Mixed feelings as 27th EU PVSEC closes its doors

In what is typically an upstream and technology focused tradeshow, the 27th EU PVSEC has underwhelmed some this year, in terms of the number of new product launches and innovations on display. Given current trying market conditions however, equipment suppliers have displayed products that can be used to upgrade existing lines, with an eye to cutting costs.

Equipment manufacturer Schmid had a range of equipment it was promoting that could be used to update existing lines. The company said that solutions for the reduction in silver usage were generating a good level of interest at the show.

Inverter manufacturers also commented on the presence of quality visitors, including Delta Energy Systems. Head of marketing, Andreas Schmidt said that while the show was smaller, "it’s been successful, with qualified visitors and good business contacts."

Photovoltaic trade cases in both the U.S. and EU weighed heavily at the EU PVSEC and was an almost-constant topic of discussion among some circles.

Meanwhile, the exhibition hall itself drew criticism, with the expansive venue requiring long distances to be travelled, as the tradeshow only occupied two large halls of the vast Frankfurt Messe venue.

For vertically integrated manufacturer LDK however, the decision to attend the EU PVSEC was an easy one. While players such as Trina and SolarWorld were prominent in their absence, LDK’s Stuart Brannigan said the company’s presence at the 2012 show remained important.

Brannigan confirmed a due diligence process is underway at LDK regarding investors, who may be interested in acquiring a stake in the company, which is carrying a significant amount of debt – after rapid expansion in capacity in recent years.

Looking towards 2013, the EU PVSEC will be held in Paris, and some exhibitors indicated that they are unlikely to attend due to the costly location.