The History of the World´s Leading Exhibition for the Solar Industry

2018: Intersolar under the umbrella of The smarter E

Intersolar has been driving the building and expansion of the solar industry forward around the world for over 25 years. With the rise of renewables comes a transition in the structure of energy supply. Energy generation, distribution, storage and use must be digitally controlled and networked – using a smart energy management system. Under the slogan of The Innovation Hub for Empowering New Energy Solutions, the The smarter E Europe umbrella brand brings together several exhibitions for renewable and smart energy solutions in Europe – including the leading Intersolar Europe and ees Europe and the newly introduced Power2Drive Europe and EM-Power exhibitions held in Munich. From 2018 on, The smarter E acts as a strong link for a diverse range of events, covering renewable energy production, distribution, storage and the intelligent use of energy.

2016: 25 years Intersolar – More than just an exhibition

From the very beginning, Intersolar’s founders have been guided by a vision of a solar future. Intersolar’s organizers are convinced that the global energy transition will be a success and are certain that 100 percent renewables is achievable. The steps that need to be taken to achieve this goal and the challenges this brings are very differen around the world. To this end, Intersolar has cooperated closely with solar energy groups and associations since the exhibition’s early days. Today, Intersolar brings together the best minds and technologies from all over the world, uniting people on four continents who are familiar with the various regional challenges and thus, as we like to say, “Connecting Solar Business”.

2014: The expansion of the production range to include energy storage systems

In order to further increase the share of solar power in the general energy industry in the future, Intersolar expanded its product range to the field of energy storage. More than 200 international exhibitors presented the latest products and solutions for renewable energy storage and grid integration at Intersolar Europe in 2013. Since 2014, the electrical energy storage exhibition ees, international trade fair for batteries, energy storage systems and innovative production, takes place in conjunction with Intersolar Europe. The ees is covering the entire value chain of innovative battery and energy storage technologies. In 2014, around 260 exhibitors showed energy storage solutions at ees and Intersolar Europe.

2008–2013: The evolvement of Intersolar to the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry

Throughout the years, Intersolar became well-established across Europe. But the exhibition has not only become well-known in Europe. By organizing further exhibitions on other continents, Intersolar evolved to the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. 2008 saw the inception of Intersolar North America in San Francisco, with Intersolar India in Mumbai following in 2009, Intersolar China in 2011 and Intersolar South America in 2013. These global events are complemented by the Intersolar Summits taking place in emerging and growing markets worldwide.

2007: Intersolar moved from Freiburg to Munich

The exhibition grew significantly further and in 2007, Intersolar counted already three times more exhibitors and visitors. So again, the exhibition center was outgrown and Intersolar had to move from Freiburg to Munich. However, FWTM remained as co-organizer. The new location allowed the exhibition to develop further, attracting exhibitors from the supply industry and expanding the offering to include PV production technology.

2000: How Solar became Intersolar

Reaching the capacity limits of Pforzheim’s exhibition center, the exhibition moved to Freiburg in the following year. There it gained the exhibition organizer Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH (FWTM) as its partner. With its new exhibition grounds and the solar companies and institutions based there, Freiburg offered a professional environment to host representatives from Europe’s growing solar industry. The awareness of the solar exhibition beyond Germany’s borders had been raised and so “Solar” was renamed to “Intersolar”. 185 exhibitors and 11,505 visitors came to the first Intersolar in 2000.

In Pforzheim, Solar `97 showcases a small but innovative industry. It starts as a small exhibition in 1991 with five solar companies presenting their products to solar enthusiasts and environmentalists.

1993–1999: The expansion of Solar

Over the years that followed after the foundation of the one-day event Solar in 1991, interest in solar technology grew and thus the number of exhibitors and visitors in the following events. Solar ‘93 attracted 25 exhibitors and 2,500 visitors to Pforzheim. At Solar ’95, there were 45 exhibitors and already 84 exhibitors at Solar ’97. The last exhibition in Pforzheim, Solar ’99, was attended by 142 exhibitors and 8.400 visitors.

1991: How it all started with Solar in Pforzheim

Intersolar was founded in 1991 to actively promote the development of solar technology. It started with the one-day event Solar ‘91, organized by members of the Working Group for Environmental Technology in Pforzheim, Germany, at which five solar companies presented their products as part of a small exhibition with presentations on the use of solar energy.