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Prospects for the solar industry are bright. Significant growth in the global market for PV power plant operation and maintenance has been forecast for the years ahead. According to the study Megawatt-Scale PV O&M and Asset Management 2015–2020 by GTM Research and Solichamba Consulting, the market will increase to over 488 GW by 2020, after reaching 133 GW in the past year. That’s why year’s Intersolar Europe Conference – which is taking place from June 21–22, before and during Intersolar Europe – includes a focus on the management and maintenance of PV installations. The session titled PV Power Plant: Operation and Maintenance begins at 11:00am on the first day of the conference and sheds light on the increasingly diverse plant management business. On the same day, the PV Power Plants: The Rise of Drones & Robots session at 2:00pm showcases how service companies and PV installation owners can benefit from innovative technology. One of the presentation’s central topics is how unmanned aerial vehicles can be used, for example, to quickly take thermal images from the air during plant inspections.
The market study Global Market Outlook provides information on the most important PV growth markets in the world and will be presented by SolarPower Europe, the association for the European photovoltaic industry, exclusively at the Intersolar Europe Conference on June 21 at 10:00am. The findings make forecasts for the next five years, assess individual markets and evaluate current and future sales drivers. During the conference, there are several sessions dedicated to growth markets in America, Asia and Europe. Last year, 60% of the global demand came from Asia — the continent has established itself as the fastest growing region. Most notably China, but also India, Japan and Thailand are expected to generate sales growth in the coming years. The future also looks promising for the USA. Experts anticipate a US market of 13-15 gigawatts (GW) in this year alone, which would make the country the second largest solar region in the world after China. With an annual demand of 6-7 GW, Europe remains an important solar region. Visitors will discover how political conditions influence market development in Germany, France, Great Britain and Turkey and how the market reacts in the session on Global PV Markets: Europe – Leading the Future Transformation? on June 21 at 11:45am.
In light of the decline of the feed-in tariff, the solar industry has increasingly aimed to develop new business and financing models in recent years. Rental and leasing models for PV installations represent one possible solution. It is no longer necessary to own your own solar power installation to obtain green power and remain independent of the price of electricity – installations can simply be rented. The advantage: the homeowner does not need to make an investment or deal with installation, insurance or maintenance. Solutions which work well for private owners can easily be adapted to suit companies. The session titled Europe’s Today’s and Tomorrow’s PV Financing Landscape at 9:00am on the second day of the conference informs visitors of other possible financing models. The Role of Financial Institutions and the Participation of the Crowds for PV Development presentation on June 22 at 2:00pm discusses the advantages and disadvantages of innovative financing forms such as crowdfunding, in comparison to established citizen participation schemes.
Smart renewable energy is a key topic at Intersolar Europe, and will also be discussed in numerous sessions at the conference. The decentralized generation and infeed of energy from renewable sources has becoming increasingly important over the course of the energy transition. Because renewable energy sources such as sun and wind are not always available, the intelligent coordination of energy supply and demand using digitally connected solutions is essential. The smart grid, the intelligent power grid of the future, steers and oversees the generation, storage, distribution and consumption of electricity. In the session Smart Renewable Energy: Smart Districts/ Smart Cities on the second day of the conference at 11:00am, experts will be exploring the intelligent power supply of cities and districts of the future. The presentation Smart Renewable Energy: The Digitalization of Energy on June 22 at 2:00pm will discuss the implications that the Internet of Things and the most up-to-date information technology have for the power supply and how new business models can emerge from this.