It was quite the show - very different from last year. Last year the industry was lamenting the sorry state of the industry following cuts in feed-in-tariffs and import duties on solar panels.
Not last week. There was a great buzz in the air. What was different? There were probably less exhibitors. And the booths of the big players were definitely less ostentatious. No girls in solar bikinis. However there were batteries everywhere. Not just in standing room only Hall B1. But at every booth of every player that had something to do with batteries, even displays of Teslas model S and the new Mercedes electric car.
It seemed that Germany wanted to show the world that it is making up for any momentum lost in the change from a policy driven incentive market to a market priced industry. It displayed leadership in how batteries can play a pivotal role in the development of new business models for solar. From combining energy efficiency with batteries to form virtual power plants or swarm farms. From demand-response to frequency containment reserve services to peak shaving to using batteries for smart energy trading.
Intersolar announced that storage is now on average 26% cheaper than during last year's tradeshow. And some even went further. During the Sunspec's and Solar Power Europe's "Solar Bankability Conference" a speaker exclaimed that batteries or storage are now "the holy grail" of solar. Certainly a space to watch....