Intersolar Europe 2022 live blog – day three

By PV Tech



Welcome back to PV Tech’s live coverage of the third and final day of Intersolar Europe 2022. This story will be updated throughout the day, so be sure to refresh for the latest news, product launches and insight from the exhibition. Our coverage of day one can be found here, while day two’s live blog is here.

16:52 – PRODUCT LAUNCH – IBC Solar unveils new TOPCon module

IBC’s Solar’s latest module on display.

Solar solutions provider IBC Solar has presented its latest module for rooftop applications, the MonoSol MS-HC-N, available with an output of 415W or 420W.

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The monocrystalline cells in M10 wafer format are based on TOPCon technology, providing a module efficiency of 21.51%.

Thomas Bartsch, head of product management at IBC Solar, said TOPCon modules “will more or less disrupt” other technologies “because you only have two add two additional steps to your manufacturing and you can increase the energy density of the module”.

He added: “The new module technology brings a new warranty concept with it because it’s more robust.” The module has a performance warranty of 30 years and product warranty of 15 years.

16:36 – UPDATE – Event winding down but overwhelming sense of optimism and success

Things are winding down now at this year’s event with stands being disassembled but everyone PV Tech has spoken with on day three of the event has been upbeat and optimistic about solar in Europe and further afield, as they have all event.

Conversations with developers have mainly focused on module availability and supply chain issues, which are obviously causing frustration across the industry, but delegates were buoyed by strong underlying demand for solar which they said would drive the industry to new heights in the coming years.

Similarly, manufacturers of solar components and modules are witnessing unprecedented demand for their products as companies scramble to access panels amid supply shortage but capacity expansions are underway to cater for the demand.

Meanwhile, invert suppliers have seen increasing demand for their products, especially in the residential and C&I sectors as individuals and companies pursue greater energy independence amid Europe’s ongoing energy crisis.

All in all, its been a very successful event in Munich with optimism high and business booming. While there are clearly issues to be addressed in the industry, nobody is planning to get out of the solar game anytime soon. And why would they?   

16:00 – NEWS – Exhibitor success evident

15:41 – NEWS – International cooperation needed to speed up solar deployment, trade bodies say

A group of 18 solar industry associations have called for “robust and fast policies” along with increased international cooperation to accelerate PV deployment. With representatives meeting in Munich, the associations are pushing for an additional 1.8TW of solar to be installed by 2026. “We stand ready to put our shoulders to the wheel to massively increase the worldwide solar deployment,” their joint statement reads. Click here for more information.

15:20 – INSIGHT – CEA seeing increased demand for traceability services amid increased supply chain scrutiny

Supply traceability firm Clean Energy Associates (CEA) is experiencing strong demand for its traceability services given the increased need for supply chain transparency and developers’ own ESG commitments, its senior director of technology and quality, George Touloupas, told PV Tech.

The bespoke service, which costs “tens of thousands of dollars”, covers all components of a module and is updated twice a year. A risk assessment is provided for a company’s supply chain that identifies problem areas that pose a potential risk. The risk assessment comes in a numerical value and with a “high degree of confidence”, Touloupas said.

Where there is less data available, the risk increases. Similarly, a vertically integrated company with clear protocols and data is more likely to receive a favourable score than a company that sources its components from a number of suppliers.

CEA is also working on a carbon footprint tracker for solar products following requests from clients and is also creating a benchmarking system so companies can set themselves against global averages.

Supply chain traceability has been particularly important in the US following the country’s Withhold Release Order (WRO) on all products from Hoshine Silicon Industry and its subsidiaries.

Issues around the WRO have now been superseded by the US Department of Commerce’s decision to investigate whether solar cells and modules assembled in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are circumventing US anti-dumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) orders on cells and modules from China.

14:47 – PRODUCT LAUNCH – SolarEdge launches 330kW utility scale inverter

SolarEdge has launched a utility inverter at the event, which its chief marketing office (CMO) Yogev Barak said was a logical next step for the company.

In an expansive interview with PV Tech (more to follow soon), Barak said the Israel headquartered company was moving into the utility-scale space after strong growth in its commercial and industrial (C&I) business, which has already serviced “utility sized” projects.  

The 330kW inverter reduces balance of systems (BOS) costs and has a shorter installation time than its competitors, Barak said, adding that it can handle much longer strings and is also applicable to a range of different utility scale environments, optimising the plant’s performance. It is available in the US this year and will be making its way to Europe in 2023.

More detail on this, as well as SolarEdge’s residential and C&I sectors, will be on the PV Tech site soon.

SolarEdge’s new utility scale inverter was launched at this year’s event.

14:00 – NEWS – 300GW+ of solar PV by 2028, EC set to confirm

Some news from the fringes of the show, as PV Tech has seen a leaked draft of the REPowerEU plan – set for publication next week – which reveals the European Commission is set put in place a deployment target of at least 300GW for solar PV by 2028 – more than double its current installed capacity. All the details within the draft are available here.

