Expectations exceeded – this best sums up the three days from March 15 to 17 in Düsseldorf, Germany. In its fifth year, the Energy Storage Europe (ESE) and the four events taking place at the same time were able to attract an even greater number of participants: around 50% more exhibitors and 60% more attendees from the industry compared to the previous year. The mood in the Congress Center Düsseldorf right next to the Rhine was cheerful – and rightly so.
The trade show and its 142 exhibits (2015: 93) were well frequented; the hallways were often bustling with activity even during conference sessions. The organizers did expect some kind of an increase (see ESE and IRES Become One), but could hardly foresee such growth in numbers: All in all, the trade show attracted 3,000 attendees from 54 countries (2015: 1,800 visitors from 48 countries). And this although it didn’t even offer any eccentric designs or spectacular presentations. The focus of the ESE was on dialogue and networking.
The exponential growth shows that energy storage is an interestingly enough topic in its own right. But in some areas, the jovial mood just couldn’t make up for missed opportunities. The environment minister from North-Rhine Westphalia, Johannes Remmel, explained during his opening speech: “I see it as an urgent task for the federal government to do more for energy storage.” Stefan G. Reindl, spokesperson for the management board of Thüringer Energie, expressed his disenchantment with the current situation: “We don’t see any way for pumped storage plants to become economically viable. Power-to-Gas isn’t much better off in terms of feasibility.”
The Energy Storage Europe took place in conjunction with the 10th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES 2016) by Eurosolar and the Finance Track by VDE Institut. Side events were the 5th Conference Power-to-Gas by OTTI and the 9th Storage Day of SolarAllianz.
Practically as a consequence of the existing lack of public support, the participants of the tradeshow issued the so-called Düsseldorf Declaration on the third day of the trade show. It calls on federal and state authorities to continue the energy transformation of the country and the storage expansion necessary to achieve it. In the words of the declaration: “Storage systems are neither consumers, nor producers. They should be included as a fourth independent pillar of the energy infrastructure besides generation, transportation and consumption. The miscategorization of storage systems as end consumers and the resulting fees and taxes need to be repealed.” Urban Windelen, CEO of the German Energy Storage Association, said: “Energy storage solutions are market-ready. Only the framework is lagging behind and still impedes a sensible market introduction of grid-appropriate storage systems. Here, I agree wholeheartedly with minister Remmel’s statement during the conference to – finally – revise the legal framework.”
More growth in 2017
Thanks to the great interest in this year’s trade show, Hans Werner Reinhard, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, is thinking about providing “additional exhibition space at next year’s Energy Storage Europe, which will take place from March 14 to 16, 2017. The next chair after Eicke R. Weber, who as BVEW president and head of Fraunhofer ISE was one of the founders of the Energy Storage Europe Conference, will be Andreas Hauer, head of the Energy Storage department at ZAE Bayern.
25 Years of Intersolar
The importance energy storage has gained throughout the industry will no doubt become clear during the ees Europe, which will take place on the tradeshow premises in Munich, Germany, from June 22 to 24. The conference will be all about different types of storage as well as electric transportation and renewable energies. The ees Europe – which, by its own account, is the “largest industry trade show for batteries and energy storage systems in Europe” – will run at the same time as the world’s leading trade show for the solar industry, Intersolar Europe, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The starting events on June 21 and 22 in the International Congress Center Munich are going to be the second ees Europe Conference as well as the Intersolar Europe Conference. Compared to last year, attendees can look forward to 30% more exhibition space: The 380 organizations expected to participate in the ees Europe will have 12,000 m2 to present their solutions. As always, H2-international readers will receive free ticket vouchers (also for the Intersolar).