Winfried Hoffmann takes the reins
Dr. Winfried Hoffmann has become the new President of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). He takes over the position after having been elected as EPIA's new Vice-President, and after Vice-Presidents Boris Klebensberger and Virgilio Navarro Sanchez-Sicilia declined the presidency. Additionally, Jerry Stokes has been elected to fill a vacant seat as a Director on EPIA's eight-member Board. The elections were held at EPIA's Annual General Meeting in Brussels.
Dr. Hoffmann, a Member of the Supervisory Board of SMA Solar Technology AG, is a pioneer in the European solar industry, having spent more than 30 years working in photovoltaics. He holds a Ph.D. in biophysics, and in 1979 joined the photovoltaic R&D group for thin film solar cells of NUKEM in 1979. He took over the company's leadership in 1985. Dr. Hoffmann has also served as the Chairman of the Board of RWE SCHOTT Solar GmbH, and as Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of the Solar Business Group at Applied Materials GmbH, where he was later a consultant.
After his ascension to the EPIA presidency, Dr. Hoffmann said: "Solar PV has just had another record year -- with more than 28 GW of new grid-connected capacity globally in 2011. Today the industry faces major challenges even as our technology approaches competitiveness with conventional electricity sources. In the coming years, we will need to work to create new markets and business models for PV. We will also need to make sure that European policymakers understand the importance of maintaining a stable regulatory environment and of markets based on principles of free and fair trade and fair competition principles. As EPIA's new President, I look forward to addressing these challenges and helping guide our industry into an even brighter future."