Solar Energy Becomes One of the Major Pillars of Global Energy Supply, Which Makes Energy Storage the Next Logical Step

Chapter 2 of the anniversary publication 10 years of ees Europe

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. Chapter 2 highlights the close connection between the expansion of renewable energies and the development of the storage market.

2008: from Freiburg to Munich and around the world

For a long time, Germany is clearly the leader in terms of installed PV capacity, and is the largest global market. In response to the EEG 2000 and high feed-in tariff, the installed capacity is increased dramatically. The feed-in tariff for electricity from new PV systems is 50.6 cents/kWh in 2001. Growth is dynamic: at 34.08 GW, PV has the largest power plant capacity among renewable energy sources in 2012, and in 2013 the capacity is 36.71 GW, exceeding even wind power. This is reflected in the rapid growth of Intersolar: In 2011, the exhibition occupies 15 of the 16 exhibition halls available in Munich at the time, as well as part of the outdoor exhibition area. With 2.200 exhibitors, Intersolar in Munich is larger than ever before. As the organizers are setting up other events around the world, they change the name of the exhibition in Munich to Intersolar Europe. In 2011 – and even before then – some exhibitors indicate their interest in the product category of PV chargers/batteries, among them Hoppecke, Outback Power Systems, Rolls Battery and Trojan Battery. Predominantly, lead-acid batteries for off-grid applications are presented.

2011: special exhibit PV Energy World showcases energy storage systems

From the very beginning, Solar Promotion GmbH has worked with associations, research institutes and other partners to make the vision of a renewable energy supply a reality. This is because the organizers have always seen their exhibitions and conferences as innovation platforms, drivers and catalysts for the entire industry. It is with one of these long-standing partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, that the large special exhibit PV Energy World is created in 2011 as part of Intersolar Europe. It is already clear at the time that renewable energies are on their way to becoming fundamental pillars of the energy supply. To make this possible, energy storage is essential for balancing out fluctuating generation.

PV Energy World examines the role of storage in the energy system of the future from several angles: optimized self-consumption of solar power through the combination with storage, electromobility, technological diversity of storage, and intelligently controlled virtual power plants. At a time when many believe there would be no market for storage technologies for some time, experts present these topics in a way that is both scientific and accessible.

2012: new product category PV energy storage systems

The organizers of Intersolar Europe replace the product category of PV chargers/batteries with the category of PV energy storage / PV energy storage systems. A change in the market has become noticeable: An increasing number of companies are offering solutions for energy storage systems. And some of them are already serving a new market: home and commercial applications. At the same time, many are shifting to lithium-based batteries. Pioneers include ads-tec, inverter companies such as SMA, ABB or Fronius, LG Chem, Prosol Invest Deutschland GmbH (now sonnen), which launches the Sonnenbatterie brand that year, Solarwatt AG, or Varta.

Chapter 3: More Exposure for the Storage Industry – A Dedicated Exhibition for Energy Storage is Conveiced

Chapter 1: Why the Real Kickoff Was in 1991

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