Another step toward a renewable energy future: According to SolarPower Europe, the annual global deployment of PV installations will crack the 80 gigawatt (GW) mark for the first time in 2017. 2016 already saw a 50 percent increase in deployment over the previous year. As part of this year’s Intersolar Europe Conference, SolarPower Europe presented the latest figures in its Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2017–2021. Development in the energy industry has thus reached a new dimension.
“Our vision of ‘24 hours of sunshine’ clearly foresees an energy future in which all energy is generated by renewable sources,” says Martin Hackl, Global Director of the Solar Energy Division at Fronius International GmbH. “We will achieve this vision by observing the four pillars of this future – intelligent and efficient generation, distribution, storage and consumption of energy.”
Thanks to the trend toward digitalization, the energy industry is currently experiencing a transformation, which is why the new energy world took center stage at Intersolar and ees Europe. This year’s exhibitions focused on ways to intelligently connect diverse forms of power generation as well as on powerful storage systems and the optimal use of energy. Visitors to the exhibition learned all there is to know about the challenges of efficient, safe and cost-effective integration of renewable energies, and the new business models which will emerge in the energy industry of the future. “Digitalization is necessary to connect all the components of sector coupling, i.e. electricity, heating and mobility, in a more intelligent and efficient way. We need solutions that allow for communication between these different areas and make cross-sector optimizations possible,” says Dr. Bernd Koch, Director of Decentralized Energy Systems at Siemens AG.
The Smart Renewable Energy special exhibit and the forum of the same name were a hit with visitors. Exhibitors and research experts presented their solutions, which contribute to a smart and efficient power grid in which renewable sources of energy and storage devices interact. Intelligent technologies that analyze and optimize power generation and consumption as well as connect various pieces of technical equipment were a key topic in this regard. “The new energy world is decentralized and renewable – and has long since expanded beyond generation alone. In order to increase awareness of this topic, we need to make our solutions as easy for customers as possible – as with our SolarCloud, for example. This is the only way to give them the opportunity to participate in the new energy world,” says Franco Gola, Vice President of PV & Batteries at E.ON Energie Deutschland GmbH.
The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference, which took place from May 30–31, not only focused on intelligently connecting various forms of energy generation, but also on the topics of financing, large-scale PV power plants, and plant profitability. Experts also discussed the latest trends and developments in the international markets. More than 1,700 attendees from 77 countries visited the Intersolar and ees Europe Conferences and their side events – an increase of around 30 percent over the previous year. The award ceremony for the prestigious Intersolar AWARD is popular with visitors every year. To kick off the exhibition on May 31, the coveted award was presented to pioneering solutions for the tenth year running. In the Photovoltaics category, the award went to Ciel & Terre International, Hanwha Q CELLS and SMA Solar Technology. In the category for Outstanding Solar Projects, RAM Pharma, Next Kraftwerke, SUNfarming and Goldbeck Solar as well as the University of Hohenheim in collaboration with Phaesun won over the panel of judges. For the first time, the panel honored projects dealing with the topic of smart renewable energy.
ees Europe, the continent’s largest and most visited exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, was held together with Intersolar Europe for the fourth time running. The exhibition brings together manufacturers, distributors, users and suppliers of stationary and mobile storage solutions for electrical energy. This year, the exhibition once again experienced strong growth. In 2017, 254 companies from all over the world presented their products, services and solutions over an exhibition area of 17,500 square meters. The exhibition space grew by 40 percent as compared to the previous year, and the number of exhibitors by 20 percent. Around 440 of the roughly 1,100 exhibitors at ees Europe and Intersolar Europe presented innovative energy storage technology. More than 40,000 visitors traveled to Munich, once again underscoring the significance of the leading exhibitions for the energy industry.
In the future, the organizers of Intersolar and ees Europe will bring together four exhibitions dedicated to renewable and intelligent energy solutions under the umbrella of The smarter E. From 2018, The smarter E will cover the topics of renewable energy production, distribution, storage and the intelligent use of energy. Alongside the renowned Intersolar and ees Europe exhibitions, the coming year will also see the premiere of two new energy exhibitions under the umbrella of The smarter E: Power2Drive, the exhibition for charging infrastructure and electric mobility, and EM-Power, the exhibition for intelligent energy generation in industry and buildings. The new exhibitions will take place for the first time alongside Intersolar and ees Europe from June 20–22, 2018 at Messe München.