Intersolar stresses PV-storage-grid imperative as doors open in Munich

Intersolar Europe at its opening today stressed an increasing focus on how to link PV generation to storage and grid integration, as the event resumed an expansion course following a lull.

A total of 1,077 exhibitors (7% more than last year) from 165 countries compete for the attention of an expected 40,000 visitors at the Intersolar fair that is held in parallel to EES (Electric Energy Storage), Europe's largest show for batteries and energy storage systems. 

"In coming years we will get situations in which renewable energy production (in Germany) exceeds electricity demand," Markus Elsässer, chief executive of Solar Promotion that is organising Intersolar, said at the opening press conference.

Elsässer pointed to a situation on 8 May, when renewables for part of the day met 87% of Germany's electricity consumption. He added that although Germany is a pioneer in green energy, similar situations will arise with more frequency also in other countries.

"We need to reflect about storage and demand side management."

Carsten Körnig, managing director of the German solar industry federation BSW, pointed to the fact that solar power rapidly is becoming one of the cheapest energy sources in the world, with generation prices (established by recent tenders) even in cloudy Germany of €0.07 per kilowatt hour already matching those of wind power.

Prices will decrease further to €0.05/kWh soon, and even go below €0.03/kWh in the long run, he predicted.

However, in order to reach the Paris climate targets, Germany and other countries need to step up their efforts to expand RE also into the heating and mobility sectors, he warned.

International exhibitors at Intersolar/EES with 59% were the majority. Germany leads with 359 exhibitors, followed by China with 172 and France with 35. Intersolar and EES are open until Friday.