2022-05-23

Intersolar Europe 2022 highlights

On May 11-13, Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, welcomed thousands of solar professionals from across Europe to showcase and discuss the newest developments in solar technology. With Europe’s ever-stronger focus on renewables, the market is rapidly growing and presenting new ways to make solar even more efficient and accessible for all.

Members of Eternia Solar and Sun Investment Group procurement, construction, engineering, human resources, and O&M teams attended the exhibition to learn more about the newest solar trends, opportunities, and innovative solutions. Read more about the key insights they brought back home from the exhibition.

1. Technological upgrades to improve efficiency

The booming solar market currently focuses on the already-developed technology with concerted efforts to bring the most advanced improvements to what’s already out there. While so to say revolutionary technological innovations are beyond sight, the continuous improvement of current inverter-, solar cell-, and mounting systems- technology successfully drives the solar market at a fast pace.

The procurement team representative Eglė, was glad to see some new upgrades presented by our main mounting system suppliers: “These new systems will be introduced to the market this year, so we were lucky to learn more about all the new advantages beforehand.”

Alongside mounting system improvements, inverter and solar module manufacturers also displayed their technological upgrades. At the exhibition, one could learn more about the development of N-Type modules and larger capacity inverters apt for large-scale projects. Engineer-Designer Rokas, was particularly intrigued by the solar energy to hydrogen production: “Even though it is not popular in Lithuania yet due to the lack of suitable infrastructure, this type of technology could serve as a great way to efficiently utilize solar energy surplus, converting it into clean fuel in the future”

Engineer-Designer Iveta, mentioned the increasing importance of solar trackers: “Solar trackers really seem to be up-and-coming, especially for large utility-scale projects. Combined with battery systems, such projects are really promising in terms of their high efficiency and versatile use.”

2. Hybrid inverters on the rise

Solar integration with storage systems is a hot topic in the solar market. More and more solutions are being presented to answer one of the most prominent questions of solar – how to store and utilize the generated solar energy surplus efficiently.

“We can see some inverter manufacturers shifting to hybrid inverters, which enable the storage of excess solar energy in a battery system. Other larger inverters introduced at the exhibition for C&I customers were also already suited for battery connections,“ says engineering team lead Darius.

3. Solar supply chain disruptions persist

The incredibly high global demand for solar photovoltaics has accelerated the existing supply chain challenges that market professionals are bound to continue to face in the current political and economic climate.

Benedikt Peters, global head of procurement at Sun Investment Group, highlights that these challenges affect nearly all areas of solar: “Overall prices are going up due to rising prices for raw materials, high inflation, adverse exchange rates, and a global semiconductor shortage. All of this is undoubtedly influenced by the larger political climate from the lasting results of the Covid-19 crisis to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, our long-established networks and many years of experience help us secure all the necessary equipment in time to meet the needs of our clients”

Despite the challenges, Eglė also remains positive: “It is true that we are dealing with high demand and issues such as late deliveries, higher prices or lack of inverters in the market. However, I believe that with careful planning and a large network of suppliers, we are well-prepared to overcome any of such difficulties. We continue to work, grow, and build a more sustainable future for all.”

4. New connections as key to success

Above all, the conference served as a perfect reminder of the great variety of talented people that make up the solar industry. Torsten Mell, global head of human resources at Sun Investment Group, described his time at the event as valuable from the recruitment perspective: “We met a lot of potential candidates with expertise in various solar fields from procurement to O&M and significantly increased our network as a whole.”

Benedikt also shared his thoughts on how new connections made at the event will help the company in the long run: “For me, the most important thing was to meet face to face again and engage in some networking. We had very interesting conversations with new potential suppliers and extended our network in the distribution channel to procure as much equipment as possible in these challenging supply chain times.”

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