The core statements of Messe Düsseldorf were contradictory: On the one hand, Hans Werner Reinhard, the managing director of the trade fair company, explained: “A new industry is emerging here. […] We want to have the central platform for energy storage in Germany.” On the other hand, he stated that the exhibitor figures for 2019 were “rather in a horizontal movement”:
The rented space remained almost the same as in the previous year, but this time there were ten fewer exhibitors than in 2018, with around 160 institutions exhibiting, and around ten percent fewer visitors came to the exhibition hall. Meanwhile, the industry figures presented in Düsseldorf document that the topic of energy storage is gaining further momentum and has a great deal of development potential.
Reinhard described the Energy Storage Europe (ESE) as a “still very small plant”, although the energy storage event from 12 to 14 March 2019 took place for the eighth time in the Rhine metropolis – the third time in Hall 8. Urban Windelen, Federal Managing Director of the Bundesverband Energiespeicher (BVES), stated that there are currently comparatively few companies in this sector in Germany. BVES, which was co-founded by Messe Düsseldorf in 2013, has a membership of just 220 institutions, many of which were also represented in Düsseldorf.
“Politicians recognise the relevance of storage facilities for decarbonising a secure energy supply system. The further development of power-to-x technologies such as green hydrogen production is an important approach here.”
Urban Windelen, BVES Federal Managing Director
School competition to continue
The conference programme this year was much clearer than in previous years. There was neither a StorageDay nor the Power-to-Gas Congress organised by the OTTI College, which went bankrupt in 2016. Since the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) was not available as a cooperation partner for the first time this year, there was also no Power2X workshop. However, the EnergyAgency.NRW once again organised the traditional teachers’ seminar, as well as the award ceremony for the FuelCellBox student competition, although H-Tec Education is no longer available as a hardware supplier due to its company insolvency.
Parallel to the 8th Energy Storage Europe Conference and 13th International Renewable Energy Storage Conference (IRES), which were held in a separate lecture area, gave various exhibitors and actors an insight into their projects and presented best-practice examples in the freely accessible exhibition forum. Mortimer E. Schulz, for example, who had come to Düsseldorf from Frankfurt a. M. in a fuel cell car, reported on his practical experience from numerous trips with an H2 car. As part of the “Energy Tours” he himself organised, the independent energy and financial consultant has already travelled thousands of kilometres across Europe, providing information both online and at industry events. The Vienna-based hydrogen fan and photographer Lars Regge undertook this trip to the ESE in a Toyota Mirai to test different H2 filling stations on the way.
read more in H2-international July 2019