Sunny outlook for the worldwide solar market: Intersolar Europe 2019 celebrates another year


With 1,354 exhibitors, 100,000m² of exhibition space and around 50,000 visitors from 162 countries, Intersolar Europe – the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry – has celebrated another successful year, along with its three accompanying energy exhibitions.

From PV production technologies to hybrid inverters to subsidy-free business models, the topics explored at the 2019 event were highly diverse and well received by crowds of visitors. Attendees also had the chance to learn more about trends, innovative business models and international markets at the Intersolar Europe Conference. Intersolar Europe is part of The smarter E Europe show, the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry, which covered ten exhibition halls in 2019 – two more than at the event’s debut last year.

Sunny days are on the horizon for Europe as the solar market booms. Last year saw the deployment of 11.2 more GW of photovoltaic power on the continent, representing impressive growth of 21% over the previous year. That information came from the latest edition of the Global Market Outlook, presented by SolarPower Europe at this year’s Intersolar Europe Conference. The outlook is just as promising for 2019. The industry association expects to see 20.4 GW of newly installed capacity this year, an increase of more than 80%. The most influential European solar markets in 2019 are expected to be Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France and – for the first time – Ukraine.

Looking forward to 2020, SolarPower Europe expects the Europe-wide solar market to grow 18% with new PV installations adding 24.1 GW of capacity. That would surpass the record deployment seen in 2011, when newly installed PV capacity in Europe totaled 22.5 GW. And solar power isn’t just on the rise in Europe, but worldwide too. On a global scale, the association forecasts new PV capacity of around 128 GW in 2019, which would represent growth of 25%.

Against the backdrop of a globally booming solar market, Intersolar Europe once again established itself as the industry’s most important event. “Great things are happening on the market, and that dynamism is reflected at the exhibition,” said Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar). “Our members are reporting solid new deals, a great deal of confidence and full order books. The message from Munich is unmistakable – the solar and storage industry are prepared for much more rapid expansion and ever-smarter solutions in the electricity, mobility and heating sectors for power plants of all sizes around the world.”

Multiple factors driving the PV boom

The driving forces behind the boom are many: the continuously falling cost of generating solar power, cheaper energy storage, the growing competitiveness of PV in comparison to conventional energy sources and the importance of new subsidy free business models for financing solar farms based on power purchase agreements.

Spain is a hotspot for PPAs in Europe, at the start of 2019 the world’s largest PPA for a solar project portfolio – 708 MW – was signed in Spain and Portugal. BayWa r.e. sent another clear signal of growth by signing a PPA for a 175 MW solar park in Andalusia.

“Our goal is to play an active role in creating a carbon free future based on renewable energies. From small plants to large scale solar power stations, our solar energy division offers high quality, affordable solutions to contribute to the global energy transition,” said Matthias Taft, board member responsible for Energy at BayWa AG. “We attended Intersolar Europe once again this year because it’s where the major players in the solar industry come together and because only when our efforts are combined can we achieve a clean energy future.”

Intersolar Europe and the Intersolar Award

The Intersolar Europe Conference focused on global markets, technologies and financing for PV projects once again in 2019. In addition to the market trends in Europe, experts shone a light on markets in sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa regions. Other sessions explored the interaction of PV and storage systems – the latest hot topic in the industry. Attendees gained valuable information about new applications, including solar installations in façades, on agricultural land and floating PV. The participants also learned more about the opportunities afforded by digitalization for the operational control of PV installations – knowledge which is sure to give them an edge.

Each year, the first day of the exhibition is rounded off in style with the presentation of a coveted Intersolar Award, a long-standing highlight of the event. This year’s panel of judges chose to honor Huawei Technologies Co Ltd; Raycatch Ltd; and Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co Ltd; for their trailblazing solutions, products and projects. The ees Award and The smarter E Award were also presented. The winners and finalists of all three awards serve as the beacons of a new energy world. The international media response was no less than they deserved.

Facts and figures

With 1,354 exhibitors, 15% on last year, and around 50,000 visitors (up 8%) across an exhibition space of 100,000m² (16% more floorspace than last year), The smarter E Europe and individual exhibitions were met with an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors and exhibitors alike.

This success rests on the powerful dynamic of progress and vision created by recent developments in renewable energies, energy storage and in the digital interconnection of previously independent sectors.

“In an ideal world, I’d like to see 100% renewable energy in Germany, across Europe and around the world,” said Oliver Beckel, director of public affairs at Hanwha Q CELLS. “ We believe that by 2050 – in a mere 30 years – we can make this a global reality. Germany in particular has done a lot over the last 20 years to help make this happen. Intersolar Europe shares the same goal, and for us it’s one of the most important exhibitions worldwide. It’s where we meet our clients, competitors, partners and suppliers.”

Intersolar Europe was accompanied by ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power as part of The smarter E Europe, the innovation hub for new energy solutions.