5 key takeaways from Smarter 2024

4 mins

Under the motto 'Accelerating Integrated Energy Solutions', The SmarterE Europe 2024, Europe's most comprehensive trade fair alliance for the energy industry, is once again presenting cross-sector solutions for a continuous supply of renewable energy in the areas of electricity, heating and transport. The leading European platform in the energy sector comprises four trade fairs: Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive Europe and emPower Europe.

At Kyon, too, we were right in the middle of the action — whether at our speaking panel at the same time ees conference or at our stand at the trade fair itself — with the clear mission as a leading project developer of large battery storage systems in Germany to provide a sustainable and future-proof energy supply with renewable energy.

After three inspiring, exciting and exhausting days, we have learned five important findings:

#1: Growth & optimism at the trade fair

In recent years, the pace of the energy revolution has accelerated markedly, and the motivation of the various players to drive it forward together has risen sharply. This dynamic is reflected in Smarter E's growth. In 2024, the trade fair achieved new record figures for both exhibitors and visitors: More than 3,000 trade fair exhibitors from 55 countries presented themselves in 19 halls, and around 110,000 interested visitors flocked across the exhibition grounds in Munich within three days to intensively exchange ideas and network. Yet there is no blind optimism in Munich. Current hurdles and political-regulatory developments are discussed as well as the strong growth of the markets.

#2: China remains a leader in battery cell production

The presence of Chinese suppliers on the European market has increased significantly in recent years, which is also clearly visible at trade fairs. In addition to the large, already established manufacturers, previously unknown Chinese companies are also increasingly gaining presence, which are now announcing their market entry in Europe. At the same time, significant investments in production in the USA can also be observed. In particular, the Inflation Reduction Act appears to be having its first effect as it promotes local production and development of battery technologies. These developments illustrate a dynamic change in the global energy landscape, with increased competition and new opportunities on international markets.

#3: Lithium-ion batteries dominate the stationary battery storage market

Lithium-ion batteries remain the most sought after technology for stationary large battery storage systems. Thanks to their positive price development, established supply chains and recognized safety standards, these batteries have clearly prevailed over alternative technologies. While alternative battery technologies were discussed intensively last year, they are receiving significantly less attention this year. Large manufacturers and suppliers are increasingly focusing on scaling their lithium-ion systems, which further strengthens their leading position in the market.

#4. As Europe's “hottest market”, Germany is in high demand at the trade fair

As part of the ees conference, which took place parallel to the trade fair, the most dynamic energy storage markets in Europe were discussed intensively this year. Our colleague Benedikt Deuchert had the honor of presenting the German market. Although the UK was surprisingly not shortlisted as a large and established market, compelling arguments were made for markets such as Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Despite this strong competition, the audience ultimately chose Germany as the most attractive market for energy storage systems, in particular for large battery storage systems, in Europe. This success is primarily due to the enormous demand for storage capacity caused by the rapid progress of the energy revolution. In addition, comparatively favourable regulatory frameworks help to support the market-based operation of battery energy storage systems (BESS). This shows that the commercial operation of battery storage systems is not only possible but also a clear investment opportunity.

#5: “Intersolar” as a “buzzword” no longer does the trade fair justice

SmarterE has made a name for itself in particular through the Intersolar trade fair and has received widespread recognition. The trade fair has become a central buzzword that is generally known in the energy sector and is often a household name even for laypeople. But a key conclusion of the trade fair is that the term “Intersolar” no longer fully does justice to the dynamism and significance of the event. This is because storage technologies, particularly as part of the ees trade fair, are increasingly becoming the focus of the energy sector and have become an integral part of it. The energy storage market has developed strongly and solidified worldwide in recent years. In addition to photovoltaics and wind energy, storage systems are perceived as a completely normal, firmly established renewable asset. They play a central role in the energy revolution.

This year's Smarter E Europe exhibition did not disappoint. The record numbers of exhibitors and visitors as well as our findings illustrate the current dynamism of the energy transition and the rapidly increasing pace and growing public interest. It is also clear that energy storage will play a crucial role in their future growth.

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