Energy storage is of fundamental importance in the development of renewable energy technologies. Low capacity factor values combined with the unpredictability of electricity generation over time - as is typical of solar and wind farms - deter investment in the sector and lower its competitiveness, compared to fossil-fuel based energy production. In addressing the issue the 8th International Energy Storage Europa and the accompanying conference which took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, this year in March are of obvious interest to a great variety of researchers, engineers, investors, businessmen and other interested parties. According to Messe Düsseldorf’s press release, in 2019 the exhibition presented 160 exhibits and was visited by approximately 4,000 experts from 60 countries. Around 40% of the visitors came from abroad. As in the previous year, the exhibition reached 99% visitor capacity. According to the German Energy Storage Association (BVES), energy storage has become an important independent energy industry with sales revenues (+9%) and number of people employed in the sector (+ 12,100) showing consistent growth. Also, large domestic solutions, such as large & industrial batteries, thermal storage and home storage, have developed.
At the exhibition, modern energy giants such as Germany's Siemens, Enercon, TUV, China's Trina Solar and Canada's Hydrogenics presented their exhibits.
An extensive array of exhibits was presented by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, one of Germany's leading institutes for applied research. The institute showcased its technical solutions in a wide variety of fields related to energy storage, including activities concerning Hydrogen and Power-to-X at Fraungofer ISE, the New Multi-Magawatt Laboratory, the Peak Shaving Energy Storage System (BESS), the StEnSea Offshore Pumped Hydroelectric Storage, Chemical and Electrochemical Storage Solutions, as well as Thermal and Mechanical Storage Solutions.
Varta, with its 130-year history in technologies from “micro and household batteries to customer-specific lithium-ion batteries, to house and industrial storage systems" presented new and original solutions, including Self-consumption optimization, Island network, and Peak shaving in the 36 KW - 1 MW range.
The inventions presented by Commeo GmbH (a supplier of innovative energy storage solutions) and TESVOLT (which have patented and TÜV-certified the Active Battery Optimizer [ABO] smart cell control system) appeared promising. The latest system solutions for industrial computing and battery technology were exhibited at the fair by the German ADS-TEC, a company manufacturing industrial computing and IT systems for sectors including automation.
At the exhibition significant attention was devoted to various technical solutions pertaining to the development of the hydrogen industry. Notable exhibits dedicated to this topic included “Unlocking the Potential of Renewables” by the Norwegian company NEL, a world leader in the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen from renewable energy sources, and “The Mobile Hydrogen Energy Supply Center” presented by the companies ZBT and ANLEG. The next Energy Storage Europe 2020 is scheduled as usual in Düsseldorf for next March.