Intersolar & ees Europe: "More than just PV and power storage"

Thu, 04/05/2017 - 13:36

The upward trend of Intersolar Europe and it's sister, the ees Europe, continues. With more networking, sector coupling and digitalisation solutions, Intersolar is aiming to become the "trade fair for the new energy world."

Ina Röpcke

+49 521 595 569

In its 26thm year, Intersolar Europe, which runs from 31 May to 2 June in Munich, will again reflect the reshaping of the energy economy. The days of exhibiting only energy-generation and heating products have been over for a few years now. First, the "Smart Renewable Energy" area was added, and now digitalisation and sector coupling - power, heat, and mobility - are gaining ever more traction.

But first, a look at the figures. The upward trend that emerged last year is continuing into the present year. By the end of April, a total of 1,061 exhibitors had registered. Markus Elsässer, the managing director of the event's organiser Solar Promotion, expects more registrations to trickle in and for the overall the number of manufacturers and service providers to match last year's turnout. But, measured by area alone, the event is clearly growing. The organisers booked an additional trade fair hall. This year, there will be seven, rather than six halls. That is 77,000 m2 of exhibition space, including the special "Electrical Energy Storage (EES)" exhibition embedded in Intersolar. Markus Elsässer has a correspondingly "positive outlook," as he puts it. He attributes the positive trend to the growth of the global PV storage system market: "Intersolar is seen as an international platform to view innovations and make contacts."

The associated EES storage trade fair is developing particularly well. By the end of April, 242 exhibitors had registered; in 2016 there were 213 companies. "EES is the largest platform for batteries and energy storage systems in Europe," says a contented Elsässer. The range of the  EES special exhibition is broad - from pure storage and battery manufacturers to developments in power-to-gas and power-to-liquid processes, as well as electromobility solutions.

Surprising developments

There have also been developments in the central themes. The area for operations and maintenance of utility-scale systems is becoming more prominent according to Elsässer, owing to the growing global stock of large-scale systems. What he did not expect was the growth in exhibitors of tracking systems. The exhibition area for such systems has nearly doubled.

This was expected in the "Smart Renewable Energy" area, however, Elsässer adds. This thematic grouping, with its products and solutions for the world of networked energy, had its own special exhibition and a forum with presentations at Intersolar Europe in 2016. The area it occupies has now trebled and some 100 companies are showing off solutions for smart system networking, enabling the provision of balancing energy for the public power grid.

10 years Intersolar Award

Following last year's 25 anniversary of Intersolar, this year also offers something to celebrate: it is the tenth year that the Intersolar Award will be presented. Like Intersolar itself, the award tracks the industry, documenting development trends. The latest trend is digitalisation, which enables smart solar panels. In addition, the industry is focussed on the maintenance and management of PV systems and the issue of network integration, say the organisers.

Since 2008, 908 nominations from 45 countries have been submitted. A total of 97 products, services and projects have been recognised by the award. In 2017, the Intersolar Award will be given in the categories "photovoltaics" and "outstanding solar projects." For the first time ever, this category will be expanded to include "Smart Renewable Energy."

Trade fair for the new energy world

Intersolar is about more than just PV and storage. Renewable sources of energy make up a significant share of the power supply that will continue to grow. Now, the question is how to fully meet demand in the summer and in the winter. Part of that is coupling the power, heat and mobility sectors." To rise to this new challenge, the mission of Intersolar has changed: "Intersolar will be the trade fair for the new energy world," says Elsässer.

Even in the area of heat, Intersolar holds up a mirror to the industry. After all, just as the transformation of the heating sector plays a subordinate role in the energy transition, this area is also scarcely represented at Intersolar. Nearly 100 companies have registered for this area, says the trade fair boss. "However, there has been increased emphasis on heating with electricity."

The Intersolar Conference on 30 - 31 May is focussed on the topic of utility-scale power plants, financing and intelligent networking. Intersolar/EES wants to develop new issues at the ICM. One of these is digitalisation.

Further Information:
You can find information about new products exhibited at the Intersolar Europe and the ees Europe in our product preview