The southern part of Jutland has been significantly affected by rising unemployment in recent times, as major employers in the area have been forced to downsize their workforces. But the region is responding to adversity by launching an ambitious initiative in the solar cell sector. As Region South Denmark reports, five high tech test centres are to be established in Sønderborg as the first step in making the region a powerhouse for climate-friendly energy production.
The new centres, which will conduct large-scale testing of solar cell arrays, will receive DKK 12.6m (USD 2.5m) in support funding from South Denmark Growth Forum. The focus will be on finding new application opportunities for solar cells and making it cheaper to produce and operate solar cell installations.
Carl Holst, chairman of South Denmark Growth Forum, commented: "Billions are expected to be invested in solar energy in the coming years, and with the new test centres we hope that we can attract some of the many new jobs to southern Denmark."
Climate-friendly energy production and technology has very high priority these days, as global warming and climate change are increasingly preoccupying the minds of scientists, governments and citizens all over the world. Not surprisingly, the demand for cleantech is increasing strongly, not least in the solar energy sector.
EPIA, the European PhotoVoltaic Industry Association, calculates that investments in the European solar cell industry will be in the region of DKK 30bn (USD 6bn) in 2009. On a global perspective, EPIA estimates that the world market for solar cells has shown annual growth rates of approx. 40% for a number of years.