Alongside the vast range of modules on show, operations and maintenance technology abounds, with suppliers of panel cleaning tools and drones among those exhibiting.

12:37 – INSIGHT – Permitting consistently coming up as a major roadblock to greater PV development

Issues around the speed of permitting approvals are holding back Europe’s solar industry, multiple large-scale developers have told PV Tech.

If your business is growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of permitting applications in Europe, you’re not alone. Multiple largescale developers at Intersolar 2022 have told PV Tech that it is an area that demands urgent attention if Europe is to get anywhere close to its 2030 climate targets.

They also welcomed recent leaked proposals from the EU that showed the bloc is seeking to establish “go-to areas” for renewable deployment, in which permitting applications would be capped at one year, compared with the 2 year timeframe currently in operation.

Under the scheme an environmental impact assessment (EIA) would be carried out for the area as a whole, meaning individual projects wouldn’t need to conduct their own. However, not only did developers say more action was needed on permitting – the two year system will still apply to all areas outside the designated zones – but many were warry about the potential lack of environmental oversight and the impact on solar’s public image.

12:05 – INSIGHT – Enphase touts sustainability benefits of new European plant

Microinverter supplier Enphase Energy is setting up a new manufacturing base in Romania to reduce shipping distances while being closer to its customer base in Europe. The company announced a partnership last month with manufacturer Flex, which will produce IQ8 microinverters from the facility in Romania as of Q1 next year.

The new plant adds to existing Enphase production sites in China, India and Mexico, according to Peter Halmans, Enphase’s European marketing director. “From an environmental point of view, we want to reduce the air and the boat transfers across the world,” he said, adding that the company is targeting growth in the “must-win” market of Germany.

Having entered the EV charging sector with the acquisition last year of US charging station manufacturer ClipperCreek, Enphase is now working on introducing an EV charger in Europe next year, Halmans said.

Enphase’s IQ 7+ microinverter.

10:43 – INSIGHT – Consumers now significantly more au fait with home clean energy

On the subject of EV charging (see below), this year’s show is evidence of the significant shift towards EV charging as part of a solar installer’s suite of products. EV charging products – and vehicles too – are everywhere and this, Maxeon Solar Technologies chief Jeff Waters told PV Tech, points to how buying an EV acts as a trigger for consumers to become much more in tune with their energy consumption. Suddenly, as Waters said, consumers are increasing their consumption significantly and with energy bills high and rising further, it opens their eyes to power of solar in terms of bringing that cost down. This, in turn, leads consumers down the direction of full-suite energy systems.

Another example of an EV charger on the show floor at Intersolar Europe 2022

Growatt is one of a number of manufacturers exhibiting more holistic clean energy offerings this year, combining its range of battery-ready solutions, C&I inverters and smart EV chargers. The EV charger, dubbed Thor, is available in single-phase 3 – 7kW and three-phase 11 – 22kW versions and can be integrated with solar-storage solutions to optimize clean energy use in the home.

09:46 – PRODUCT NEWS – “Have Sun!” says IBC Solar amidst rebrand and new strategy

Solar solutions provider IBC Solar has used Intersolar Europe 2022 to unveil its new brand identity, launched to coincide with a new business segment strategy with three core division; home, industry and commerce and solar parks. COO Stefan Horstmann said the company’s processes had all been streamlined and optimised to help realise that new strategy. IBC’s new moto of ‘Have Sun!’ intends to establish the company as a “reliable partner for the carefree use of solar energy”, it said.

09:24 – ANALYSIS – European module prices to stay elevated into 2023

Discussion around module pricing has, of course, been near constant at this year’s exhibition with developers and EPCs really starting to feel the pinch. Polysilicon prices in China edged up yet again this week to an average price of ~RMB255/kg (US$37.60/kg, incl. China’s 20% sales tax) and the consensus building from stakeholders PV Tech has spoken to this week is that any chance of module prices to fall this year is quickly evaporating.

Manufacturers are unquestionably feeling the pain of higher prices upstream that are being handed down to customers. One manufacturer in particular said it had to increase its prices just to survive. Prices are now unlikely to shift downwards at all until Q1 or Q2 next year, leaving the downstream sector crunching the numbers to see to what extent elevated wholesale power prices on the continent can offset that increase.

09:00 – Ready for day three!

Welcome back to Messe München for the third and final day of Intersolar Europe 2022! There’ll be some weary legs and tired eyes after two days of exploring the exhibition’s 12 halls, but PV Tech’s editorial team remains on hand to keep you updated as this year’s show draws to a close. Our team of reporters are roaming the show floor today, but you can also head to our stand at A4.555 to pick the team’s brains after what’s been a thriving exhibition.

12 March 2024
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.

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