ABI Research Sees Evergreen/Q-Cells Joint Venture as a Sign of an Industry Voting with its Feet

The factory, to produce equipment with an annual capacity of 30 megawatts, will create 350-400 new jobs and will enjoy support from the German government.

Oyster Bay, NY - January 26, 2005 - Earlier this month Evergreen Solar, Inc., based in Marlboro, MA, and Q-Cells AG of Thalheim, Germany, concluded a deal to set up a large solar wafer, cell and module manufacturing plant as a joint venture. The factory, to produce equipment with an annual capacity of 30 megawatts, will create 350-400 new jobs and will enjoy support from the German government.

According to tech market analysts ABI Research, this development is a perfect example of the trend, noted in recent research, for the solar photovoltaic industry to move to Germany. "Here is a small American company," says analyst Joshua Laurito, "investing in a $75 million factory in Germany. Evergreen had been concentrating on the U.S. market. But prices are low there, and margins are very small. Government policy in Germany is pushing up prices there. Evergreen clearly sees a better future for solar technologies in Germany."

This trend was correctly identified in ABI Research's recent study "Global Photovoltaic Markets", which specifically analyzes major PV markets, technologies, and players. It also reviews countries with major programs that support PV development, and the effect they have on the market.

The study forecast that more and more photovoltaic industry activity would center on Europe, because shaky government support for solar energy in the U.S. and elsewhere creates an uncertain climate for large capital investments.

Germany promotes solar energy heavily not only because the green lobby is so strong there, but because unemployment is high and solar energy production tends to be more labor-intensive than that for fossil fuels.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations that support annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in wireless, automotive, semiconductors, broadband, and energy. For more information please visit www.abiresearch.com, or call 516.624.2500.

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