In focus: synergies & growth in the niches of the solar industry.
Magdeburg / Munich. Twelve exhibitors from Saxony-Anhalt's SOLAR VALLEY will be showcased at this year's edition of Intersolar, the world's largest solar industry trade fair to be held in Munich on 19 - 21 June.
This year, the leitmotif of the trade fair presence organised by the Investment and Marketing Corporation of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt (IMG) will be ‘Synergistic Effects and Innovative Capability'. The exhibition serves as a great opportunity for the nation's solar energy companies to develop relationships within the industry that result in synergistic effects, particularly in these difficult times. Like the solar industry itself, Intersolar Europe has come a long way. From its origins as a simple platform for the solar industry, Intersolar has emerged as ‘the energy trade fair'. It is a place where not only the energy revolution is discussed in all of its facets but where topics such as energy storage technologies, smart grids and electric mobility take centre stage as well. ‘This is a great way to support our businesses because in the end, it is the volume of orders coming in and the quality of networks over which a company disposes which are decisive in its ability to innovate and to survive in the long term', explains Dr. Carlhans Uhle, Managing Director of the IMG.
When it comes to research and development, Saxony-Anhalt has proven itself a success despite the on-going difficulties facing the solar industry. At a time when major players such as Bosch or Siemens have withdrawn from solar, Innotech Solar (ITS) – the German-Scandinavian manufacturer of PV modules – has continued to strengthen its competitive position. This year, the company increased its production levels at its locations in Halle (Saale) and Glava, Sweden. ITS's business model is based on the cost advantages it is able to create via the use of innovative production processes. An in-house team of researchers has managed to develop a process which utilises damaged or low production capacity PV cells and refurbishes them into high performance cells. The cells are inspected via thermal imaging and any damaged areas are subsequently isolated using a special laser. The process is so highly-regarded that the company has been included in the 2013 Red Herring Europe Top 100 annual list of the most promising technology entrepreneurs. At this year's edition of Intersolar Europe, Innotech Solar plans to introduce its new and innovative ‘DesignBlack' series of modules.
The company f | glass was also able to put on an impressive display of its competitiveness in the international marketplace recently. The first twenty floors of the new World Trade Center (WTC) in New York are adorned with glass from Saxony-Anhalt. What was the deciding factor in the company's bid being accepted? Only the transparent clear-glass made in Osterweddingen was able produce the effect the builders wanted, namely to make the concrete wall shine as if it was made of metal.
SRU Solar AG will be making its sixth appearance at the joint booth. This year it will introduce not one but two new developments in the field of solar-friendly construction. The company is already serving the industrial sector successfully with its VEGA warehouse systems. New products, such as the VEGA Carport and the VEGA Wooden Warehouse, are now being marketed to end users directly with an aim to further the integration of photovoltaic systems into private households. This development shows that SRU Solar AG finds itself well-positioned, right on the industry's cutting edge.
Together, the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Centre for Silicon Photovoltaics CSP are the absolute leaders in the field of renewable energy when it comes to research and education. In keeping with this reputation, starting with the 2013 winter semester, the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences plans to offer a degree in ‘Electrical Engineering' with a concentration in ‘Electrical and Renewable Power Supplies' to compliment already existing courses of study such as ‘Systems and ‘Renewable Energy Supply for Buildings'. This type of training is essential when considering that efficiency and sustainability are becoming increasingly significant not only in terms of producing and distributing energy, but in terms of the planning, construction and renovation of buildings as well. The Fraunhofer CSP was able to increase the volume of its research some 40 per cent over the 2011 level. A growing number of European solar businesses plan on cooperating with the researchers from Halle as a measure to rein in costs. What is more, companies are deciding to opt for product innovation as a way of distinguishing themselves from the competition.
Twelve exhibitors will share Saxony-Anhalt's joint booth in Hall A5 Booth 240, using it as a platform to present their respective locations, innovative products and fields of expertise along the entire solar value chain.
Co-Exhibitors at the Joint Booth:
*EWG Anhalt-Bitterfeld mbH
*Folienwerk Wolfen GmbH
*f l solar GmbH
*Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences
*Solar Valley Mitteldeutschland e.V.
*SRU Solar AG
*Vetro Solar GmbH
*Wirtschaftsförderung Stadt Halle (Saale)
Both ITS Innotech Solar Group and Hanwha Q Cells GmbH from Saxony-Anhalt's SOLAR VALLEY will be present at the exhibition as main exhibitors.
Background: Renewable Energies in Saxony-Anhalt
Renewable energies already account for nearly 36 per cent of net electricity production in Saxony-Anhalt, while the rate for Germany as a whole is about 16 per cent. When measured in terms of electricity consumption, in the meantime up to 70 per cent of the energy used in the federal state comes from solar, wind and biomass. Saxony-Anhalt is not just the place where the world's most modern wind turbines are operated; it is also where they are manufactured. A whole 67 per cent of renewably produced energy comes from wind power. What is more, Saxony-Anhalt is among the front runners nationally when it comes to production capacity for biodiesel and ethanol fuel.
With the continued expansion of renewable energies, storage capacity will become an increasingly significant issue in the years ahead. The federal state of Saxony-Anhalt lends itself as an ideal platform for pilot schemes and implementation projects. It is a place where the resident researchers based out of the local universities and technical schools as well as out of the Fraunhofer Institute all work together to deepen levels of expertise. Methane gas reservoirs, compressed air reservoirs for electric power supplies and intelligent solutions for municipal power grid management: These all serve as starting points for new research and industrial enterprises.
The SOLAR VALLEY in Saxony-Anhalt, which surrounds the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Anhalt-Bitterfeld district), is the centrepiece of the Central German solar industry with nearly 3,000 employees engaged in business and in research along the entire value creation chain.
About Intersolar Europe:
Intersolar Europe is an exhibition held annually at the Messe München in Munich. It is the world's largest trade fair for representatives of the solar industry and its partners. In 2012, no less than 1,909 International exhibitors and 66,000 trade and professional visitors took part.
The Inter Solar trade fair is focused on the field of photovoltaics, on PV-manufacture, on energy storage and on solar thermal systems. Today, Intersolar is known among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry as the most important platform for the sector. The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference serves to deepen the conversation about the themes touched on during the exhibition and about the topics currently relevant to the industry as well as to highlight the rationale behind developments in technology, in the market and in politics.