All signs point to growth, both in the renewable energy industry as a whole and at the innovation hub The smarter E Europe. With 1,352 exhibitors, an increased exhibition area of 100,000 square meters and 50,000 expected visitors, the platform is enjoying great success for the second year running. Above all else, it addresses the increasing interconnection of the generation, storage, intelligent distribution and use of renewable energy in the name of sector coupling. It also presents many solutions and products related to decentralization and digitalization, production and use of batteries and energy storage devices, the solar industry and supplying electric vehicles with renewable energy. Stakeholders in the new energy world are meeting up at The smarter E Europe to learn about the latest developments and technologies. Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry is celebrating its opening together with the exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power, which are all taking place from May 15–17 at Messe München.
The transition to an advanced and clean energy industry is a driving force for innovation – more and more companies are introducing groundbreaking solutions and products for the new energy world to the market. The relevance of renewable energies has long surpassed that of fossil fuels. Even investors are looking in a new direction, investing more now in decarbonized technologies than in traditional ones, with investments totaling 332 billion USD worldwide in 2018 according to analytics from Bloomberg NEF.
The power generated from renewables is not only used to supply industrial, commercial and residential buildings, but also to charge electric vehicles. There are currently around six million vehicles running purely on electricity worldwide. And according to an estimate by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this number will increase to as much as 50 million by 2030. Large groups are also expressing increased interest in carbon-neutral production. VW, for instance, wants to become an entirely carbon-neutral business. This refers not just to the development of electric cars, but also to structural changes in production and management.
Power plants and energy storage systems – renewable energies are driving growth worldwide
From virtual power plants to non-subsidized large-scale PV power plants (as already found in Spain and soon to arrive in Germany) to wind farms, more and more power plants are being built on renewable energies. And they are increasingly being coupled with large energy storage installations. This resulted in 75 percent growth in the European market for energy storage systems in 2018. The potential offered by these storage systems is particularly clear when they are used in conjunction with PV because solar power is only becoming more affordable, thanks to the continuously falling prices of PV and energy storage systems. “Solar power has become less expensive than power generated by new gas, coal and wind power plants,” says Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar). These savings create more scope for investing in supplementary storage solutions. The combination of PV and storage systems provides important services for supply security and grid stability for the energy world of the future.
Production, consumption and marketing in their own backyards – prosumers are the new normal
The combination of solar energy and electric vehicles enables new, pioneering use concepts for private households and companies alike. A PV system with a capacity of 3.25 kilowatts peak can provide enough power annually to operate an electric car for around 18,000 kilometers emission free. The energy supply system is undergoing a rapid transformation towards renewable and decentralized energy plants. These plants generate electricity right where it will be used – be it in industrial enterprises, municipal facilities, residential buildings or entire neighborhoods. In the new energy world, consumers also play the role of energy producers and marketers, making them into prosumers. Direct marketing of self-generated solar power via new digital platforms will gain critical importance in the future. Digital solutions are paving the way for the local exchange of energy from renewable and decentralized sources. They are therefore an obvious choice for concluding power purchase agreements and tenant power agreements as well as for the direct marketing of solar power. “There is still great potential in this area. We are advocating for all new buildings to be outfitted with PV installations, as well as those undergoing significant renovations. Because that is the only option that really makes sense financially and in terms of the carbon footprint,” says Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.
New partnerships boost The smarter E Europe
The smarter E Europe represents a new energy world running on renewable energies 24/7 – the impetus for newly formed strategic partnerships this year. Smart Energy Europe, bne, Hydrogen Europe and Eurogas will all be represented at the innovation hub The smarter E, with the overarching goal of establishing a decarbonized Europe together and working toward a future with renewable energies. Looking beyond the immediate future, this will require long-term storage of renewable energy. Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role in this transformation. For example, renewable energy can be converted into hydrogen for either seasonal or long-term storage. Using hydrogen is also a promising way of decarbonizing certain areas of the energy, mobility, building and industrial sectors. It is an attractive alternative for trucks, buses, ships, trains and commercial vehicles, where batteries still have their disadvantages due to lower energy densities. Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Secretary General of Hydrogen Europe, shares his excitement about the partnership: “We at Hydrogen Europe are happy to be able to work together with Eurogas at The smarter E Europe. The dream of being able to produce endless energy from the sun and transport it cheaply as hydrogen via the existing gas grids can become a reality. Solar/gas could be the perfect coupling of the future. Power-to-gas technology is here, so let’s start now!”
Pioneering solutions and products rewarded
The first day of the exhibitions will end on a high note with the presenting of The smarter E AWARD, Intersolar AWARD and ees AWARD. The presentation will take place at 4:30pm at The smarter E Forum in hall B3, booth B3.570. The panel of top-class judges has selected innovative, highly promising and sustainable products, solutions and projects to be presented and honored at the ceremony. The many candidates for the awards and, of course, the winners serve as beacons within the industry. They are helping to significantly improve people’s lives, generate new business ideas and give a decisive boost to existing endeavors. The international media response is no less than they deserve.
Take part in four conferences with a single ticket
Four conferences held at The smarter E Europe – the innovation hub for new energy solutions – offer insights into the energy future as well as information about current technological trends and business models. They are the Intersolar Europe Conference, ees Europe Conference, Power2Drive Europe Conference and Smart Renewable Systems Conference. With just a single ticket valid for all of the events in Munich, visitors have the opportunity to gain comprehensive information and speak to experts in person about such topics as decentralization, digitalization and sector coupling in the energy supply, technological trends in PV and energy storage, or the latest charging technology for electric vehicles.
The smarter E Europe and the four individual events – Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power – are taking place at the same time from May 15–17, 2019 at Messe München.
For more information, please visit: www.TheSmarterE.de/en