipzig New Lakeland. Mobility on this scale on Leipzig’s rivers wasn’t possible for many years. Despite the city being known as Little Venice, the countless rivers, canals and mill races not just in the outlying districts but even in the city centre became badly polluted during the course of industrialization and the resulting population explosion. Only since the cessation of lignite-mining following German reunification in 1990 and widespread environmental clean-up has it been possible to use these urban waters again. But now it won’t be long before the final section of canal is complete – and then you can row via Halle and the Middle Elbe all the way to the North Sea!


Calendar 53

12–14 August 2011 11th Leipzig Festival of Water

International trade show with more than 300 exhibitors – a meeting place and marketplace for renewable energy and efficiency. Messe Berlin

Numerous activities with audience participation including the boat parade, flying day, beach parties with magnificent firework displays, and the popular rubber-duck race demonstrate some of the many possibilities of Leipzig's waterways! Lakes and rivers in and around Leipzig

Photo: Paarmann Promotion

Photo: IMG Sachsen-Anhalt mbH, SolarWorld AG

21–25 February 2012 11. SolarEnergy

Trade shows

Sport and leisure

Fine art

5–8 September 2011 European PV Solar Energy Conference Both conference and exhibition, the event provides a platform to debate the latest developments in science and industry. CCH - Congress Center Hamburg

1 July 2011 Halle’s 10th Long Night of Science An opportunity to peep inside laboratories, medical schools, museums and libraries in order to witness experiments and listen to explanations of everyday phenomena. MLU and various research centres

16 June – 8 October 2011 Images in the mind. Icons of contemporary history. The exhibition explores the reasons behind the power of images and charts their origin and dissemination. Leipzig Contemporary History Forum

17–18 November 2011 DENEX The biggest trade show and conference on decentralized and smart energy systems also showcases low-energy construction and refurbishment. Rhein-Main-Hallen Wiesbaden

18/19 June 2011 URBAN Nature Weekend Exciting weekend with an extensive programme including rowing on the River Mulde, special guided tours in the zoo, and climbing on the high ropes course in Dessau-Mildensee. Dessau-Rosslau district

16–17 July 2011 Annual exhibition at Giebichenstein Castle Studios, workshops and seminar rooms are open to visitors with the various semester projects and graduation works produced in each department on display. Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design

3–4 September 2011 10th Central Germany Marathon Two-town marathon including half-marathon, marathon relay race, 10km run, 1km walk, Skating Sprint, and beginners’ races for every level of training. From Spergau to central Halle.

1 September – 9 October 2011 Grand Art Exhibition 2011 During Halle’s 10th Grand Art Exhibition, the Mayor of Halle Award will personally present her own award. Halle/Saale, Kunsthalle Villa Kobe

9–11 March 2012 SaaleBAU The ENERGIE exhibition and SaxonyAnhalt Solar Energy Day have become regular features of the SaaleBAU construction show for central Germany. Messe Halle/Saale 29–31 March 2012 CLEAN ENERGY & PASSIVEHOUSE 2012 Baden-Württemberg’s leading trade show for renewable energy and passive house construction is also an international meeting place. Landesmesse Stuttgart

31 October 2011 Reformation Festival Celebration of the 494th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Central Wittenberg

17 September – 22 January 2012 Max Beckmann. Face to Face More than 50 original paintings from private and museum collections as well as around 150 works on paper will provide a comprehensive panorama of Max Beckmann’s art. Leipzig Museum of Fine Art

24 Feb. – 13 March 2012 Kurt Weill Festival

Held for the 14th time, this year’s line-up at this increasingly international indie and electro festival will include Pulp, The Streets, Robyn, Digitalism, White Lies and Calvin Harris. Ferropolis

Centring on Kurt Weill the festival will also include an attractive panorama illustrating the sheer variety of modern classical music.

Photo: Sebastian Schubanz

Photo: MDR Sinfonieorchester

15–17 July 2011 MELT!

Musik and performance 9–13 June 2011 Wave Gothic Festival This traditional international festival of dark music and arts is the biggest of its kind and attracts around 20,000 visitors every year. Leipzig and Markkleeberg

19–21 August 2011 Highfield The main indie rock festival in eastern Germany moved to Leipzig in 2010. Bands appearing this year include Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars, Seeed and the Dropkick Murphys. Lake Störmthal

10–18 September 2011 Tenth Schumann Festival This week-long festival comprising recitals, readings and guided walks at historical settings will mark the bicentenary of the birth of Franz Liszt and his contemporaries. Salon of Schumann House and other venues

10–19 June 2011 Bachfest Bach Festival The Bach Festival testifies to Leipzig’s unbroken Bach heritage and its vitality as a city of music, and combines various arts in a fascinating blend of old and new. Various venues in Leipzig

19–21 August 2011 Stereo City Those appearing at this festival of danceable electronic music include André Galluzzi, X-Ettl, Sven U.K., Moguai, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Matthias Tanzmann and many more. Ferropolis

23–31 October 2011 6th Festival of Renaissance Music In addition to a series of recitals, the Wittenberg Festival of Renaissance Music includes a workshop featuring specialists from all over Europe, talks and an exhibition of musical instruments. Various places in and around Wittenberg

16–17 July 2011 Goitzsche in Flames Fire, water, light: the grand festival of light on Lake Goitzsche is a spectacular light and fire show playing with and on the water. Bitterfeld, Lake Goitzsche

2/3 September 2011 Festival of Colour: ‘Light – Colour – Sound’ This two-day festival will include an openair concert by Anhalt Theatre, a procession, installations at the Bauhaus, and audiovisual performances. Central Dessau

6 August 2011 Ferropolis Underwater This ‘multimedia rain event’ is the first part of a trilogy in which the gigantic mining machines are also the heroes of the narrative. Ferropolis

9–11 September 2011 1st International Festival of Chamber Music The aim is to intensify and consolidate the cultural and artistic significance of chamber music. Various ensembles will be performing recitals at this new festival. „Eichenkranz“ Wörlitz

29 October – 21 November 2011 IMPULS Festival of orchestral contemporary music held in eight towns and cities in SaxonyAnhalt this year under the motor ‘Between night and dream’. 31 May – 10 June 2012 Handel Festival in Halle Handel and the Denominations. The festival will feature top-class concerts, operas and exhibitions, including a gala performance by sopranist countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. Various venues in Halle

REGJO-Special: Solar Valley  

The Economic Journal for Central Germany REGJO-Special: Solar Valley

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