With 1,354 exhibitors, 100,000 square meters of exhibition space and around 50,000 visitors from 162 countries, Intersolar Europe – the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry – is celebrating another successful year along with its three accompanying energy exhibitions. From PV production technologies to hybrid inverters to subsidy-free business models, the topics explored at the 2019 event were highly diverse and well received by the crowds of visitors.
Attendees also had the chance to learn more about current trends, innovative business models and international markets at the Intersolar Europe Conference. Intersolar Europe is part of The smarter E Europe, the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry, which covered a total of ten exhibition halls in 2019 – two more than at the event’s debut last year.
Sunny days are on the horizon for Europe as the solar market booms. Last year saw deployment of 11.2 more gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic power (PV) on the continent, which represents impressive growth of 21 percent over the previous year. This information comes from the latest edition of the Global Market Outlook, presented by SolarPower Europe at this year’s Intersolar Europe Conference. The outlook is just as promising for 2019. The industry association expects to see 20.4 GW of newly installed capacity this year, an increase of more than 80 percent. The most influential European solar markets in 2019 are Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France and – for the first time – Ukraine.
Looking forward to 2020, SolarPower Europe expects the Europe-wide solar market to grow by 18 percent with new PV installations adding 24.1 GW of capacity. This would surpass the current record deployment seen in 2011, when newly installed PV capacity in Europe totaled 22.5 GW. And solar power isn’t just on the rise in Europe, but worldwide. On a global scale, the association forecasts new PV capacity of around 128 GW in 2019, which would represent growth of 25 percent.
Against the backdrop of the globally booming solar market, Intersolar Europe has once again established itself as the industry’s most important event. “Great things are happening on the market, and that dynamism is reflected at the exhibition. Our members are reporting solid new deals, a great deal of confidence, and full order books. The message from Munich is unmistakable – the solar and storage industry are prepared for much more rapid expansion and ever-smarter solutions in the electricity, mobility and heating sectors for power plants of all sizes around the world,” says Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar).
Multiple factors driving the PV boom – from falling costs to nonsubsidized business models
The driving forces behind this boom are many: the continuously falling cost of generating solar power, cheaper energy storage, the growing competitiveness of PV in comparison to conventional energy sources, and the importance of new subsidy-free business models for financing solar farms based on power purchase agreements (PPAs). Spain is a hotspot for PPAs in Europe. At the start of 2019, the world’s largest PPA for a solar project portfolio – at 708 MW – was signed in Spain and Portugal. BayWa r.e. sent another clear signal of growth by signing a PPA for a 175 MW solar park in Andalusia. “Our goal is to play an active role in creating a carbon-free future based on renewable energies. From small plants to large-scale solar power stations, our solar energy division offers high-quality, affordable solutions to contribute to the global energy transition. We attended Intersolar Europe once again this year because it’s where the major players in the solar industry come together, and because only when our efforts are combined can we achieve a clean energy future,” says Matthias Taft, Board Member responsible for Energy at BayWa AG.
Intersolar Europe Conference and Intersolar AWARD
The Intersolar Europe Conference focused on global markets, technologies and financing for PV projects once again in 2019. In addition to the market trends in Europe, experts shined a light on markets in Africa and in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Other sessions explored the interaction of PV and storage systems – the latest hot topic in the industry. Attendees gained valuable information about new applications including solar installations in façades, on agricultural land and on water (floating PV). The participants also learned more about the opportunities afforded by digitalization for the operational control of PV installations – knowledge which is sure to give them an edge over the competition.
Each year, the first day of the exhibition is rounded off in style with the presentation of the coveted Intersolar AWARD, a long-standing highlight of the event. This year’s panel of judges chose to honor Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Raycatch Ltd. and Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co., Ltd. for their trailblazing solutions, products and projects. The ees AWARD and The smarter E AWARD were also presented alongside the Intersolar AWARD. The winners and finalists of all three AWARDs serve as the beacons of a new energy world. The international media response is no less than they deserve.
2019 facts and figures
With 1,354 exhibitors (+15 percent) and around 50,000 visitors (+8 percent) across an exhibition space of 100,000 square meters (+16 percent), The smarter E Europe and the individual exhibitions were met with an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors and exhibitors alike. This success rests on the powerful dynamic of progress and vision created by recent developments in renewable energies, in energy storage and in the digital interconnection of previously independent sectors. “In an ideal world, I’d like to see 100 percent renewable energy in Germany, across Europe and around the world. We believe that by 2050 – in a mere 30 years – we can make this a global reality. Germany in particular has done a lot over the last 20 years to help make this happen,” says Oliver Beckel, Director of Public Affairs at Hanwha Q CELLS. “Intersolar Europe shares the same goal, and for us it’s one of the most important exhibitions worldwide. It’s where we meet our clients, competitors, partners and suppliers.” Intersolar Europe was accompanied by ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power as part of The smarter E Europe, the innovation hub for new energy solutions.