Record figures for 24th EU PVSEC

MUNICH/HAMBURG, GERMANY: With the official Closing Session, the 24thEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Hamburg(24th EU PVSEC) ended last Friday after five very busy days.

UntilThursday, 943 international manufacturers, suppliers and serviceproviders covering every aspect of photovoltaics took part asexhibitors, attracting over 40,000 visitors. The share of internationalvisitors amounted to more than 50 percent.

During the 24th EUPVSEC, many new trends and developments in photovoltaics were presentedand up for discussion. Among the many topics covered, the debatecentred on new cell concepts for the future, increased automation inproduction, and standardisation. New manufacturing processes andproduction machinery for silicon and thin-film technology wereshowcased on the 65,000 sqm exhibition area.

Numerousexhibitors even displayed entire production lines, some of themoperating. Cutting-edge measurement and control equipment for qualityassurance in cell manufacturing was also unveiled. Production samplesof large panels of glass with a photovoltaic finish illustrated therapid advances being made in the field of thin-film solar technology.

The24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition isthe largest trade show in the photovoltaics industry, and also the onewith the highest number of operational exhibits.

Theinternational scientific Conference of the 24th EU PVSEC, which ranfrom September 21-25, 2009, attracted 4,295 delegates. A broad spectrumof topics spanning every area of photovoltaics was on offer on each ofthe conference’s five days.

The keynote speech by David Nelson,Senior Partner and Head of Design at Foster + Partners, London, UK, wasamong the event’s highlights. In his speech entitled "Sustainability and the Future of the City",David Nelson presented his thoughts on the objectives of responsiblearchitectural planning. Making reference to the new zero-emissionsMasdar City in Abu Dhabi, he illustrated how the idea of sustainabilityin architecture still harbours immense potential.

The PV Policy Debate focusing on the "EU Renewable Energy Directive"on Tuesday, September 22, marked another highlight of the 24th EUPVSEC. The international panel discussed the impact of the "EURenewable Energy Directive" on the European PV industry and on PVmarkets. A lively debate including high-ranking specialists fromthroughout the European Union and the USA was chaired by RogerHarrabin, Environment Analyst for BBC News, UK.

In the course ofthe 24th EU PVSEC, the 6th European PV Industry Forum presented onWednesday, September 23, the results of the European PhotovoltaicIndustry Association’s and AT Kearney’s study ‘SET for 2020’. The studyestablishes a vision for the industry to achieve a market share of upto 12 percent in the electricity sector in Europe by 2020.

MichaelSplinter of Applied Materials gave the industry perspective on thisgoal and Hans-Josef Fell, Member of the German Bundestag, discussed thefeed-in-tariff’s decisive contribution to the development of PV.Interesting presentations on the topic were also given by the keystakeholders outside of the PV community.

Moving toward smartcities, designing smart grids, the role of energy storage and thebreakthroughs in electric vehicles were all emphasized as areas wherethe PV industry should work together in close collaboration with theother relevant industries to achieve this 2020 goal.

All areasof photovoltaics were covered in more than 1,300 plenary and specialistpresentations as well as visual poster presentations. Papers on the neworganic photovoltaic cells generated particular interest.

Prof.Wim Sinke, from the ECN Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands,acted as General Conference Chairman, comments: "This 24th EuropeanPhotovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition was held at theright moment in time and has generated important messages for the PVsector itself, for governments working on their national action plansto reach the EU 2020 targets and for society as a whole.

"Thereis not a trace of doubt that PV solar energy is crucial for thetransition to a sustainable energy system. Globally, on a Europeanlevel, and on country level. It is not just a long term option, but ashort term reality which should have a clear position in these actionplans. To contribute to the 2020 targets and to lay the foundation formuch bigger contributions after that. I am convinced that the problemsthe PV sector faces at this moment are no more than ripples on a robusttrend of growth for decades to come.”

Dr. Peter Helm, ExecutiveConference Director stated: "Photovoltaics has ample scope fordevelopment. In fact, it is still in its infancy. Over the next fewyears we will see the appearance of cell concepts offering much higherperformance. The research results are quite clear about that. The 24thEU PVSEC is the most important international platform for presentingand discussing such developments."

In his speech to the ClosingSession of the 24th EU PVSEC, Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink of the EuropeanCommission’s Joint Research Centre, and Technical Programme Chairman,emphasized the progress PV technologies have demonstrated during thisConference.

“The costs will continue to decrease with theresults achieved in terms of processing, material consumption, high andvolume manufacturing equipment. There also is a very dynamic andinnovative community presenting entirely new concepts and announcingnew technology start-ups. In the upcoming 12 months until the next EUPVSEC many unknowns of this week, such as the impact of Europe’sRenewably Energy Directive, the financial crisis, commitment to CO2reductions or even changed governments will have a major impact on theprogress of PV solar energy.“

The Conference Executive Committeeof the 24th EU PVSEC announced during the event that next year’s 25thEuropean Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be ajoint Conference with the 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic EnergyConversion.

The 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic EnergyConversion will unite the three most important scientific and strategicconferences for the global PV solar sector: the 25th EuropeanPhotovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, the 36th US IEEEPhotovoltaic Specialists Conference and the 20th Asia/Pacific PVScience and Engineering Conference.

This event will take placein Valencia, Spain, from September 6-10, 2010 (Conference: September6-10, 2010 – Exhibition: September 6-9, 2010).