The innovation hub for new energy solutions opens its doors from October 6–8
Munich/Pforzheim, October 6, 2021: In the last few weeks, Germany has seen extreme rainfall, parts of New York were flooded, and fires have been raging in Southern Europe and California; most climate experts agree that these events send out a strong alarm signal. Suitable measures need to be taken as quickly as possible in order to curb the devastating effects of the climate crisis. Across the globe, CO2 must be reduced on a large scale, and renewable energy sources must be used to a greater extend to cover energy supply. The solutions and technologies to achieve this have been available for some time. In Munich, the innovation hub The smarter E Europe Restart 2021 and the four parallel energy exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe will present solutions and innovations that address the entire value chain. The exhibitions will take place at Messe München from October 6–8.
The climate protection measures needed now cannot be taken without a considerable, expedited expansion of renewable energies. To be successful, the energy transition requires a mix of different renewable energy sources, a widespread storage infrastructure and the intelligent coupling of the electricity, heat and traffic sectors. For Germany and Europe, this mainly means boosting photovoltaics significantly to prevent the electrical energy gap that could potentially occur if the expansion is not fast enough. According to a EuPD Research analysis, this gap is on the horizon for 2022 and could continue to worsen in subsequent years – to over 100 terawatthours (TWh) by 2025. With the electrification of the transportation sector and parts of the heating sector driving electricity demand, nuclear and coal-fired power plants being phased out, and the development corridor for the main renewables – photovoltaics and wind – not being ambitious enough, this electrical energy gap is in the making. Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar) comments: “To be ready to replace fossil power plant capacities, we need to supercharge the expansion of solar energy and storage systems now. This means speeding up the switch to solar by a factor of three to four. As the main innovation hub in Europe, The smarter E Europe is an essential catalyst for this boost.”
In addition to a faster expansion of traditional roof and ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIVP) and agrivoltaics as well as installations on water can also make a contribution. Floating PV has the advantage of providing new surfaces to drive the energy transition and minimize land use conflicts. In its 30th year, Intersolar Europe – the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry – and the accompanying Intersolar Europe Conference will provide more information on these topics. Attendees will hear all about the latest trends and innovations, learn about new markets and business models as well as how digital technologies can optimize PV system design, use and maintenance.
Green hydrogen – an important factor for expanding photovoltaics and wind power
The expansion of solar and wind energy must be complemented by efficient electrical energy storage to ensure that the energy transition and the new energy world run smoothly. The current expansion of production capacities and resulting cost reduction will make battery storage systems an essential element, particularly for short-term electricity storage. According to the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar), around 88,000 additional new residential storage systems were installed in Germany in the residential sector alone, meaning that almost one in two PV installations now run with a battery storage system. The projected expansion of the production capacity of green hydrogen has recently been added as another key element of the energy transition that is gaining momentum. This makes green hydrogen an important option when it comes to using renewable energies for the cross-sector coupling of electricity, heat and transportation. Also, green hydrogen can help the decarbonization of those industry, shipping, freight and aviation applications that cannot be electrified.
“The combination of renewable sources of energy and hydrogen could soon become the new dream team of the energy transition,” says Werner Diwald, Chairman of the Board for the German Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Association, DWV. The EU has also picked up on this: The EU’s hydrogen strategy aims at investing at least 470 billion euros in the generation of hydrogen over the next three decades, preferably from renewable sources, with 340 billion euros being allotted to photovoltaics and wind energy development. Hydrogen produced with renewable energy will also be an important topic of the innovation hub The smarter E Europe Restart 2021, taking place from October 6–9, 2021, at Messe München. The smarter E – Green Hydrogen Forum, which will be held during the exhibition, will this year introduce a dedicated platform for industry representatives along the entire value chain. Businesses looking to bring hydrogen, fuel cells, electrolysis and Power-to-Gas into the market will be meeting at the Green Hydrogen Forum & Expo in hall B6.
Intelligent control of a complex energy system thanks to digitalization
Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data have been creating new possibilities for the design of energy systems, plant configuration, predictive maintenance and monitoring, as well as yield and weather forecasting. This all contributes to reducing electricity generation costs and in turn renders systems more profitable. In future, digital applications will enable intelligent control and distribution in an ever more complex energy system and balance out supply and demand – regardless of whether we’re looking at energy-intensive industries, at regional supply, or power for districts and single-family homes.
Businesses are also finally in step with reality: More and more companies are switching to cost-effective and environmentally friendly electricity and embrace climate-neutral production. In future, a low carbon footprint will be crucial for economic success. More and more investors have been introducing sustainability ratings as part of their investment decision-making, as have many large groups when awarding contracts to suppliers. Steps towards becoming a climate-neutral business are a special focus of EM-Power Europe, the international exhibition for energy management and integrated energy solutions. The topic will also be discussed in more detail during the EM-Power Forum in hall B5. In addition, sector coupling for buildings and districts as well as smart grids and grid infrastructure of the future are on the agenda.
The end of the internal combustion engine
The public charging infrastructure in Europe grew by 35 percent in Europe in 2020, and there is enormous interest in wall boxes from consumers in Germany. As a result, the number of providers and products has been growing. The German National Centre for Charging Infrastructure estimates that in the next ten years, residential charging will continue to outweigh public charging significantly at around 80 percent. Demand for charging points at home, at work or in shopping centers will continue to grow. The German government subsidizes privately funded charging points based on forward-thinking criteria such as the controllability of charging solutions and the use of electricity from renewable energies. Since the program’s launch in November 2020, 385,000 funding applications for 470,000 residential charging stations have been submitted.
Soon, the operators of charging infrastructure and their service providers will be playing a key role for mobility, similar to the way in which gas stations are today. This will make them systematically relevant. Ideally, electrical energy is generated on site using renewable sources of energy. Green charging current will see the energy and mobility sectors grow together. This makes a sensible and efficient distribution of available power all the more important, i.e. taking into consideration grids, buildings and vehicles as well as parking and charging times. Intelligent charging systems with suitable energy and load management as well as easy payment methods for charging bills are needed.
Technical innovation and digitalization are also important factors when it comes to vehicle production – in particular since the internal combustion engine is set to disappear with the EU’s “Fit for 55” legislation package. Even today, electric vehicles popularize new concepts of mobility and offer added societal value through the flexible, temporary storage of green energy (vehicle-to-grid). All of these topics will be showcased at the Power2Drive Restart 2021 exhibition, which will present charging solutions and technologies for electric vehicles as part of The smarter E Europe 2021, and focus on the interaction between electric vehicles and a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply.
The smarter E Europe Restart 2021
The smarter E Europe, the innovation hub for new energy solutions, was initially planned for July 2021. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a compact version of the event will be now be held off schedule as The smarter E Europe Restart. With four exhibitions, 45,000 sqm of exhibition space, around 450 exhibitors as well as 2 conferences (Intersolar Europe Conference and ees Europe Conference) and 3 exhibition forums, the current event will bridge the gap until the next regular The smarter E Europe on May 11–13, 2022. This is an important event marking the return of exhibitions and trade shows in Germany and Europe, and an important and welcome signal for the industry. Visitors and exhibitors who are unable attend in person have the option of following the event via Expo TV, which will be providing information and live coverage on all three exhibition days. The program and streams are available at https://www.thesmartere.de/de/expo-tv