As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow in scale and intensity, trade shows of many industries for this year have been delayed or cancelled to the detriment of organizers and exhibitors. In the realm of solar photovoltaics, the organizers of Intersolar Europe announced at the end of March that this year’s edition of the exhibition is cancelled because of complications stemming from the global spread of COVID-19. The event is expected to return next year. Held annually in the German city of Munich, Intersolar Europe has been Europe’s largest industrial exhibition for the solar sector and attracted tens of thousands of visitors.
The organizers of Intersolar Europe include Solar Promotion GmbH, the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the German Solar Association (BSW-Solar), and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Intersolar Europe 2020 was originally scheduled to be held from June 17 to 19. Due to the worsening of the coronavirus outbreak, Solar Promotion and Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM) jointly made the cancellation announcement via a press release on March 31.
According to the press release, the decision to call off the event was taken in consideration of the rapidly growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in European countries and worldwide. The press release further pointed out that the pandemic has resulted in a high level of uncertainty across all industries with respect to planning for the second half of this year. After consultation with exhibitors and industry associations, the organizers of Intersolar Europe has resolved to shelve this year’s edition of the exhibition and wait until next year to hold the event again. Intersolar Europe 2021 is currently scheduled to take place during June 11-19 next year.
If proceeded as originally planned, Intersolar Europe 2020 would host exhibitions by approximately 1,400 companies working in the solar and energy storage sectors. Also, the number of visitors was projected to reach around 50,000.
Intersolar Europe is not the only solar industry event affected by COVID-19. The Smarter E South America 2020, which is another regional trade show for solar energy and smart energy technologies under the Intersolar series, has also been rescheduled from August 25-27 to November 16-18. This event is touted to be one of the largest platforms for renewable energy developers in Latin America as it contains three parallel exhibitions: Intersolar South America, ees South America, and Electrotec + EM-Power.
The organizers of The Smarter E South America include Solar Promotion International GmbH, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI), and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda. (ARANDA). The move to defer the event was made following discussions with the Brazilian Solar Photovoltaic Energy Association (ABSOLAR) and all partners involved in the arrangement of exhibitions. Dr. Florian Wessendorf and Daniel Strowitzki, who are respectively Managing Director of Solar Promotion International and CEO of FMMI, said in a joint statement that announcing a new date for the event has been their priority as exhibitors and visitors will need time to properly prepare themselves for the sudden change in schedule.
The list of solar industry events that are forced to be called off or delayed is expanding. The Netherlands’ Solar Solutions International, which is another big European trade fair for suppliers of photovoltaic products, has been deferred to September 7-9. Likewise, Italy’s Mostra Convego Expocomfort (MCE) has been rescheduled to September as well. While MCE is thematically focused on air conditioning and heating systems, the event also showcases technological innovations related to renewable energies. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, more international trade fairs and conferences on the solar sector are expected to face postponements and cancellations in the near future.