After three decades of working towards a sustainable energy supply for the future, Intersolar, the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Having started off as the local Solar ’91 exhibition, Intersolar has evolved to become the most important solar industry platform in the world. The exhibition brings together pioneers and drivers of innovation within the solar industry, since 2018 under the umbrella of The smarter E Europe innovative platform. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event will be held on a smaller scale. The Intersolar Europe Restart 2021 exhibition will be held at Messe München in Munich from October 6–8, 2021.
Solar Promotion GmbH and its subsidiaries Solar Promotion International GmbH and Conexio-PSE GmbH join forces with Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM) to organize international conferences and exhibitions dedicated to the new energy world. The portfolio of events covers renewable energies, energy storage systems, energy-efficient buildings, and districts, charging infrastructure, and e-mobility. The organizers open up markets, promote knowledge sharing, and provide a global stage for innovations. Their vision is a renewable, decentralized, digital, continuously available energy supply. And their central platform is The smarter E, which is inspired and driven by Intersolar.
From local exhibition to source of industry inspiration
The seed for Intersolar Europe was sown 30 years ago in the Germany town of Pforzheim. “When I was a student, I worked with fellow campaigners to organize the ‘Solar ’91’ exhibition. Even back then, we were motivated by our vision of a solar-powered future and a more environmentally friendly energy supply,” says Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Promotion GmbH. Five solar companies came together to showcase their products in 1991. “As the organizer of the event, I was well aware that the profile of solar energy would need to be raised if a sustainable energy supply was to be guaranteed for the future. Our sights have been set firmly on that goal ever since and we have managed to provide the solar industry with a global stage in the form of Intersolar,” says Elsässer. From the word go, Solar Promotion GmbH has worked with associations, research institutions, and other partners to turn the vision of a solar-powered future into reality. The company supported cost-covering remuneration for solar energy, the 100,000 Roofs Program (1999–2003), and the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG, from 2000). Its partnerships and passion were the prologue to the Intersolar success story. So much more than just an exhibition, it is a driver of innovation, a source of inspiration, and a catalyst with a strong industry network.
Pforzheim to Freiburg to Munich and beyond
The number of exhibitors and visitors has been steadily rising over the past three decades. The event had outgrown the CongressCentrum Pforzheim by the end of the last millennium. And so the exhibition moved to Freiburg with a greater global focus and Intersolar as its new name. It has since acquired a second organizer – FWTM – alongside Solar Promotion GmbH. “We have been working together to grow Intersolar since 2000,” says Daniel Strowitzki, CEO of FWTM.
The German Solar Association has been the exclusive partner of Intersolar Europe since 2008. As Carsten Körnig, the association’s CEO explains: “We are sure to cover as many bases as possible with our program for Intersolar Europe every year. We share expert knowledge in workshops and at our exhibition booth, match up investors with our members, and host international delegations.
There’s no other platform quite like it in the whole industry. Intersolar is a real institution within this sector, and we would like to send our congratulations on the exhibition’s 30th anniversary. We are looking forward to Intersolar Europe Restart 2021 in October and all the great things we will achieve together going forward.”
From industry exhibition to innovative platform for new energy world
It is important to remember, though, that solar energy is just one element of the energy transition that needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture. In other words, the focus now needs to be on integrated solutions allowing for an energy mix consisting entirely of renewables to be supplied 24/7, 365 days a year. That’s why Intersolar Europe was combined with ees Europe – the continent’s largest and most international exhibition for batteries and energy storage systems – in 2014, providing one main stage for technology, products, and innovations relating to the generation and storage of renewable energy. The next step was for The smarter E Europe to be created as an innovative platform for the new energy world as a whole. In 2018, The smarter E Europe brought together four energy exhibitions for renewable and smart energy solutions for the first time – Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe (the international exhibition for charging infrastructure and e-mobility), and EM-Power Europe (the international exhibition for energy management and integrated energy solutions). By embracing a broader range of topics, facilitating sector coupling, and developing a platform for the new energy world, the organizers were once again able to keep up with the times and position themselves as pioneers and drivers of innovation within the industry.
Their experience within the renewable energy sector has ensured the success of Solar Promotion GmbH and FWTM as leading exhibition and conference organizers and sources of inspiration for the new energy world. They work with research institutions and associations to publish studies and interviews with experts. As part of the digital “The smarter E goes digital” series, they have been arranging online events, webinars and podcasts featuring specialists from the business world, research institutions and associations since 2020. Innovative business ideas are acknowledged too, with the organizers awarding The smarter E AWARD, the Intersolar AWARD, and the ees AWARD to companies working to shape the energy world of tomorrow. The very best utility companies in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are also honored with the Energy Transition Award.
Intersolar Europe Restart 2021: Industry networking and knowledge sharing
The innovative platform and Intersolar exhibition are putting innovative products and business models in the spotlight once again this year. Exhibitors, visitors, and conference attendees alike are set to experience directly and in very practical terms that the new energy world is a very real possibility. They will be encouraged and empowered to bring their ideas, products, and solutions to the market as quickly as possible as a way of getting one step closer to the energy world of tomorrow. Guidance comes from SolarPower Europe and its latest Global Market Outlook, a definitive market analysis report on the global solar sector. “We are absolutely delighted to present our Global Market Outlook as a partner to Intersolar again this year. The exhibition’s international reach provides the key players within the solar sector with an ideal platform for networking, entering discussions, and sharing innovative concepts involving solar energy. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our congratulations on Intersolar’s 30th anniversary. We are already looking forward to continuing our partnership for another 30 years,” says CEO Walburga Hemetsberger.