According to the current estimate of the German Energy Storage Association, the energy storage industry will grow by around 11 per cent in 2018 and will generate a turnover of approximately EUR 5.1 billion.

Medium-sized companies are the main driving force behind this increase. The development of Energy Storage Europe reflects this industry trend: With a total of 170 exhibitors and about 4.500 visitors, also this year’s energy storage trade fair and the two conferences ESE and IRES continued the positive development of the past years.

“No other trade fair in the world covers the entire spectrum of energy storage solutions. Every year, new players enter the still young market with innovative solutions – often with new technological approaches to energy storage”, says Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf.

“Energy Storage Europe 2018 once again demonstrated the solid growth of the industry across all storage technologies and various applications. ESE is the decisive international business platform for energy storage systems and its success confirms the growing industry figures predicted by BVES”, says Urban Windelen, Executive Director BVES.

Trade fair is becoming increasingly international

Internationalisation as a further industry trend is also apparent in the visitor structure of Energy Storage Europe and IRES: This year, the organisers welcomed delegations from Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and other Central American countries as well as from Greece, Norway, Poland, Portugal. All in all, participants from 61 countries attended the conferences as well as the trade fair.

Energy Storage Europe and IRES strengthen research and development

At this year’s Energy Storage Europe Conference and the 12th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference, the discussion revolved around the considerable influence of regulatory frameworks on the development and introduction of storage technologies.

Prof. Peter Droege, President of EUROSOLAR e. V., emphasised: “The decentralised energy turnaround is more urgently needed than ever. To this end, the introduction of a new energy market regulation with renewable energies and storage systems at its core is a key step. For this reason, we call on Brussels and the new government in Berlin to finally make the widespread market introduction of storage applications possible.”

“The research environment and economic strength of North Rhine-Westphalia form the ideal growth medium for a technology trade fair such as Energy Storage Europe. Here it is evident how scientific expertise and entrepreneurial commitment can jointly advance the energy industry”, commented Dr. Frank-Michael Baumann, Managing Director of EnergieAgentur.NRW, commenting on the mixture of science and business traditionally found in Düsseldorf.

Focus on sector coupling and system-useful stores

Further important topics at the conferences were flexible sector coupling and system-useful storage solutions that stabilise networks, for example. The IRES conference also focused on thermal energy storage and specific applications.

First study on the energy storage market published

According to BVES’ current market estimate, the capacity of large-scale battery storage facilities for grid stabilisation installed in Germany alone will increase by more than 80 percent in 2018. Detailed figures on the sector’s development can be found in the BVES study published last Tuesday.

The global solar market is booming. Market researchers predict photovoltaics deployment of roughly 110 gigawatts in 2018, and competitive PV production is fueling this momentum.

Innovative and cost-effective production technologies, a rapid rate of progress, and quality and reliability today guarantee highly efficient PV modules and systems at ever lower costs. That is why, in 2018, Intersolar Europe is once again making PV production technologies one of its central themes.

And the parallel event automatica, the leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics, will also focus on this topic. From June 20-22, Munich will thus become the essential innovation showcase for the industry.

The trend is clear – there is a massive reduction in power generation costs for renewable energies. The International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that by 2020, the price of generating power at large-scale solar power stations could drop to roughly three US cents per kWh in many regions around the world. Solar energy is thus increasingly in direct competition with fossil fuels. Key players in this arena are companies driving the expansion of cost-effective mass production with new technologies and efficient manufacturing processes, thus making solar energy even more attractive.

Increasing demand for highly efficient cells

PV manufacturers in Asia are taking the lead with investments in modern production plants and are in need of high-grade equipment. A current example is the Chinese PV company Risen Energy, which began production of solar cells and modules in Changzhou in early 2018. Five GW are expected to roll off the new factory’s assembly line each year. According to the industry association German Engineering Federation, German PV suppliers are also profiting from the Asian production boom.

In recent times East Asia has accounted for a large portion of their export quota, amounting to 87 percent, and German-engineered PV production equipment continues to be in demand. Order volumes have increased in particular for PERC and black silicon systems with crystalline silicon as well as thin-film technology, reflecting the rising demand for highly efficient cells.

Thin-film modules and in particular CIGS cells are increasingly also being used as façade elements. For building-integrated photovoltaics, the boom lies ahead – beginning in 2020, all new non-residential buildings in the EU must be “nearly zero-energy buildings,” likely leading to increased use of thin-film solar cells on façades.

Attractive accompanying program for the PV supply industry

The dynamic development of PV production technologies is one of the current special focuses of the solar industry. In keeping with this, Intersolar Europe will be addressing the subject in close partnership with the VDMA, during the Intersolar Europe Conference and the accompanying program as well as the exhibition itself. For instance, a tailored workshop on June 21, 2018 will offer an in-depth insight into current developments and issues.

The event examines the significant challenges facing PV equipment manufacturers in light of global competition. Dr. Jutta Trube, Managing Director of VDMA Photovoltaic Equipment and leader of the workshop, will explain developments using the latest figures from the “International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics,” which is published regularly by the industry association. The roadmap is recognized by the industry as a PV guide for manufacturers and suppliers.

“Prices for crystalline silicon continue to fall and the efficiency of solar cells is improving – things will change in the coming years for wafer and module manufacturers and also for suppliers. We want to explore this and offer an outlook for the next ten years,” says Jutta Trube.

Intersolar Europe Conference spotlights the future of PV production technologies
The accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference also focuses on the innovations in the area of PV production technologies. The session “PV Manufacturing: Cell & Module Technology Advancements,” on Wednesday June 20, 2018 at 9:00am, will discuss production technologies for the manufacture of efficient cells and modules.

The session “PV Manufacturing: R&D – What’s in the Lab”, on June 20, 2018 at 11:00am, offers a chance to think outside the box by exploring promising production technologies for the future. In the presentation series “Manufacturing PV in Europe: A Quest for Innovation and Quality,” the speakers will discuss how the European PV production market can come to counterbalance Asia’s leading position in the field of manufacturing technology. The session is organized by the European research organizations ETIP PV and EUREC and the manufacturers’ association Solarunited.

Intersolar Europe and automatica: Creating synergies through a unique combination

In 2018, Intersolar Europe is particularly appealing for the industry. As the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, it takes a close look at the developments and innovations in the large-scale production of ingots, wafers, cells and modules, and much more.

This year the event automatica will take place at the same time, creating another production industry hot spot and providing comprehensive information about the future of automated production. Uniting Intersolar Europe with this leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics creates an intersection between two worlds, and pools the know-how of two future-oriented industries.

While millions suffer from daily brownouts, the town of Paluan is now completely brownout-free.

Solar Philippines has completed the largest Solar-Battery Micro-Grid in Southeast Asia. With 2 MW of solar panels, 2 MWh of batteries, and 2 MW of diesel backup, it is designed to supply reliable power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 50% less than the full cost of the local electric coop. The project uses panels from the Solar Philippines Factory, and is also the first micro-grid in Asia to feature Powerpacks from Tesla, a leading manufacturer of batteries and electric vehicles.

Read more: Solar Philippines ends brownouts in Mindoro town...

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