INTERSOLAR EUROPE 2013:
The Industry Turns out in Force
The world's largest exhibition for the solar industry and its partners ended on June 21. Some 50,000 visitors from more than 150 countries and 1,330 exhibitors from 47 countries attended Intersolar Europe in Munich, from June 19-21. Most exhibitors and visitors were very satisfied with Intersolar Europe 2013, both in terms of topics covered and their exploits. This year, the exhibition focused on the topics that will determine the future of the solar industry, such as Energy Storage Systems, Grid Integration and On-site Consumption of Solar Power. Exhibitors presented innovative products and solutions for industry, commerce and private households. Companies showcased systems and applications which make solar power competitive even under current conditions, and which allow operators to save money and resources by using solar energy. The solar industry's growing global reach was reflected by the attendance of internationally renowned politicians at the exhibition's opening ceremony. Jürgen Trittin, Chairman of the German Parliamentary Group of Alliance 90/The Greens, Greg Barker, British Minister of State at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, and Jürgen Becker, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) had all come to Munich. The industry's burning issues were also reflected in Intersolar Europe's accompanying program, which covered a wide range of topics. The Intersolar Europe Conference took place in parallel from June 17-20, 2013. Around 400 speakers and about 2,000 attendees took part in the conference and its Side Events.
From June 19-21, some 50,000 visitors from more than 150 countries flocked to Intersolar Europe at Messe München. A total of 1,330 exhibitors from 47 different nations presented their technologies and services in the fields of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and solar thermal technologies in 12 exhibition halls and an outdoor exhibition area, which together span 121,000 square meters of exhibition space.
This year, 53% of Intersolar Europe's exhibitors came from abroad. With 608 exhibitors present, Germany was the best represented country, followed by China with 242, Italy with 59, Austria with 40 and Spain with 29 companies.
In terms of visitors, 44% made the journey to Munich from outside Germany, beating last year's figure. The international nature of the exhibition was further increased by high-caliber delegations from around the world and numerous country pavilions, including those representing Morocco and Egypt, the latter of which presented itself in this way at Intersolar Europe for the first time.
On-site Consumption, Energy Storage Systems
and Grid Integration at Intersolar Europe 2013
In 2013, Intersolar Europe had a dedicated exhibition segment for energy storage systems in hall B5, which attracted a lot of visitors and was extremely well received by both exhibitors and visitors. A total of more than 200 exhibitors had registered for the area of energy storage systems, making Intersolar Europe the largest platform for the combination of photovoltaics and energy storage systems worldwide. Exhibitors did not just present the state of the art - such as the latest battery-based storage technologies - but also showed their system competence.
The combination of photovoltaics with energy storage systems, energy management systems or even heat pumps was frequently found at the exhibition.
The role of storage systems for on-site consumption and for the grid integration of solar power was one of the exhibition's, and the Intersolar Europe Conference's core topics. Workshops offered practical on-site consumption know-how for installers. PV ENERGY WORLD was particularly busy on all three days where experts presented storage solutions for private homes as well as industrial and commercial buildings.
An Important Pillar of our Future Energy Supply
Solar power can already be generated in Germany for between 12 and 15 euro cents per kWh, which makes it an extremely interesting investment. Photovoltaics has not just become an important pillar of our future energy supply - on-site consumption of solar power is also becoming more and more attractive in view of rising electricity bills for industry, commerce, trade and private homes. The photovoltaics industry is responding to the changed structure of pricing and offerings by developing new business models, products and services.
A relatively new form of financing solar installations, the community energy cooperative, is becoming increasingly popular. It allows citizens to participate in energy projects and lend their support to generating energy decentrally and independently on a local and regional level. Municipal utilities often use the energy transition as an opportunity to set the course for the future of regional energy supply.
This is partly made possible through support from citizen participation schemes or partnership agreements with photovoltaics companies, again opening up a wide array of business models. This area of topics was much discussed at the Intersolar Europe Conference and at PV ENERGY WORLD, which attracted around 800 visitors during the exhibition.
Highlights of the
The accompanying program of Intersolar Europe was met with particular interest from visitors, media and exhibitors this year. Hans-Josef Fell, Energy Policy Speaker of the Parliamentary Group of Alliance 90/The Greens, and Horst Meierhofer, a long-standing expert on energy and the environment for the Parliamentary Group of Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP), held a discussion at the Innovation Exchange.
The discussion on Solar Energy and the Energy Transition - Current Situation and Prospects in the Election Year of 2013, was chaired by Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), Berlin.
During the Intersolar Europe's inaugural event (General Session), a panel discussion between high-caliber figures began by focusing on a controversial topic: The introduction of protective tariffs on Chinese solar modules in Europe. During the General Session, Jürgen Trittin, Chairman of the German Parliamentary Group of Alliance 90/The Greens, also spoke about the future of the energy transition. His presentation was entitled: "That?s Energy Transition - 100% Renewable Energy!"
Global Growth and New Markets of the Sector:
The Intersolar Europe Conference in Munich
The Intersolar Europe Conference took place in parallel to Intersolar Europe from June 17-20, 2013, in the ICM - Internationales Congress Center München. This year, some 400 speakers and 2,000 attendees from all over the world participated in the conference and Side Events.
The sessions examined not just the industry's latest technologies and reports from leading experts from the world's growth markets, but also the focus topics energy storage systems, on-site consumption and grid integration.
The PV Executive Panel, made up of Ulrich Spiesshofer, Head of Discrete Automation and Motion Division at ABB Schweiz AG, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Chief Executive Officer of SMA Solar Technology AG, and Ewald Schindlbeck, Head of Wacker Polysilicon at Wacker Chemie AG, discussed global growth strategies for the solar industry, business models and the general political conditions in Europe. On June 19, attention turned to market developments in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The main topics were the importance of the Mediterranean Solar Plan (MSP) and the special requirements of PV installations in desert regions. The subsequent presentations covered the region's key countries, such as Israel, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
from July 9-11, 2013 / Moscone Center in San Francisco
Intersolar Europe 2014
from June 4-6, 2014 / Fair ground Munich
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Solar Promotion