Germany - An increasing number of photovoltaic plant constructors are investing in large-scale power stations worldwide, creating new areas of focus for the industry. Against this backdrop, experts at the Intersolar Europe (www.intersolar.de) Conference, taking place at ICM – Internationales Congress Center München from May 30–31, 2017, are set to discuss how to finance these PV power plants, which markets will play a key role in the future, and the importance of smart renewable energy, in other words, the combination of energy generation, storage and management. The event runs alongside Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, (May 31–June 2). This year’s conference is being led for the first time by new chairman Dr. Pierre-Jean Alet.
The PV industry is continuing to grow. Large-scale power plants in particular are currently driving forward the deployment of PV technology on an international scale. Questions such as financing, management, operation and maintenance (O&M) of the plants are therefore due to become increasingly important.
In light of these developments, the future of large-scale plants also forms a key topic at the Intersolar Europe Conference, with several sessions focusing on the issue: The PV Power Plants: Forecasting Technologies session examines new technologies aiming to better integrate meteorological forecasts into processes. The PV Power Plants: Operation & Maintenance Business session addresses the rise in business models revolving around PV plant maintenance and the optimization of plant profitability. The use of drones and robots has a bearing on such activities and is discussed in the PV Power Plants: The Versatility and Impact of Drones & Robots session.
Smart renewable energy – where will smart power grids take us-
More and more power generation projects are combining various renewable sources of energy to form hybrid power plants. The session titled Smart Renewable Energy: Renewable Hybrid Plants explores the latest challenges presented by such projects. The industry is also currently focusing on the topics of networks and decentralization, sharing, digitalization, smart grids and big data, the latter of which is being discussed across the entire sector. The Smart Renewable Energy: Digitalization, Energy Clouds & Big Data session takes an in-depth look at data management and data security, examining matters such as how various market participants can access data quickly yet securely while observing data control rights.
Global financing trends for the photovoltaics industry
The future of traditional utility contracts and the financing of solar power plants raise additional questions. The industry is concerned that the rising influence of rating agencies may put new financing rounds in jeopardy. The Solar Merchant PV Power Plants/The Role of Rating Agencies/Insurances session sheds light on the impact of rating agencies and insurance companies and how their services have evolved in the context of global financing.
Market analysis – what’s happening on the global PV market-
This year, SolarPower Europe is once again exclusively presenting its Global Market Outlook 2017–2021 market analysis report at the Intersolar Europe Conference (May 30, 10:15am). The report includes a five-year global market forecast that not only features the latest facts and figures for anticipated growth markets, but also comments on the industry’s key driving forces and predicts how the market will develop. Further sessions shine the spotlight on the American, Asian and African markets. Last year, Asia and the key markets of China, India and Japan accounted for 70% of global demand. Countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand are expected to witness an increase in demand in the future. A surge in electricity consumption is also creating a positive market environment in Africa, especially in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya.
Dr. Pierre-Jean Alet is chairing the conference for the first time in 2017 and brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the table. An engineer and physicist, Dr. Alet obtained his PhD from the renowned leading French university École Polytechnique. He previously researched cell technologies and energy services at Sharp Laboratories of Europe.
In his current role of Activity Manager at Swiss research and development center CSEM (Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique or Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology), he is responsible for the performance of PV generators as well as storage system and grid integration. Dr. Alet is a member of the Steering Committee of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Photovoltaics, where he leads the platform’s activities on grid integration. With his extensive expertise in energy generation, storage and management for the new energy world, he is well-placed to ensure that the conference covers a wider range of relevant topics.
“With markets maturing, especially in Europe, the discussion on photovoltaics needs more and more to move from generation costs to the value of electricity”, explains Pierre-Jean Alet as the reason of his commitment. “While cells and modules remains critical, innovation in the PV industry is embracing topics like energy management, forecasting and digitalization. I am excited to preside over this timely, high-level industry gathering”, comments Alet.