Amid the process of decarbonization and sector coupling, photovoltaics (PV), energy storage systems and electromobility are gaining traction and becoming increasingly intertwined – providing the electrical trade great opportunities to be seized. The latest trends and innovations will be presented at The smarter E Europe, Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry, and its four parallel exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe from June 14–16 at Messe München.
When it comes to the installation of new PV systems, energy storage systems and new registrations of electric vehicles, 2022 was another record year for Europe. And this only marks the beginning of a new energy age when considering Europe’s ambitious climate goals, the EU’s objective to ensure energy sovereignty, as well as the cost benefits of PV, storage systems and e-mobility.
As part of the Green Deal, the EU has set the goal to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. According to the REPowerEU plan, the share of renewables in the EU’s energy mix will be raised to 45 percent by 2030. In addition to this, a solar energy strategy was adopted to increase Europe’s installed PV capacity to at least 320 gigawatts (GW) by 2025 and 600 GW by 2030. And from 2035, no new passenger cars running on carbonic fuels may be registered in the EU.
Germany aims to become climate-neutral by 2045. By 2030, 80 percent of the electricity is to be generated by renewable sources, the installed PV capacity is to be increased to no less than 215 GW. What’s more, the German government intends to bring 15 million fully electric passenger cars to its streets by 2030.
Sunny outlook for the PV market
According to SolarPower Europe, in 2022, new solar power systems with a capacity of 41.4 GW were installed in the EU, an increase of 47 percent in comparison to the previous year. For this year, the European industry association is expecting an increase in PV deployment of at least 53.6 GW, in an optimistic scenario even more than 67 GW.
Germany was the front-runner in Europe, having installed 7.9 GW of new capacity (plus 37 percent), followed by Spain (7.5 GW) and Poland (4.9 GW). The European PV market league table for 2022 sees the Netherlands (4.0 GW) in fourth place, followed by France (2.7 GW), Italy (2.6 GW), Portugal (2.5 GW), Denmark (1.5 GW), Greece (1.4 GW) and Sweden (1.1 GW). For this year, we are expecting a growth rate of 37 percent in Germany, with a PV deployment of between 8.9 and 12.9 GW.
PV plus storage – the perfect combination for a private home!
Battery storage systems also saw a lot of growth. According to the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar), 627,000 residential PV storage systems were installed in German households in 2022, an increase of 52 percent compared to the previous year. More than two thirds of new PV systems on private properties are installed in combination with a residential storage system. “The combination with a storage device is increasingly becoming the standard for the installation of new PV systems”, says Carsten Körnig, CEO of BSW-Solar. Many existing systems are upgraded in this manner, especially in the commercial area.
The significance of electricity storage systems in combination with PV and e-mobility is rising, thanks to the increasing electrification of the energy system, particularly in the heating and traffics sectors. By supporting peak load management, storage systems are contributing to a demand-based consumption of electricity as well as grid stability. As another trump card and driver, e-mobility comes into play. The demand-based storage of self-generated solar power lets you charge battery electric vehicles (and other electric vehicles) inexpensively and in a climate-friendly way using electricity straight from your own rooftop. This is turning consumers increasingly into prosumers. The Charging infrastructure Masterplan (“Masterplan Ladeinfrastruktur”) of the German government is based on the assumption that about 85 percent of all charging processes are taking place at home or at the workplace. Thanks to the combination of PV, storage systems and e-mobility, a number of new business models, such as operating commercial charging infrastructure, are emerging for companies.
Versatile components in the spotlight
The industry is providing a large number of components to help merge PV, storage systems and e-mobility with each other – from smart wallboxes, to energy management systems, to scalable battery storage systems and multifunctional inverters. User-friendly, efficient, versatile and modular products that are easy to install are currently the most popular, and producers are increasingly offering package deals.
Installers – opening doors and paving the way for sector coupling
All this is leading to a growing demand for electricians and related professions, as installers are responsible for opening doors and paving the way for these trends in sector coupling. They are the contact point for planning and monitoring the electrical infrastructure, offering specialist consultation on the ideal use of each component, as well as on tariffs and funding opportunities. Furthermore, they offer support when it comes to a professional installation and maintenance. There’s also a growing demand for digital know-how, because it is essential that the photovoltaic system, storage system and wall box can efficiently communicate with one another in order to maximize the solar charging of the e-car, without overloading the grid.
Open potentials for the electrical trade
This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the professional electrical trade. The demand for qualification and further training is growing while great economic opportunities are taking shape. More and more companies are aware of this and are getting involved in these new growth markets. However, to benefit from the up-and-coming market combining PV, storage and e-mobility, the electrical trade has yet to improve. According to a business survey conducted by the German Central Association of Electrical and Information Technology Contractors (ZVEH) in September 2022, only 47.4 percent of electrical trade businesses have installed PV systems since 2019. When it comes to electric charging installations, some 85.2 percent are already involved.
Cleverly combined at The smarter E Europe 2023
The latest trends and innovations in the fields of PV, storage systems and e-mobility will be presented at The smarter E Europe, the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry, and its four parallel exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe from June 14–16 at Messe München. At these exhibitions, visitors will learn more about the latest applications and intelligent combination solutions. They can also expand their expert knowledge at the four accompanying conferences, seven topical exhibition forums as well as numerous side events. More than 2,200 exhibitors will be showcasing their products to an expected 85,000 international visitors on 180,000 sqm across 17 exhibition halls and an outdoor area.