Mr. Goldbeck, why did you allow yourself to be elected for a new term of office?
The solar industry is currently on a very good path. Because people have understood that clean energy generation is the basis for healthy survival. At the same time, the cost of solar energy has fallen significantly in recent years. Both together result in a very positive dynamic, but the market also depends on the legal framework. This is where I bring my commitment and experience to make sure that clean and cheap solar energy is implemented in many projects and in large quantities.
And why did you originally decide to become BSW president?
In the years 2010 to 2012, the solar industry in Germany experienced an almost euphoric wave with high rates of new installations. At that time, however, solar power was still relatively expensive, so politicians increasingly took countermeasures. The many measures, such as tariff reductions, size limits or more difficult certification processes, then caused the market to collapse. As a consequence, the German photovoltaic market was down in 2014, and I wanted to help bring calm to the industry and to the politicians. And despite a series of subsequent political attacks, the BSW has succeeded in getting back on a stable growth path and being taken seriously as a discussion partner at eye level with politicians.
So a lot has happened in recent years. What are your tasks as president in this context?
The most important issues are advising the management on the strategic direction of the association. That includes discussing specific political positions, setting priorities and identifying new topics. For example, I was able to focus more attention on the production of solar cells and modules again and win Dr. Gunther Erfurt, the CEO of Meyer Burger Technology AG, as a member of the BSW board.
In addition, my tasks also include representation and direct communication with politicians. Other topics are, of course, internal association matters, such as personnel strategies, integration into the umbrella association BEE, and preparing and chairing the board meetings and the annual general meeting.
BSW is closely linked to politics. What is the importance of the association in issues that affect the energy industry?
The BSW is the political mouthpiece for the photovoltaic, solar thermal and storage sectors. Cost developments in recent years have pushed these technologies to the forefront as a cost-effective way to avoid the looming climate catastrophe. Our work enables companies to fully realize their entrepreneurial energy and society that everyone can participate in the energy transition. Thus, the BSW is first and foremost a shaping force in the energy industry.
Incidentally, Germany is not an island in terms of energy. The BSW is therefore also working on a number of projects in an international context and is helping its members to open up these markets.
With the upswing in the solar industry, there is a lot to be done. What goals and projects are you pursuing with the association in the next two years, but also in the long term?
In the short term, we need to work to ensure that the current amendment to the EEG makes it easier, not harder, to install solar systems. This includes, for example, setting new PV expansion targets, changing the support system for medium and large PV roofs, and restrictions and changes for prosumers. In the medium term, broader issues will then be on the agenda. For example, we need to make sure that the development of the electricity market allows for large amounts of solar power.
In addition to photovoltaics, BSW also represents solar thermal and storage systems. Here, the BSW must work on a political framework that enables different renewable energies to cover our entire energy supply reliably and cost-effectively. And that is not just today’s electricity consumption, but also includes coverage of transport, heat and industrial processes. A mammoth task, but one that we are happy to take on.