We sat down with Michiel van Schalkwijk, VP of International Sales at Solarwatt, to discuss the digital & storage trends in the solar sector right now and why this event is important for the European solar industry.
SolarPower Europe: Solarwatt is one of the pioneers of solar energy in the German market, what product innovations can we expect to see in solar with the storage and digitalisation trends right now?
MVS: Solar energy is in many applications, and particularly at the end of the grid, the cheapest source of electricity. The only disadvantage is that the energy is not always generated simultaneously with peak demand. The developments will therefore be aimed at matching supply and demand, in many ways. Either by improving the storage systems by making them more versatile and allowing batteries to run more cycles or by optimizing software to better match supply and demand.
SolarPower Europe: In what ways do you think these trends will impact the future energy system?
MVS: It will lead to an energy system in which the fluctuations of renewable energy resources – and we have to include wind in that picture as well – are evened out, such that the baseload generation can be reduced and the energy system will be cleaner overall.
SolarPower Europe: The Digital Solar and Storage event will be bring together multiple sectors including transport, heating, and power – why is this cross-sectoral platform significant for the development of the European solar industry?
MVS: Cross-sectoral cooperation is important because it will eventually lead to open communication between suppliers and off-takers to optimize simultaneous generation and consumption. The European solar industry, including Solarwatt, has proven to be at the forefront of developments in this field. In general, European cross-sectoral cooperation will strengthen the industry in all respects, and in particular for the creation of the safest and most sustainable energy system, reaching far beyond CO2 targets alone.