So another InterSolar is done, and what a great show it was. This is my 10th trip for the worlds largest Solar show and by far the most enjoyable, and certainly the busiest!
Munich is a great place, home to our German office and team, a friendly, vibrant city. This show is a little different now, and part of Smarter E Europe. Its no surprise to see the introduction of the EV section in Halls C1 and C2, to complement market trends and products. I was really looking forward to visiting this part of the show, but being totally honest, didn’t really believe it captured the imagination, or a lot of footfall either. Certainly compared to the halls of A1-A3 or B1-B3 anyway.
E-Mobility is a lot younger and there are other more relevant shows. Also, a number of key players, that attract big visitors like SolarEdge, Hanwha Q-Cells, ABB, Ads-Tec, E-on and Ingeteam all launched or demonstrated new EV related products in B2/B3. Next year will see a bigger presence in C1 and C2, with companies even following the lead of Innogy – a new client of ours – and having 2 stands in separate areas.
Foot-fall seemed a lot lot higher than usual, estimates at around 60,000 visitors – and something that I think everyone else noticed too. Even the queues to get into the cloakroom and turnstiles were something I have never witnessed before. The time is now, technology has evolved so much over the last 24 months or so, and there is a full package offering that works. So many locations are booming for Solar and Storage and the deployment of EV is also keeping everyone really excited. The big boys are also here, and that only makes it a positive step in general for the market with the power and positive marketing they bring too that essentially filters down the food chain.
AD Energy spent most of the time in meetings, both with our existing clients, but also with a number of prospective new clients too, many who have heard about what we are doing and the niche markets we operate in. During pretty much every meeting, its was so evident that whilst the technology is now here and constantly evolving, the race for talent is getting more fierce. Clients are becoming genuinely worried about the shortage of talent in the hugely growing Storage market, and even more concerned about how they are going to attract quality hires to launch new and innovative EV solutions.
It never fails to surprise me at the size of a number of these stands, some with their own telephone systems, bars, and even cars on them, and the market leaders seem to be making them even bigger year after year. It was fantastic to see some of our clients like SolarWatt, Huawei, Hanwha Q-Cells, ABB, Siemens and Tesvolt hold such huge booths, and set down a marker that they are leaders both today and in the future in this market. Though maybe wasn’t the only one surprised to see Mercedes Benz with such a huge booth, noticeably a lot quieter than in previous years given recent announcements. Possibly too late to cancel and change, without damaging their overall brand.
My parting thought on the way back to the airport on Friday evening was that the time is now. Despite the challenges being faced in China, the time for the European market really is this very minute. Projects are being signed off, tenders are being drawn up and new markets and being talked about as definetly, rather than possibly. e-mobility will continue to grow and excite, and consumers are in great place with the amount of new, exciting technology coming to the market on a regular basis.
For AD Energy, it means some busy months ahead, with a significant portfolio of new projects signed off at the event. Some of these are in the UK too, and it will be really intriguing to see where the general feel at InterSolar 2019 will be, in a post Brexit marketplace. H2 will see us complete even more projects in Solar, Storage and E-mobility, further strengthening our position as the go-to talent acquisition business in the market.
The excitement and positivity around the market right now is unbelievable, and long may it continue!