Schott Solar expands activities

Schott Solar AG is continuing to expand its business activities in Greece, one of Europe“s key growth markets. By opening a new sales office in Thessaloniki, the company is forging ahead with its exp…

Schott Solar AG is continuing to expand its business activities in Greece, one of Europe“s key growth markets. By opening a new sales office in Thessaloniki, the company is forging ahead with its expansion initiative in Southern Europe. Schott Solar has been operating in Greece for more than 10 years and additional orders have been placed for 2011. “The Greek photovoltaic market is developing rapidly: Capacities of around 120 MW output were installed this year alone. We are expecting that figure to be in the region of 180 to 200 MW next year,” explains Dr. Martin Heming, CEO of Schott Solar AG, adding: “Schott Solar has been operating in Greece for many years. We joined forces with local partners back in 2004 to install solar panels on the roof of the airport operator at Athens International. That year we also created the then largest rooftop solar array in Greece, on the German School of Athens (DSA). At the beginning of 2011, we will commence work on a project with an output capacity of two MW. Our medium-term objective is to attain a market share of between 5 and 10% in Greece.” Schott Solar has opened its new sales office in Thessaloniki to maintain closer ties to new customers and partners. “In the past few months, we have been able to convince scores of new sales partners of Schott Solar“s quality. Together we will be leveraging Greece“s great photovoltaic potential and implementing interesting projects,” comments Darios Dimitriou, new sales manager at Schott Solar in the Greek metropolis Thessaloniki. By enhancing its activities in Greece, Schott Solar is increasing its independence from the German market and in doing so is continuing to push ahead with its internationalisation strategy. Greece offers formidable conditions as a location for photovoltaic operations: In Greece, global irradiance levels are between 1,400 and 1,700 kWh per square metre, creating perfect climatic conditions. Additionally, new policies on feed-in fees for solar power are strengthening the Greek photovoltaic market. New policies include guaranteed feed-in fees of 40-50% per kWh for 20 years as well as an end to the annual cap of 0.8 GW on new installations. Greece“s commitment to photovoltaics marks a positive economic impulse, as solar energy is a regional economic driving force, creating jobs in manufacturing, but above all in retail and small business. Solar plants generate power when consumption levels are especially high: demand from air conditioning and refrigeration units is particularly high during the summer and around mid-day. In the long-term, these policies therefore promise independence for Greece from expensive energy imports.