THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST EXHIBITION FOR THE SOLAR INDUSTRY
To actively promote the development of solar technology. That was the aim set by members of the Working Group for Environmental Technology (Arbeitskreis für Umwelttechnologie) in Pforzheim when, in 1991, they organized a one-day event with presentations on the use of solar energy. Five solar companies presented their products there as part of a small exhibition. Over the years that followed, interest in solar technology grew and in 1993 the event attracted 25 exhibitors to Pforzheim, a town situated between Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, with 84 companies present in 1995.
These companies made the event Germany’s most important exhibition for solar technology, and gradually organization of the event became more professional. As CEO of the newly founded Solar Promotion GmbH, Markus Elsässer, who was there at the beginning in 1991, raised awareness of the solar exhibition beyond Germany’s borders.
It therefore moved to Freiburg, and its name was changed to Intersolar. In Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH (FWTM), the exhibition gained a respected exhibition organizer as its partner. With its new exhibition grounds and the solar companies and institutions based there, Freiburg offered a professional environment to host representatives from Europe’s growing solar industry. 200 exhibitors and 11,000 visitors came to the first Intersolar in 2000.
Throughout the years thereafter, Intersolar became well-established across Europe. And so, in 2008, Intersolar moved to Munich with FWTM as its co-organizer. The new location allowed the exhibition to develop further, attracting exhibitors from the supply industry and expanding the offering to include PV production technology. 2008 also saw the inception of Intersolar North America in San Francisco, with Intersolar India in Mumbai following in 2009. The Intersolar exhibitions’ expert, international audiences afford them the best conditions for promoting the development of solar technology. Just as those who initiated the event in 1991 had envisaged.