Intersolar Europe 2015:
The Information and Strategy Platform for the Solar Industry
Renewable energy, particularly solar power, plays an indispensable role in our future energy systems - the ever increasing share of solar power in the German power grid is proof of this. But while the energy transition is making headway both in Germany and around the world, there are still huge challenges to overcome, such as setting up smart grids, devising large-scale energy storage solutions and creating new business models for generating and marketing solar power. Intersolar Europe 2015 shines the spotlight on these topics and many more. Together with the Intersolar Europe Conference and a comprehensive accompanying program, the solar industry's leading international exhibition is scheduled to take place from June 10-12, 2015 at Messe München. Some 1,000 exhibitors and over 40,000 visitors from all corners of the globe are expected to attend in 2015. For the second time, Intersolar Europe will be complemented by the electrical energy storage (ees) exhibition, which is dedicated to battery and energy storage technology.
On August 18, 2014, the share of renewable energy in the German power grid reached a record high of 57% according to data from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) - higher than ever recorded on a weekday. Renewable energy has even been known to cover up to 75% of electricity demand on good weekend days, when total consumption is lower. As a result, the energy transition is increasingly eliminating the need for conventional (coal-fired) power plants, which can no longer react flexibly to fluctuating amounts of fed-in wind and solar energy.
The future lies in energy storage systems and smart grids
The German government hopes to increase the share of renewable energy in the country's energy supply to at least 35% by 2020. This figure already stood at 25% in 2013, rising to 30% in the first half of 2014. Today's power grid needs to become more intelligent to cope with the fluctuating nature of renewable energy - smart grids are the way forward.
The on-site consumption of solar power and energy storage also have decisive roles to play in restructuring the power supply, as they can help to ease the burden on the grid, particularly at peak times, and boost photovoltaics' contribution to the energy supply. Intersolar Europe takes place in parallel to ees - electrical energy storage to highlight the importance of this issue and present a full spectrum of solar power production and electrical storage products.
ees 2015 once again features numerous exhibitors presenting the entire supply chain of innovative battery and energy storage technologies, from individual components through production methods to specific examples of use. At the accompanying conferences, experts discuss new developments and trends in on-site consumption and storage technology, while the electrical energy storage (ees) AWARD honors especially innovative solutions in the area of energy storage.
New business models for a new energy supply system
The feed-in tariffs that drove the PV industry in the past are continuously being reduced and are now being increasingly outshined by other business models, such as the direct sale of solar power. Added to this are new, intelligent financing options for PV installations - in addition to selling their systems, for example, manufacturers also offer customers leasing opportunities. Municipal utilities, community energy cooperatives and many other new players in the market recognized this potential a long time ago and are thus helping to shape the energy transition.
To continue to drive forward this development, however, policymakers need to create frameworks to ensure that PV installations remain profitable and that both investors and the industry are able to budget accurately. In 2015, the Intersolar Europe Conference once again pushes these topics into the spotlight by holding expert presentations and panel discussions.
Energy transition in the
heating market holds vast potential
Around 50% of Germany's total energy consumption is used to generate heat. According to data from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), only around a quarter of the approximate 20 million heating systems installed in Germany comply with the state of the art, which means that the country has an enormous backlog of existing systems that need to be modernized.
Yet despite continuous rises in oil and gas prices, policymakers have still not introduced the guidelines and incentive programs needed to drive forward the energy transition in the heating market. The renewable heating products to be showcased at Intersolar Europe 2015 reveal once again that the required technology and solutions are already at our fingertips. Introduced in 2014, the new exhibition area not only covers solar heat generation, but also includes renewable heating systems, such as pellet and wood-chip heating systems, as well as energy-efficient technologies like mini combined heat and power plants or cogeneration systems and heat pumps.
Global rise in solar energy
Solar energy is not only on the rise in Germany, but is also playing an increasingly important role in the world's future energy supply. According to the Global Market Outlook 2014-2018, which was published by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) at Intersolar Europe 2014, the mean scenario states that annual new installations around the world will increase from over 40 GW in 2014 to around 55 GW in 2018. Intersolar Europe is the leading international exhibition for the solar industry, attracting 1,100 exhibitors from 43 countries and 42,380 visitors from 143 states in 2014. Together with the Intersolar Europe Conference and a comprehensive accompanying program, the exhibition is once again set to be the information and strategy platform for the solar industry in 2015.
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Solar Promotion