Munich/Pforzheim, May 16, 2022: Three triumphant exhibition days and two days full of inspiring conference sessions marked a real success for Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry: 1,356 exhibitors from 46 countries presenting their solutions on 132,000 square meters. More than 65,000 visitors from 149 countries exceeded expectations for this year’s The smarter E Europe – an increase of 33 percent compared to the last regular event in 2019. The next The smarter E Europe is scheduled to take place from June 14–16, 2023, again at Messe München.
Pioneering and forward-thinking solutions for a sustainable and secure energy supply have become more important than ever. Climate protection targets, soaring prices for fossil energy sources and current geopolitical developments have been accelerating the rate at which the energy transition is unfolding. The smarter E Europe presented the technologies, solutions and business models of a new energy world fully rooted in renewable energies.
“It's not just an energy transition, it's an industry transition," says Ditlev Engel, chief executive officer, Energy Systems at global consulting firm DNV. "The current political situation will accelerate the transition process. We urgently need to pick up the pace and invest in all parts of the value chains," adds Engel. Photovoltaics (PV) solutions have been used with success for two decades, the storage sector has been expanding for the past ten years, and we are seeing a boom in charging infrastructure and electromobility. While the technologies, products and business models needed to transform the worlds of energy and mobility exist, too many regulatory hurdles still stand in the way of deploying them quickly.
"The outlook for renewables, especially solar, is fantastic. We have the technologies we need, now we must get new permitting and planning procedures in place, so we can scale much much faster" explains Engel. Aurelie Alemany, Chief Executive Officer at Senec GmbH, a subsidiary of EnBW utilities, adds: “Large sections of society have realized that we have a joint responsibility to make the energy transition happen. The best evidence is considerable and still rapidly growing demand for PV, electricity storage systems and e-mobility. Solutions and technologies to meet this demand exist and were presented to great success in Munich.”
The smarter E Europe: paving the way towards the future now
Four energy exhibitions took place at the innovation hub for new energy solutions from May 11 –13, 2022: Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe, accompanied by four specialist conferences and four exhibition forums. Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry presented cross-sector and cross-industry products, solutions and business models of the new energy world and demonstrated that we have everything we need. It is now time to implement these products and solutions and to improve political and regulatory framework conditions to spur on the transformation of mobility and the energy system.
Conference participants all agreed that renewable sources of energy are “safe and secure” sources of energy, and that we must urgently speed up their deployment. “Europe must become more independent from other countries and continents, and this will only be possible if we diversify the supply chain for the production of solar modules and strengthen the European PV industry,” claims Matthias Taft, Chief Executive Officer at BayWa r.e. AG.
Intelligent sector coupling: a must for a successful energy transition
However, only promoting solar power will not be enough for a successful energy transition. What is needed are integrated solutions which enable an energy mix consisting entirely of renewables. In addition to battery storage systems, another essential component that is drawing more and more attention and was discussed in detail at the exhibitions and forums is green hydrogen. "If we want to meet climate goals in the Paris agreement, we need to use all technologies. The energy transition is a combination of all areas of the energy system. If we want to deliver on Paris, we can't just rely on solar and wind, hydrogen and other technologies have to be in the equation," explains Engel. Green hydrogen is becoming an important option with which to couple the energy, heating and transport sectors more closely by way of renewable energies. The innovation hub presented the study Steel from Solar Energy, which provides evidence that steel production from iron ore using hydrogen generated from renewable sources of energy is indeed feasible. In Europe, steel production accounts for around four percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Simon Löffler, Chief Commercial Officer at Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH, emphasizes that “storage is an important factor. We must invest into power grids, but what will really make the difference is the large-scale use of storage technology. And we need incentives to activate car batteries that are parked most of the time. E-mobility is about more than charging vehicles, it’s also about integrating into the entire energy infrastructure.”
Spotlight on the key topics at the heart of sustainable energy and mobility industries
The four exhibitions, conferences and forums share one vision: an intelligent, sustainable and integrated energy mix consisting entirely of renewables available 24/7, all year round. This puts the spotlight on renewable energies, decentralization and digitalization of the energy industry as well as cross-sector solutions from the electricity, heat and transport sectors. Renewable energies and interconnected energy systems are closely linked to the goal of climate neutrality and security of supply, a parameter that needs to be reassessed. The smarter E Europe puts the new energy world on the map and showcases the solutions that are so urgently needed.
The next The smarter E Europe 2023, which will encompass the four exhibitions Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power Europe, will take place from June 14–16, 2023 at Messe München.