Berlin, 14. December 2009 - On the way to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa paid a visit to his sister city Berlin. At the invitation of Berlin Partner GmbH, he exchanged ideas with high-ranking representatives of the Berlin clean technology industry.
The discussion took place in the offices of SOLON SE in Adlershof. SOLON is one of the largest producers of solar modules in Europe as well as a supplier of solar system technology for large-scale rooftop and greenfield installations.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Thomas Krupke (CEO of SOLON SE), Michael Geißler (Managing Director of the Berlin Energy Agency), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolfgang Eberhardt (Scientific Director, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH) and Volker Ratzmann (Floor Leader, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, in the German parliament) discussed possible joint projects between the second largest city in the U.S. and the German capital with René Gurka, Managing Director of Berlin Partner GmbH.
Los Angeles has ambitious goals. In ten years it intends to cover as much as 40 percent of its energy demand from renewable sources and become one of the world's leading places for the development, production, and use of renewable energies. "Los Angeles is a leader in the environmental movement. Our goal is to make Los Angeles the cleanest green major city in the United States.
To that end, we will make our economy environmentally friendly, create jobs, promote innovative public-private partnerships, and introduce the political infrastructure necessary to reduce pollution. I am pleased to be here in Berlin for the opportunity to learn from Germany as the world's leading nation in environmental issues and energy innovation and to swap ideas concerning the best methods and technologies available," explained Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The German capital city of Berlin also sees great potential in this segment. Berlin's green economy has grown by roughly 20 percent since 2005, includes at least 500 companies and about 42,000 employees. René Gurka, Managing Director of Berlin Partner GmbH, commented: "Berlin and Los Angeles are two cities that have great opportunities for becoming global centers of sustainable growth.
The many common approaches range from eMobility to concepts for saving energy as well as renewable energies. Both cities will benefit economically from cooperation and exchange in this field. Thomas Krupke, CEO of SOLON SE sees good market opportunities in the U.S. for photovoltaic in particular: "The new subsidy programs and the recovery of the financial sector will cause the volume of newly installed photovoltaic capacity in the U.S. to double in the next two years until 2011.
California will without question play the pioneering role in this. By having its own production in the state, SOLON is optimally prepared for this development. Today Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and René Gurka, Managing Director of Berlin Partner GmbH, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Hardy Schmitz, Managing Director of the operating company of the Adlershof Science and Technology Park, and Antonio Villaraigosa had already come to an agreement on Sunday that Adlershof and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation would jointly develop their cleantech clusters and promote the exchange of scientists and companies.
"We are currently systematically expanding our contacts with technology regions in the U.S. We want to have greater cooperation with the highly productive environment of Los Angeles in the future," said Hardy Schmitz, Managing Director of the operating company of the Adlershof Science and Technology Park.
Source: SOLON SE