Positive Impulses at Solar Exhibits: From Istanbul to Denmark

Attending and exhibiting at regional and supra-regional trade fairs is mandatory for the exploration and opening of new markets in any industry sector. This spring the German solar pioneer Wagner & Co together with partner company Lemsolar presented their solar thermal and solar power products at Turkey’s largest solar industry exhibition. The SOLAREX 2012, which many consider a solar gateway to the Middle East, took place from April 11 to 14, and it occupied 2 large Halls with approximately 200 participating companies, mostly from Turkey, but increasingly also from other countries, many of them from Germany or Austria, among them world leading brands including Bosch, Fronius and SMA.

Solarex Istanbul 2012

Solarex Istanbul 2012

Cölbe/Istanbul/Odense in May 2012

Wagner & Co and Lemsolar with their crew of ten were exceptionally well positioned as one of only two manufacturers of solar thermal systems. Both – the Wagner solar power as well as the solar thermal products drew considerable attention. Especially the high-end thermosiphon system SECUterm was well received. It was specifically developed for the sub-tropical Mediterranean markets and came out as the clear top performer during recent Solar Keymark evaluations.

Alexander Storek, department head for international markets at Wagner & Co, sees many opportunities: „In the Turkish solar thermal market I see potential for the SECUterm systems, especially for weekend houses and smaller projects on detached single family homes. But there also is a more upbeat market for space heating support and our RATIOfresh freshwater units, for example in the hotel sector. And we actually were the only company on the SOLAREX with complex large scale thermal systems.“

Wagner & Co Partner Halil Ergünal from Lemsolar is very demanding of himself and his employees. They simultaneously enter the solar thermal and power markets with high aspirations and a professional attitude, which, according to Mr. Storek, will also be required: „We expect to be engaged with large scale projects and already have requests for several installations in the 500 kW range, mainly by small to mid sized businesses, to meet their own electricity demand.“

Generally there is considerable interest in photovoltaic installations for self consumed electricity, while to date grid feeding seems to be less attractive. However – this is about to change as the Turkish government actively embraces renewable energies and recently announced a guaranteed Feed-in-Tariff (FIT). Renewable energy is a must for the country with a booming economy and a national energy demand that grows accordingly. Energy cost increased by approx. 20% annually in recent years, so the solar future in Turkey looks bright. Another welcome indicator also illustrates this: The now regularly organized Lemsolar & Wagner Solar professional training seminars typically are booked out.

After the encouraging reception at the SOLAREX, Wagner & Co and Lemsolar decided to additionally present their product and service portfolio at the SODEX plumbing and installation exhibition, which was organized from May 2 to 5, also in Istanbul. SODEX well meshed with Wagner & Co’s tradition as a solar thermal manufacturer since it focuses more on solar thermal, heating and plumbing than on photovoltaic. Nevertheless here, too, the interest in solar power was strong, clearly reflecting the current market trends.

The same was true during yet another trade fair in that same period but for an entirely different regional market: Together with Wagner & Co partner Nyrup Solar photovoltaic systems were presented at the El & Teknik exhibit in Odense, Denmark from May 8 to 10. Approx. 60 companies advertised their products and many interesting conversations came up with some of the more than 8000 visitors. Other than in Turkey, owing to local legislation customers in Denmark are mainly interested in small domestic PV systems up to 6 kWp. Nyrup and Wagner & Co also presented the TRIC racking systems, which received some attention and even were sold during the exhibition.

Amidst a global crisis of the solar energy industry, there are very promising developments in established as well as new emerging markets, ranging from Scandinavia to the Middle East and beyond.


Author: Stefan Thiesen