Intersolar the first day – From tears to jubilation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The 4th annual PV Industry Forum, forms the opening salvo of this years Intersolar conference and exhibition in Munich. Bringing together the great and the good of the PV industry, it gives the B2B big wigs a chance to mingle and “learn” before the main event starts on Thursday with the Intersolar Trade Fair.

Starting at the very civilised time of 12:15pm, the forum began with a somewhat too detailed roundup of the current political environment for PV markets globally. Touted as a view of the top 10 global PV markets, Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, CEO of BSW Solar, the German trade association and lobbying body, used his 40minutes to repeat often seen slides about the well publicised rise of the German solar industry, and his organisations large part in the industries success.

Little effort was made to interest the audience and the forum was running the risk of becoming parochially German before it really got underway, this was a big concern for the organisers who are trying to position Intersolar as ‘the world event’ for PV. What followed in the next two hours was a marathon effort to disseminate readily available public information imparted in lacklustre ways.

Anyone with an internet connection can find out what the official FiT’s (Feed in Tariff’s) are in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The presentation on the USA solar market was completely dominated by the ITC (investment tax credits) and when a cohesive question was put forward, “What are the differences between the two American presidential candidates in their stance on the ITCs and solar?” the speaker declined to share her views, frustratingly leaving the audience hanging.

The highlight of the first session came when, Paolo Rocco Visconti, from GIFI, the Italian PV trade body responded to a very real concern from the audience on the ENEL (the Italian energy giant) reluctance to connect already built PV power generation facilities in Italy. The questioner highlighted the Phoenix Solar installation that took six months after completion to be connected to the grid. Visconti responded, “It was that quick?” After the laughter died down, he seriously pointed out that ENEL really, “didn’t care” and that unless the government put in some hefty financial penalties that this situation was unlikely to change!

Frank Haugwitz, consultant with Integration, did a good presentation on the key Asian markets of China, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia. Rather then highlighting important PV markets the sum of these presentations served to marginalize the current role of PV by repeatedly stating that the only thing keeping the industry afloat is subsidies.

At we are trying to promote the accurate dissemination of technical manufacturing information so that the industry can thrive as soon as possible without government subsidies. Little attention was paid to this during the first part of the forum.
Nervous sounding analysts asked question after question about governmental moods legislating on solar, to be met with what now appears to be the standard response that ‘right now things are good but tomorrow – when the next election comes – who can say?

The final sessions of the day focussed on promising technologies that could survive the vagaries of political backing on their own merits. Dr Rutger Schlatman, CEO, of PV Kompetenz in Berlin, gave a very good technical presentation on the various thin film technologies. To my delight, detailed process and machinery information was presented. This included a step-by-step process guide to the deposition of CIGS, which created a welcome counterpoint to the overview of the first half of the day.

The good information kept on coming with CEO of Inspira, Ignacio Luque-Heredia, giving an excellent round up on the tracking systems required for large-scale ground mounted systems and CPV/CSP power plants.
Finally we were treated to a detailed look at an area that I sadly lack knowledge in, concentrated PV technologies. Dr Bett from ISE gave good financial reasons as to why CPV could be the choice utility power generation technology now and in the future.

Intersolar appears to be building momentum and I did get the feeling that the first half of the forum was designed to get the whole issue of subsides and governmental market conditions out of the way. At least I hope that we can now focus on the big issue of making PV manufacturable on a large scale and meet grid parity goals.

It must be said that the organisers have done a fantastic job of attracting people from all over the world with representatives from, Sharp, Suntech, Motech, China Sun Energy, LDK and Trina Solar alongside the ubiquitous European and US companies.

If the trend continues for participation over the next four days than Intersolar will rightfully claim the title as the truly global PV event.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.
July 29, 2021
Unigreen Energy, owned by Hevel majority shareholder Ream Management LLC, has broken ground on a wafer and cell manufacturing plant that will produce 1.3GW of silicon n-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers as well as 1GW of heterojunction technology (HJT) solar cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021