INTERSOLAR EUROPE 2015: INTELLIGENT CONCEPTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SUPPLY

The sun sets on the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners in Munich

Munich, June 12, 2015 - Intersolar Europe draws to a close after three successful exhibition days. In addition to solar electricity generation, the leading international exhibition shined the spotlight on grid integration, intelligent energy management and renewable energy storage in particular. News of increased investments in solar energy and the enormous expansion of photovoltaics (PV) worldwide created a positive atmosphere among exhibitors and visitors. Exhibitors in the area of renewable heating also appeared optimistic about developments in the German heating market, which has just received fresh impetus from the amended market incentive program run by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This year's exhibition played host to more than 1,000 exhibitors from 42 countries and drew in over 38,000 visitors from all corners of the globe. More than 1,500 international attendees flocked to the Intersolar Europe Conference and its side events from June 9-12. Intersolar Europe was rounded off with a visit from Sigmar Gabriel, the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, who praised the industry for its innovative strength and intelligent, pioneering solutions to current challenges, such as energy storage and grid integration.


From June 10-12, over 38,000 visitors flocked to Messe München to visit Intersolar Europe and ees Europe, the continent's largest exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems, which took place at the same time. Covering seven halls across an exhibition space of 72,000 square meters, this year's range of exhibits attracted visitors from over 140 countries and exhibitors from 42 countries. Around 50% of visitors came from outside of Germany, marking yet another increase in the exhibition's international diversity. The majority of exhibitors at Intersolar Europe in Munich came from Germany, China, Austria, France and Italy. Numerous delegations from countries like Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey, as well as shared booths from China, France, South Korea, Taiwan and many other regions, also underlined the international nature of the exhibition.

Energy is becoming smart

For years, the world of photovoltaics orbited around electricity generation itself. Nowadays, however, the focus is on integrating photovoltaics into the power grids of the future as well as intelligent management solutions for solar power. As such, efficient energy and battery storage systems are also gaining in importance, as they not only balance out peaks in demand and increase the availability of solar energy, but also play a key role in grid integration. The increasing relevance of storage technology was also highlighted at Intersolar Europe and ees Europe, which took place at the same time - the total number of exhibitors in these areas rose from around 250 last year to 330 this year. Price reductions are also driving forward the market. Solar domestic storage systems with capacities of up to ten kilowatt hours (kWh) are now 26% less expensive than they were last year, according to the current price index of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) and Intersolar Europe, which was presented at the exhibition on June 10. In addition to electricity storage systems, heat storage tanks are also playing an increasingly important role in complex connected supply systems.

It is no coincidence that the industry is shifting its focus towards intelligent systems, grid integration and energy storage. The PV industry is experiencing enormous rates of growth worldwide. According to industry association SolarPower Europe (formerly EPIA), 40 gigawatts (GW) of new PV capacity were added worldwide last year to reach a total global capacity of 177 GW. This is hardly surprising if we consider that, in two years' time, generating electricity with PV is expected to be cheaper than power supplied by utilities in 80% of countries worldwide. In Germany, low costs have made on-site consumption an attractive method for residential homes and industry alike for some time now. Significant growth in solar power is making it all the more important to ask ourselves how these quantities of renewable, decentralized and fluctuating energy can be integrated into the currently centralized power supply system. Exhibitors presented a range of innovative solutions in this area, including storage technologies, new energy management solutions, intelligent electricity meters and systems technology that combines and controls the different generators and consumers of heat and electricity in private households as well as commerce and industry. Numerous companies from the "classic" energy industry also exhibited their concepts at the exhibition.

Photovoltaics on a large scale

Power supplies are becoming intelligent - and not just in smart homes. Modern energy management systems connect small and large generators to create virtual power plants, which combine the outputs of individual installations and sell the collective yields. Battery and energy storage devices are also being increasingly connected in this way to maximize their potential as "swarm storage systems". These and many other new concepts have given rise to a range of business models that are drawing in higher numbers of international investors and companies again. As shown at the exhibition - for example by the new collaborative project between SMA Solar and Siemens, who intend to realize large solar parks together in future - large-scale PV plants are also driving forward the market.

Prominent end to Intersolar Europe 2015

German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, visited Intersolar Europe on the last exhibition day. He spoke to visitors at the exhibition's Innovation Exchange, emphasizing his commitment to the energy transition in Germany: "The energy transition is one of the most important projects for the future. We have already achieved a lot, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to work together to achieve our goals and overcome any challenges. I am truly impressed with the innovative strength of the companies here and their commitment to developing pioneering products and solutions that will drive forward transition in the world's energy systems. The exhibition showcases world-class technologies that go far beyond mere energy generation - in a sector that is as diverse as the energy industry itself. Here at Intersolar Europe, the heart of the solar industry, large corporations and innovative start-ups are joined by Germany's new SMEs." Mr. Gabriel ended his visit with a tour of the exhibition.

Intersolar Europe 2016 takes place from June 22-24, 2016 at Messe München. Further information on Intersolar Europe can be found at www.intersolar.de/en

About Intersolar
With events spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world's leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply.

Intersolar Europe is the world's leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. It takes place annually at the Messe München exhibition center in Munich, Germany.

The event's exhibition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and renewable heating. Since being founded, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners in the global solar industry.

With over 20 years of experience, Intersolar has the unique ability to bring together members of the solar industry from across the world's most influential markets. Intersolar exhibitions and conferences are held in Munich, San Francisco, Mumbai, Beijing and São Paulo. These global events are complemented by the Intersolar Summits, which take place in emerging and growing markets worldwide.

In 2015, ees Europe, the international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems took place for the second time in conjunction with Intersolar Europe. ees Europe is covering the entire value chain of innovative battery and energy storage technologies.
For more information on Intersolar Europe, please visit: www.intersolar.de/en

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