German Environmental Award goes to German Photovoltaic Pioneers

German president presented the most lucrative European environmental prize today in Leipzig – DBU bestows award.

The German Environmental Award of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) has been bestowed for the 20th time. The co-founder and supervisory board chairman of SMA Solar Technology AG (Kassel), Günther Cramer (59), and the researcher-entrepreneur team Dr. Andreas Bett/Hansjörg Lerchenmüller (both Freiburg) received the award – at 500,000 euros the most lucrative environmental prize in Europe – from the hands of German President Joachim Gauck today in the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

Bett (50) is the deputy director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), while Hansjörg Lerchenmüller (45) is the CEO of Soitec Solar GmbH.

The German president praised the prizewinners as exponents of something that made him proud of Germany: inventiveness and enterprise from people who were trying to transform desirable goals into practical reality.

“It is not enough for us to talk big and to want more sustainability from a sense of political correctness. Sustainability must be actively desired at a political level, but implemented by business and then accepted by society.”

Detailed text, individual commendations of the prizewinners and photos available at