Important industry events have also taken place in the Alpine region in recent weeks. Therefore, today’s blog post revolves around the Energiesparmesse Wels in Austria, where we were presenting our portfolio from 1st to 5th March, as well as the Swiss Photovoltaic Conference, which was held on 21st and 22nd March.
The focus of the Energiesparmesse was on our comprehensive product and service portfolio in the residential and commercial sectors, which was presented on a significantly larger stand this time. “Regionally active installers have helped the renewable energy market to achieve unprecedented PV and storage additions in 2022 through their efforts. And this trend will continue. For more than 15 years, we have seen Austria as an important market that we are centrally and actively working on,” explains Julius Möhrstedt, Head of Central Europe, AT and CH at IBC SOLAR.
Our product highlights this year were our in-house mounting systems. These include the further development of our high-quality aerodynamic flat roof mounting system, the IBC AeroFix G3, on which modules with lengths from 1500 to 2100 mm and widths from 980 to 1150 mm can be mounted. In the pitched roof area, we have expanded our proven mounting system IBC TopFix 200 with ingenious additional elements that make installation on the roof even faster and thus give the installer an important time advantage.
The Energiesparmesse Wels
The Energiesparmesse Wels took place on a total of five trade fair days and attracted 78,000 visitors. Before the actual trade fair, the SHK trade day as well as the building and SHK trade day were scheduled. Although visits to the fair again reached pre-Corona levels, there were also 30,000 visits to the digital exhibition stands online in advance. It was the second time in 2023 that the fair was held in hybrid form.
The PV Conference Bern
The most important meeting of the industry in Switzerland took place for the 21st time and enjoyed a new record attendance of 700 participants. The comprehensive programme of the conference was all about the energy transition and included many exciting presentations and discussions, including the implementation of winter power solutions and an initiative to promote skilled workers in the solar sector. Our team was on site together with our partner Fankhauser Solar, a PV wholesaler based in Solothurn.
In Austria, a total of 1.2 GW of new photovoltaic systems were added last year. This was the first time that the GW mark was exceeded, which is to be maintained. The Federal Association Photovoltaic Austria considers this necessary in order to achieve the country’s goal, formulated by the government in the Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG), of converting the electricity supply to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. In Austria, too, the trend is towards self-consumption. Especially in the homeowner sector, the share of storage solutions is therefore growing strongly. This was also noticeable in the discussions at our stand, as there were many enquiries about the IBC SOLAR storage solutions. The desire for more self-sufficiency was an omnipresent topic this year.
The PV market in Switzerland
The Swiss PV sector is also growing and was able to add 1 GW last year. Currently, solar power covers about seven percent of the Alpine nation’s electricity needs. A lot of hope is placed in the generation of winter electricity in particular, which is to be realised through alpine photovoltaic power plants. Auction rounds for PV plants are new in Switzerland, the first results of which have now been announced at the PV Conference in Bern. The growth of the industry is also reflected in the results of a survey of Swiss PV companies: 58 % percent of them could report an increase in sales of more than 25 percent in 2022. However, a shortage of skilled workers and supply bottlenecks pose challenges for the Swiss PV industry – as they do in so many other countries.
The many meetings with existing, long-standing and also potential new trade partners at the trade days of the Energy Saving Exhibition remain a particularly positive memory. We are curious to see how the PV market in Austria and Switzerland will continue to develop and are pleased with the numerous impressions and new ideas.