Intersolar Liveblog 2024: Ban-Ki Moon, Cate Blanchett at ‘We Choose Earth Tour’

BP Metalmeccanica's massive PV module cleaner

Frederica Lupina from Italy's BP Metalmeccanica says its solar cleaners feature a 5-meter-high brush that clean up PV modules, wet or dry. They feature a telescopic arm and can handle brushes up to 7.4 meters in length – quite impressive up close.

Crowds for 'We Choose Earth Tour' with Cate Blanchett, Ban-Ki Moon

People are lining up to see the “We Choose Earth Tour” event starting at 4 pm (CEST) in the ICM Conference Center in Munich. The speakers include actress and film producer Cate Blanchett and former UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.

pv magazine Focus

Installers and manufacturers flocked to the German-language pv magazine Focus event at Intersolar Europe. More than 200 people actively participated in the discussion. Editor-in-Chief Michael Fuhs organized the session, which started with Thomas Haupt from the Technical University of Munich presenting a study on energy management systems. Nico Orth from HTW Berlin later provided tips on selecting home storage systems, while Markus Hackmann from P3 Automotive discussed bidirectional charging. You can also find more information in the current issue of pv magazine Germany.

Tecloman showcases energy storage solutions

Tecloman hosted several presentations at its booth (B1.470) on the second day of Intersolar Europe as part of the Intersolar TecloTalk series. Speakers from various sectors of the renewables industry discussed topics including investment and partnerships, as well as technical talks on flow batteries and flagship products. The presentations provided valuable insights from industry leaders and showcased Tecloman’s innovative solutions for energy storage technology. Tecloman also highlighted its new Cubox mobile energy storage system, which features high-density lithium-ion batteries and high-efficiency inverter systems. It can be used in conjunction with generators to address low-load issues and is ideal for noise-sensitive environments.

Axial's new SlopeSync dual-row tracker

Axial's new SlopeSync dual-row tracker features cardan joint technology along its main axis of rotation. This allows each section of torque tube to have a different inclination or slope while maintaining the continuity of rotation and rotation of the PV modules.

Some football news

Norway didn't make it to the UEFA Euro 2024 tournament playing out in Germany during Intersolar Europe, but the Nordic country's national stadium was still a hot topic when pv magazine caught up with Over Easy CEO Trygve Mongstad. The Norwegian startup just completed a project on the stadium's roof, which now sports 1,250 Over Easy vertical solar units. Each unit is made up of four PV panels, meaning 5,000 panels on the rooftop. Why vertical rooftop solar? For Norway's national stadium, Mongstad said the vertical solution's better generation in the winter months lines up with the demand profile on site. Over Easy is about more than stadiums, however, and Mongstad said European regulations on building energy performance should lead to a significant uptick for all manner of rooftop solar solutions – including vertically oriented ones, of course.

SoliTek making tandem perovskite modules in Europe

One of the last European PV manufacturers, Lithuania-based SoliTek is exhibiting the new tandem perovskite module it has made in partnership with Oxford PV. It says the panel, available toward the end of this year as production scales, will exceed 24% efficiency.

High Intersolar attendance underscores solar market growth

Alfredo Balletti, managing director of Comal, says the high attendance at Intersolar Europe this year underscores the enduring strength of the solar market. He notes that the Italian company, which has has been building large PV plants since 2001, recently connected an 80 MW plant to the grid in Sardinia, with about 900 MW under construction.

“The market is growing and will continue to do so for the next seven years,” Balletti predicts. “There is no sign to date that would suggest a different direction than growth in the industry… the market stands on its own feet without incentives, even though the latest directives in Italy will make permitting more difficult.”

Gamesa Electric showcases Proteus PCS-E inverter

Juan Barandiaran, managing director of Gamesa Electric, has the Proteus PCS-E on show this week at Intersolar Europe. The hybrid battery inverter builds on the company's award-winning Proteus central inverter, operating at 1,500 V for utility-scale solar.

Barandiaran noted the trend of battery manufacturers attempting to offer all-in-one battery and inverter solutions, while inverters makers are increasingly offering storage options as well. He said Gamesa Electric is now fielding inquiries from battery makers, as power conversion system (PCS) present significant challenges without support from inverter experts.

Panelists call for realistic approach to battery fire risks

pv magazine‘s panelists agree that the storage industry needs to be transparent, safety-focused, but also realistic. And unfortunately, being realistic means that fire accidents will never be 100% eliminated. “There will be battery fires as long as there are batteries,” says Accure Battery Intelligence CEO Kai-Philipp Kairies. “As engineers, as experts, let’s face the reality: there will be some risk and it’s our job to minimize it.”

Spanish PV union director touts nation's solar advantage

José Donoso, director of Unión Española Fotovoltaica (UNEF), sees Spain's solar potential as a clear competitive advantage. “Our country has a unique opportunity,” he said at Intersolar Europe.

pv magazine launches new energy storage website

“The golden age of the battery is now,” says pv magazine ESS News Director Marija Maisch. Check out pv magazine’s new energy storage news website at, which officially launches today.

Sunfarming targets 20 GW of agrivoltaics

Sunfarming CEO Peter Schrum says the company aims to reach 20 GW of agrivoltaics capacity in 10 years with its self-developed solution.

Big innovation

Some products are simply too large for the exhibition hall. InterSolar Europe's outdoor area is the place to be for heavy-duty machinery, such as this prototype PV mounting tool from Slovakian company Robovoltics. The remote-controlled mounting machine is equipped with hydraulic folding and angle-adjustable arms as well as an assembly bench for transporting modules to where they need to go. Robovoltics says its prototype can significantly reduce labor costs and slash installation times. Operating the RC hydraulic arms looks pretty fun, too.

