Experts from across the solar industry met in China

21. December 2012 | By:  Intersolar China

International experts discussed trends and developments in the global solar industry at the Intersolar China Conference 2012.

For the second time the Intercontinental Hotel Beichen in Beijing played host to the Intersolar China Conference, a valuable platform for the Asian solar markets of the future, from December 11-13, 2012. 69 speakers from around the world discussed current developments in the solar industry in front of 549 Chinese and international conference attendees.

Developments within the Chinese market formed the central theme of the event and the conference focused on innovative technologies and trends in photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies. Around 70 expert presentations shed light on the most recent developments in the areas of energy storage, solar cities, large-scale photovoltaic plants, PV production and recycling, and a networking event on the first day of the conference allowed attendees to engage in intensive expert discussions.

Both the organizers and attendees were extremely satisfied with the success of the Intersolar China Conference 2012, which saw an increase in attendees of 17% in comparison to the previous year. 549 industry representatives from 24 countries used the conference and its 16 sessions, which covered the topics of photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies, to find out about current industry trends. Presentations on developments within the Chinese solar market were particularly well attended.

The conference sessions on the decentralized power supply in the cities and the latest developments in the area of storage technologies were also met with a particularly enthusiastic response from visitors. Other sessions dealt with sustainable PV production and recycling, the production of crystalline silicon solar cells as well as various testing methods and certification guidelines.

The Chinese solar market is enjoying growth

“It's now conventional wisdom in the PV world that China will become the top market, if not in 2013 then certainly in 2014”, said Dr. Reinhold Buttgereit, Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and one of the keynote speakers at the official opening of the conference. “This new global development means it's time for China to send clear signals to the rest of the world: Our markets are also open to non-Chinese PV companies.”

According to figures from the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA), a total PV capacity of 21 gigawatts (GW) is expected to be installed in China by 2015. In light of this, the session “Global PV Markets: China Perspectives”, which took place on the first day of the conference, dealt with the political conditions, strategies and programs vital for the expansion of solar power.

“A series of incentive policies Chinese government released have already made China one of the fastest growing PV markets in the past several years”, said Dr. Ray Lian, Solar Energy Industry Analyst at Solarbuzz, China. “With new supporting mechanisms such as encouraging distributed PV generation, cumulative PV installation in China is expected to exceed official targets to reach 35 to 40 gigawatts by 2015.”

The construction of large-scale PV plants will assume a central role in ensuring that the targets set out in China's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011 to 2015) are achieved. The current challenges of developing, implementing and maintaining large-scale PV power plants therefore formed the focus of the double session PV Power Plants. The expert presentations on the grid integration of solar power were also well received by conference attendees.

Joint Forces for Solar

The People's Republic of China is undergoing enormous growth with the country's increasing urbanization leading to a continuous increase in energy consumption. While 51% of the Chinese population lived in towns or cities in 2011, this proportion is expected to rise to a total of 60% by 2020. In the wake of this, the double session held by the Joint Forces for Solar initiative looked at both concepts for decentralized power generation in a session entitled Distributed Generation, as well as examining solar cities, model cities that cover a large part of their energy consumption with solar energy. A panel discussion involving representatives from research and industry gave conference attendees detailed insights into the future of photovoltaics in town planning.

The market situation and the latest technological developments in the area of solar thermal technologies took center stage on the final day of the conference with the sessions Large-Scale Solar Thermal Application and Concentrating Solar Power providing attendees with a comprehensive discussion of developments in the Chinese solar thermal market. An overview of the latest technologies in the area of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) and their role in the PV market of the future concluded the varied program offered by the Intersolar China Conference 2012.

Save the dates for Intersolar China from December 10-13, 2013.