In 2013, we conducted an Innovation Scorecard with Fremont companies as a way to measure where the largest gaps were when it comes to achieving greater levels of innovation and success. In terms of expectation, the results were mixed. While “Navigating State/Federal Programs” ranked way up there (no surprise), so did “Improved Access to Foreign Markets.” With Silicon Valley considered one of the most globally connected regions, it was an eye-opener to learn that our companies ranked this issue as such a challenge.

Ever since that exercise, we have spent much of our time in economic development’s new frontier, actually seeking out resources for companies to address the gaps they identified. Imagine that! It is in this context that we crossed paths with Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), the economic development agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, which promotes German business and technology opportunities. And it just so happens that its Bay Area office focuses on promoting German market opportunities — specifically renewable energy sectors — to U.S. companies. Bingo! With such a large concentration of companies developing energy technologies, talk about a perfect match for Fremont.

As a result, we were delighted to partner with GTAI on yesterday’s seminar, “Opportunities in the German Energy Market.” Several Fremont companies joined us, including Imergy, Oorja, and Delta Products. These market opportunities are due in large part to Germany’s ambitious energy transition (Energiewende).

Renewable energy sources currently make up around 30 percent of all electricity consumed in Germany, and this share is expected to increase to at least 80 percent by 2050. Solar power and onshore/offshore wind power will be the main pillars of this renewable energy production. The integration of fluctuating renewable energies into the electricity grid demands innovative storage solutions and major investment in the transmission grid. Additionally, Germany is looking to drastically reduce overall energy consumption, making room for many opportunities for companies providing energy efficiency solutions. Take a look at the video below for a more thorough overview of the German strategy.

It’s partnerships like these that help us chip away at the gaps our companies face and continue on our quest for mutual success.