Cable damage in floating PV projects

Jonathan Gifford, editor at large at pv magazine, displays images of destroyed cables at an unnamed floating solar project, as an example of what not to do. Gifford says that sharing such photos is about asking critical questions and helping the industry to avoid problems.

Belectric secures 135 MW in Denmark

Belectric CEO Thorsten Blanke said the company has signed a contract for a 135 MW project in Denmark at Intersolar Europe this week. He expressed optimism about the UK market and noted that the company has been active in Spain since 2020. Blanke said the German power purchase agreement (PPA) market will be a challenge next year, but he cast doubt on the potential impact of the nation's upcoming Solar Package II legislation, due to major hurdles such as construction cost subsidies. Blanke also called for better integration of battery storage and solar parks in Germany.

Stäubli launches training program in Europe

Stäubli has trained US installers over the past year on how to correctly handle its connectors and it is now launching the training program in Europe. But Dominic Buergi, global head of renewable energy services (left), says this is a “challenge,” as some employees struggle to follow instructions. For example, Stäubli has observed that some installers have treated plugs with hot air to dry them after they were covered in snow, which Buergi describes as unacceptable.

SMA cuts revenue forecast, eyes rooftop PV rebound

The German residential and C&I installation market has fallen about 30% from 2023 levels, affecting many exhibitors at Intersolar Europe. This prompted SMA to revise its revenue forecast from €2,220 million ($2.38 million) to €1,950 million this week. However, CEO Jürgen Reinert said he expects the rooftop PV market to potentially rebound to 2023 levels by 2025, as he told pv magazine editors Scarlet Schmitz and Michael Fuhs. SMA now manufactures string inverters based on its own platforms across all segments. The new Sunny Central Flex (photo) is a highlight this year, featuring modular assembly from individual modules in the container. It offers flexibility to combine battery inverters, PV inverters, and DC elements for electrolyzers, achieving up to 7.5 MW of nominal output if fully utilized for PV.


Testing, testing, testing

Panelists say testing is one of the best ways to avoid project failure due to low-quality glass.

PanelClaw, CPX targeting 'global domination' of C&I solar market

Mounting system supplier PanelClaw is celebrating a rebrand, as it has decided to operate together with Dutch rooftop racking specialist CPX under the PanelClaw brand. PanelClaw US CEO Costa Nicolaou told pv magazine that focusing solely on the commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop PV market uniquely positions the two sides to provide reliable products. Nicolaou said they are aiming for “global domination,” driven by a commitment to accelerate rooftop solar adoption – especially in the C&I sector.

IBC Solar wins sustainable booth award at The smarter E Europe

The Smarter E handed out awards to 25 exhibitors this year, including the inaugural renewable booth design prize for wholesaler IBC Solar. The company's exhibition stand used 10.2 tons of material, with 10 tons directly reusable. IBC Solar held a press conference to discuss market pressure, including price declines, high inventories, and revenue losses for retailers. Despite challenges, it remains optimistic about market prospects for 2025.

APsystems debuts hybrid inverter for DIY solar

APsystems has introduced a true hybrid inverter for the growing do-it-yourself (DIY) solar market. Unlike regular microinverters with MC4 connectors for batteries on balconies, this hybrid inverter connects via a CAN interface, enhancing battery management options. It also features gallium-nitride semiconductors, achieving a maximum efficiency of 96.2%.

Enphase Energy CPO on DC coupling in solar sector

pv magazine spoke with Raghu Belur, co-founder and chief product officer (CPO) at Enphase Energy, about the US company's range products for the European market, including an IQ Battery 5P with FlexPhase, its most powerful residential offering, available in 5 kWh increments up to 60 kWh.

Belur was in fine form this morning over coffee. In a preview of a full interview, he detailed multiple problems with the industry's moves toward higher levels of DC coupling in the residential sector, saying it's “insane,” citing safety, reliability, and excessive centralization issues. “I completely disagree with this notion of DC coupling more things… everything is horribly wrong with this,” said Belur.

Let’s talk module quality…

pv magazine’s Mark Hutchins introduces Tristan Erion Lorico, VP of sales and marketing at Kiwa PVEL, for a chat about module glass quality.

pv magazine to discuss PV module quality, BESS

Join us this morning at 10:30 am for our English language pv magazine Focus session – a series of stimulating talks exploring PV module quality. We’ll hear from speakers such as Exawatt’s Molly Morgan, pv magazine Editor at Large Jonathan Gifford, Tongwei’s Fangdan Jiang, Staubli’s Dominic Buergi, CEA’s George Touloupas, pv magazine Director Mark Hutchins, Kiwa PI Berlin’s Steven Xuereb, Kiwa PVEL's Tristan Erion Lorico, S&P Global’s Edurne Zoco, Everoze’s Madeleine Hill, and independent adviser Jan Mastny.

Join us again at 12:20 pm to discuss large-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS). Jochen Siemer of pv magazine will present the latest BESS trends, including algorithmic trading. Then, pv magazine's Marija Maisch will cover safety issues with Huawei’s Juan-Carlos Mejia, Accure's Kai-Philipp Kairies, and Neill Parkinson of Jinko ESS.

ESMC's Weber proposes DPP label for European PV

Eicke Weber, co-chairman of the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC), discusses the idea of a domestic production portfolio (DPP) label at the solar manufacturing stage. He says this voluntary measure could bring PV production back to Europe without costing taxpayers any money.

EV battle

Which do you prefer? The Tesla Cybertruck or the Audi Sport e-tron?

Blowing off steam

Energetic pv magazine reporters give it 100% at the Kalyon PV ping-pong table.