Germany's once innovative solar energy sector seems to have lost some of its lustre and is increasingly being put in the shade by rivals in China and the United States, a study said on Friday.
In 2009, German groups accounted for 31 percent of solar generating equipment sold worldwide, said a statement issued by PRTM, an advisory group, compared with 53 percent of the market in 2006.
It attributed the decline to the fact that German firms did not react quickly enough to falling prices for solar energy installations.
Less expensive competitors in China and the United States increased their market share in the same period, PRTM said.
Chinese groups gained from 21 to 32 percent, while those in the US rose from nine to 21 percent.
Among the top 10 solar energy producers, the number of German firms has fallen from seven to three, while four Chinese companies are now in the top ten along with two from the US.
Explore further: Next-generation nuclear reactors that use radioactive waste materials as fuel