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Funds advised by Apax Partners and Good Energies have invested EUR24m in CSG Solar AG

Thalheim, Germany/London, UK, 26 January 2005: A consortium led by Funds advised by Apax Partners and Good Energies has invested EUR24m in CSG Solar AG, a company that has developed one of the world's most promising second-generation thin-film solar-module technologies. Existing investors in CSG are Q-Cells AG, Renewable Energy Corporation and IBG also participated in the financing round. The investment will finance the construction and launch of CSG's first production facility designed for an annual output of 25MW.

Second-generation, thin-film modules have a fundamentally lower cost base than first-generation solar modules based on silicon wafers. CSG Solar has one of the best cost-efficiency roadmaps of all the thin-film concepts on the market and in development. More importantly though, CSG Solar's modules do not suffer from the durability, stability, scalability, raw material supply or environmental issues inherent in the other competing thin-film concepts. CSG Solar will initially target non-area constrained segments of the booming solar market, which is a market complementary to the one targeted by first-generation based modules.

David Hogg, CSG Solar's CEO stated: 'The CSG Solar technology team has been working towards this moment for nearly ten years. Now, at a time when the supply of silicon wafers threatens to retard the ten year 30% per year solar industry growth rate, with this successful capital raising CSG Solar will soon be producing solar electric panels. 'Importantly, these panels will use only about 1/100th of the silicon thickness of wafer based solar cells and yet still delivering 65% of the power.'

Christian Reitberger of Apax Partners said: 'CSG has developed the best-in-class thin-film technology, and has a very compelling value proposition, particularly in the burgeoning non-area constrained farming and industrial applications markets. We see CSG as a great complement to Q-Cells, Apax Partners Funds' existing investment in the solar industry.'

Marcel Brenninkmeijer of Good Energies commented: 'CSG ideally fits into our investment portfolio with its unique thin-film approach and strong technology position. We are very much looking forward to developing CSG together with the CSG team and our friends at Apax Partners, IBG, REC and Q-Cells.'

Erik Sauar, CTO of REC stated: 'REC's core business is based on silicon and wafer manufacturing for the high efficiency, mainstream part of the module market. CSG represents an excellent technology for low cost manufacturing of lower efficiency modules, a market which will be very important both for rural grid-connected applications and for the millions of small off-grid applications. We see a strong potential in the future of CSG if the company is successful with its technology development, and believe the CSG technology can take a significant position next to the wafer based technology.'

Anton Milner, Q-Cells' CEO, stated: 'We are very excited about the technological and market potential of the CSG technology. It will provide a complementary line of lower cost, high value adding products for the photovoltaic market, which efficiently serve the needs of customer segments which the Q-Cells products do not directly address. We believe that PV will strongly expand for the foreseeable future and that the CSG technology, as the current Q-Cells technology, can play a leading role in the market development and strongly benefit from this growth.'

Dinnies Johannes von der Osten, IBG's CEO, commented: 'As initial investor in Q-Cells we consider CSG's approach to be a solid stand alone investment with high rate of return potential fitting perfectly into Q-Cells successfully implemented strategy as state of the art technology adopter and front runner of renewable energy solutions. Because of the huge business potential of CSG's technology proposition we decided right from the beginning to participate as an investor in CSG as well.'

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