24 Apr 2009
Visitor and exhibitor numbers grew at the 2009 PHOTON Expo show, which is moving from Munich to Stuttgart to be nearer the industry's major players.
The 2009 PHOTON Photovoltaic Technology Show Europe, held in Munich, saw visitor numbers grow to more than 10,000, up from 7800 the previous year, while the number of exhibitors rose from 176 to 295.
This was the third consecutive year of growth for the show, and the organizers have concluded that a move away from its traditional Munich home to the Stuttgart convention centre would best serve the PV community and allow for further expansion.
"One focus of the trade fair is machine production, and moving to Stuttgart will position it closer to the headquarters of several machinery suppliers," said Philippe Welter, publisher of the PHOTON magazines group that organizes the conference. "The fair's expansion into the areas of modules, inverters, mounting systems and research is a reflection of our effort to meet the needs of manufacturers who want a pure, expert PV trade fair."
The move also stems from the organizers' faith in the PV sector continuing to weather the economic slowdown. "Even if financing for many projects has stagnated temporarily, the PV industry continues to grow despite the financial crisis," commented Anne Kreutzmann of PHOTON magazine.
At the investor conference held during the 2009 show, most companies predicted that further growth lay ahead, although some admitted that the expansion would no longer be at the rates seen over the last three years. A fall in PV system prices by a full 20% in Germany during the coming year would form an additional spur, according to experts present.
As a result any potential dip in the sector's growth would be temporary and interest in innovative production equipment at the PHOTON Expo fair would continue, according to Welter: "PV production equipment exhibitors are very satisfied with the trade fair's progress."