Why the Real Kickoff Was in 1991

Chapter 1 of the anniversary publication 10 years of ees Europe

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Four chapters on how ees Europe evolved from a small exhibition alongside Intersolar Europe to become Europe’s largest and most international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems. Read in chapter 1 why ees Europe was actually born 33 years ago.

For more than 10 years, we have been committed to advancing the storage of renewable energy. A major milestone was the decision to hold electrical energy storage (ees) as the international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems for the first time in June 2014 as an independent event alongside Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. But long before that, Solar Promotion GmbH as the organizer, together with its partner Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM), laid a stable foundation for the rapid success of ees Europe.

1991, Pforzheim City Hall: where it all began

The question of the future of energy supply was raised in the wake of the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl in 1986. The vision was to forge a renewable energy future that would be safe and environmentally friendly. It gave Markus Elsässer (then a student and now CEO of Solar Promotion GmbH) and some fellow students the idea to organize a local exhibition in Pforzheim in 1991: Solar ‘91. “Even back then, we were motivated by our vision of a safe, solar-powered future and a more environmentally friendly energy supply,” says Markus Elsässer. Just five solar companies came together to showcase their products in 1991.

2000, Messe Freiburg: from Solar to Intersolar

By the end of the last millennium, the event had outgrown Stadthalle Pforzheim (now CongressCentrum Pforzheim). And so the exhibition moved to Freiburg and gave itself an internationalization strategy and Intersolar as its new name. It has since organized the exhibition together with FWTM. Intersolar continued to grow and soon became too big for the exhibition grounds of Freiburg, even though the city built an additional exhibition hall specifically for Intersolar (now called the Sick Arena).

2007, the exhibition outgrows Freiburg

With 642 exhibitors and 31,964 visitors at Intersolar 2007, the venue was bursting at the seams. Temporary halls had to be set up to provide additional space for what was to be the last Intersolar in Freiburg. Freiburg’s infrastructure was struggling to cope with the flood of visitors. The manufacturers, suppliers distributors and service providers from 35 countries presented the latest trends and developments from the areas solar heating & cooling, photovoltaics (PV) and solar building.

Chapter 2: Renewables become a main pillar of our energy system

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