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.

7 June 2022
The Renewable Energy Trading Summit is the only event in Europe dedicated to renewable energy trading and will bring together renewable power asset owners, investors, exchanges, intermediaries and large energy buyers to discover the future of power sales. This unique event is designed specifically for the most senior players and will provide an excellent forum for business deals, networking and learning. The energy transition is gathering pace with renewable energy attracting increasing sums of capital each year. Solar and wind deployment is increasing annually and governments are ever-more reliant on the renewables sector to stimulate moribund economies. Retirement of fossil fuel assets continues in the background. However, without subsidies and uncertainty around PPAs, renewable asset owners are heading into the wholesale markets to trade power but are they ready for the volatility in revenue this will entail?
9 June 2022
The proliferation of solar PV and other renewables is a cornerstone of the emerging new power system and, as a result, the solar industry has entered its fastest-growth period. This has become typified by surging demand for high-power PV modules that both produce more power and are more efficient than their predecessors. Providing a significant boost to power outputs, large-format modules have become a popular choice for customers the world over. Outdoor testing of modules is now providing empirical evidence of the benefits large-format modules produce, providing a crucial benchmark and invaluable data for customers to evaluate their module selection and procurement processes. In this PV Tech webinar, experts from TÜV Rheinland, CPVT and Trina Solar will discuss how to ensure science based and precision testing under field conditions, how empirical data is collected and analysed during TÜV Rheinland and CPVT’s outdoor testing, the empirical data behind a 670W module’s ultra-high power, and more.
14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!
15 June 2022
Consumers are turning to residential renewables in significant numbers, driven by a desire to be environmentally conscious and a wave of high power prices. But turning green requires easy-to-use and, above all, safe technologies that meet expectations. Huawei is committed to building efficient, safe, reliable and grid-supporting smart PV plants that also provide smart services to consumers, and its Residential Solution has been tailored to meet consumer demand. This webinar will demonstrate the full suite of technologies offered within the Huawei Residential Solution, including a smart energy controller, smart AC charger, and AI-powered energy storage solution, and detail how it can place power back in the consumer’s hands.
22 June 2022
The 11th edition of the Large Scale Solar Summit is coming to the US after 10 sell-out years in Europe! Designed as a meeting place for deal-making, we will not only discuss the most up to date topics and technologies but will also provide varied networking platforms so that developers, EPCs, manufacturers, asset owners, and investors can connect with possible clients and partners. In a year expected to break records for the solar market, join us in Texas to meet with the top players in the industry and expand your network as business booms.
19 July 2022
As New South Wales is gearing up to become a renewable energy superpower, an exciting clean energy event is coming to Sydney. Energy Next is a free-to-attend industry event focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies, which will be held from 19-20 July 2022 at the ICC Sydney in Darling Harbour. Organised by the same people behind the country’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will bring a quality exhibition and technical session series to NSW. Energy Next will also host the Clean Energy Council’s Solar Masterclass with a program developed for solar designers and installers. Across two days, Energy Next will provide an extensive exhibition, workshops and networking opportunities for those working in the renewable energy industry to meet with leading suppliers, discover the latest technologies and gain an understanding of how to successfully launch new clean energy projects.

Read Next

May 27, 2022
Solar O&M solutions provider Ecoppia is navigating ongoing component shortages while expending its operations into new geographies and ramping up production of its latest PV panel cleaning robot.
May 27, 2022
The CEO of US solar and energy storage developer Borrego has said the company’s project development business will be less capital constrained under the new ownership of investment firm ECP, following a deal announced earlier this week to spin off and sell the unit.
May 26, 2022
US solar and energy storage developer Borrego will spin off and sell its development business, including its more than 8.4GW PV project pipeline, to investment firm ECP.
May 26, 2022
Danish developer Better Energy has partnered with Finish solar company Forus to develop more than 1GW of solar PV in Finland.
May 26, 2022
Leading solar manufacturers have implored governments to implement tax credits and other financial incentives to stimulate domestic PV manufacturing.
May 26, 2022
Spanish utility Iberdrola will invest €3 billion (US$3.2 billion) in green hydrogen, the company’s chairman, Ignacio Galán, has announced as he called for a stable European framework to boost investment in the technology.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 7, 2022
Leonardo Royal London City, London, UK
Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
June 22, 2022
Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, Austin, Texas