Energy storage is a hot topic these days. While not a lot of it is needed to create a renewable energy–focused grid, a bit of it certainly is. Still a very nascent industry, research and development is going on at a frantic pace. A lot of researchers and firms are trying to “crack the energy storage code” in order to dominate what will become a pretty massive market in the years and decades to come. Intersolar North America, a leading solar trade show, has decided to put more focus on storage this year. Here’s a full statement from intersolar (released yesterday, April 23):

Intersolar North AmericaIntersolar North America, the most attended industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities in the U.S. solar market, will unveil a special exhibition segment dedicated to energy storage at this year’s event. The exhibit will address the latest developments in energy storage technology and policy, and tap industry experts’ predictions for the strongest growth markets.

The U.S. solar market is projected to add approximately 3.9 GW of new solar capacity in 2013, according to EuPD Research, and commercialized energy storage solutions will play a pivotal role in ensuring the market’s continued growth. As solar power becomes more and more cost competitive, investors, utilities and power producers are looking to incorporate energy storage into plant design. In the U.S. alone, the grid storage market could reach 4 GW by 2016. Recently, the California Public Utilities Commission set a procurement target of 50 MW of storage by 2021 for Southern California Edison, one of the state’s largest utilities, and is working to set procurement targets across the state as part of the goals of California Assembly Bill 2514.

Additionally, a public-private initiative launched in the United States in March will encourage the development of cheaper, more powerful batteries for energy storage systems and electric vehicles. The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) was started by the Department of Energy and includes major U.S. research universities. It will receive an award of up to $120 million to develop new technologies, providing further proof that the energy storage market in the United States is expanding rapidly and attracting the attention of investors, government research centers and agencies, and utilities, among others.

Energy Storage Centerpiece of Exhibition and Conference

Energy storage is a key part of the complete system of solar technologies, and last year Intersolar North America featured special presentations on the topic. Based on strong demand and positive feedback from 2012 attendees, Intersolar North America expanded its offerings on the topic, and created the Energy Storage special exhibit to highlight the importance of energy storage to the solar market in the United States and beyond. Located on Level 2 in the Moscone West Hall, the segment is specifically reserved for exhibitors showcasing the storage solutions that are attracting the interest of investors, utilities and independent power producers.

Special presentations on energy storage will be held on the PV ENERGY WORLD stage that will address disruptive technologies in the market and business strategies for greater market penetration. The Fraunhofer Institute, Intersolar’s scientific partner, is a primary organizer of these sessions. Additionally, one track at the Intersolar Conference in the InterContinental Hotel will be dedicated to energy storage. Featuring four sessions on Monday, July 8, the energy storage track will cover the latest information on storage applications, technologies, market overviews and policy, and will conclude with an expert panel.

“The increased number of PV systems being integrated into electrical grids requires storage solutions on different time scales to secure the feeding-in of electricity, and to preserve the quality and reliability of the power supply. Furthermore the integration of storage transforms fluctuating power generators like PV into controllable power systems. Fortunately, recent developments, especially in battery technologies, coupled with favorable policies and support schemes, are accelerating widespread adoption,” said Dr. Matthias Vetter of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. “Energy storage plays a crucial role in bringing more renewable energy systems online. Facilitating high-quality exchanges between business leaders and innovators is key to ensuring these solutions are adopted worldwide.”

To further the discussion on energy storage, Intersolar launched a web portal on April 23 for the solar industry to exchange ideas on the topic of storage and grid integration of renewables, as well as industry best practices. The portal features commentary and blog posts from industry experts involved in research and development and active in relevant trade associations.

Intersolar North American Launches eMobility Special Exhibit

As part of its commitment to highlight new solar industry trends, Intersolar will showcase eMobility at this year’s conference, and highlight technologies that can seamlessly integrate solar systems with energy storage solutions. Companies will show the latest in electric vehicles, charging technology and solar-powered carports on Level 3 of Moscone West (Booth #9635). eMobility couples two rapidly developing market sectors—electric vehicles and energy storage—and can play a role in stabilizing the grid as more renewable energy comes online. The exhibit will feature international companies highlighting the latest in eMobility technologies and market strategies.

About Intersolar North America

With around 3,000 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply.

Intersolar North America takes place annually in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Since its establishment in 2008, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in North America. The exhibition focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, solar thermal technologies, and energy storage. It is co-located with SEMICON West and, since its founding, has become the international industry’s meeting point for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry.

In total, 757 exhibitors and 17,823 trade visitors participated in 2012. The conference featured 30 sessions with 220 speakers and catered to about 1,500 conference attendees.

Intersolar’s storied history of international exhibitions and conferences spans more than 20 years. Taking place in addition to Intersolar North America in San Francisco are Intersolar India in Mumbai, Intersolar China in Beijing, and Intersolar South America in São Paulo. The world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry is Intersolar Europe in Munich.

Intersolar North America is organized by Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim and Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI).

For more information on Intersolar North America please visit: