Intersolar Europe: Exhibition marching to international beat

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Day two of the Intersolar Europe exhibition served to cement a trend evident throughout the opening day – the European PV market is no longer the talk of the town.

The crowds at this year’s show have been slightly sparser than last year. Queues are shorter, presentations briefer and booths a little barer. Yet despite this tangible taste of troubled times for Europe’s solar industry, the mood has been surprisingly buoyant thanks to the highly visible presence of international visitors and exhibitors.

As Solar Promotion CEO Markus Elsasser suggested during the opening day press conference, Intersolar Europe 2014 is marching to a global beat. American firm SunPower’s surprising absence aside, all of the largest international companies have dazzled attendees with booths that are bigger, bolder and brighter than before.

Amid the shows of strength and innovation from the leading global companies, the thirst for European market knowledge and technical expertise has been noticeable. Marguerit Durant, policy and communications coordinator for pan-European take-back and recycling scheme PV Cycle, told pv magazine that the bulk of queries they have fielded so far have come from Chinese, Japanese and Indian clients.

Understanding Europe’s WEEE (Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment) compliance regulations is an increasingly important topic for international module producers, Durant said.

Ben Hill, President of Trina Solar Europe, echoed the importance of companies such as Trina to comply with WEEE regulations. "We are the first company that is fully compliant with the new rules that were introduced in February," Hill told pv magazine. "We see it as a critical issue that Trina is leading the way on this."

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