How can Germany manage to make relatively expensive energy from renewable sources available to all? How profitable is renewable energy? Will Germany be forced to make up for the lack of energy due to switching off its nuclear power plants by purchasing energy from abroad? What are the electricity costs for energy-intensive manufacturing? Is an energy turnaround also possible in Belarus? A group of Belarusian and Ukrainian managers came to southern Germany with these questions and the aim of informing themselves about products and services for renewable energies in Germany and sounding out the business opportunities with German companies. The 24 managers’ training was financed by the Renewable Energies Export Initiative of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).
Particularly the visits to KACO GmbH in Neckarsulm, ZinCo GmbH in Nürtingen, Dieffenbacher GmbH in Eppingen and Fichtner GmbH in Stuttgart proved insightful. The innovative engineering solutions by ZinCo for the integrated use of solar and wind energy and roof greening aroused a great deal of interest. The Belarusian managers above all found the quality management systems, methods for idea and innovation management within the company, specialist training within the scope of the dual vocational training and not least the company’s strategic competitive aims utterly compelling. Many of the managers are also planning to introduce measures such as those at Roto Frank GmbH in Bad Mergentheim at their own companies to motivate employees– innovative ideas are rewarded with the free use of a company car over the weekend, for example. The Eastern European visitors received comprehensive information on tax and tariff policies, the financing of renewable energy sources, state funding and subsidies primarily from Baden-Württemberg’s wind and solar clusters.
Participants moreover completed over 80 individual company visits, established extremely valuable contacts during the Intersolar trade fair in Munich and signed their first preliminary contracts. An order volume worth a total of more than 15 million euros was negotiated. This includes the purchase of wind power plants, construction of several biogas plants, development and construction of a methane plant, and much more.
The Manager Training Programme in Germany has exceeded all expectations. Many managers are planning their own information events and workshops in Belarus upon their return home to inform their local partners of the possibilities and need for cooperation with Germany in the field of renewable energies. All participants emphasised that this could significantly boost business development between the two countries in the future.
By Violetta Sticker
Export-Akademie Baden Württemberg GmbH, Tübingen