On Friday 10 April 2015, the 16th edition of Solarexpo-The Innovation Cloud, the Italian exhibition and conference event totally dedicated to low carbon energy technologies for smart grids, smart buildings and smart cities, came to a close. This year, the event was held in Milan at the MiCo-Milan Exhibition and Conference Centre. During three days, 10,100 professional operators and representatives of specialised companies from 56 different countries, attended the event.

Attendance at the conferences on the programme was extremely high; these are one of the factors that have always distinguished this event, for the high quality of their content and speakers: almost 40 events with more than 300 of the best experts, independent analysts and company executives.

There were 250 companies, international trademarks and institutional brands representing 20 European and non-European countries; this is a trade fair with so many leading lights from a sector which today is much slimmer than a few years ago, but one which is highly convinced of the potential of the Italian market, at last ready for relaunch.

The exhibitors also commented on the quality of the visitors, mostly highly qualified and skilled professionals, in search of quality B2B contacts and business opportunities.

With regard to the photovoltaic sector, rather than a ‘relaunch’, it is more of a ‘rebirth’. As noted by some attentive foreign observers, Italy today is the “laboratory-state” of the sector, the first market in the world where solar energy is already in the post-subsidy era: no longer producing for the incentives, but for personal consumption and in competition with the national grid.

Photovoltaic energy, a strategic element of distributed generation and a ‘disruptive technology’ in the energy sector, is connected to the revolution of the ‘prosumers’, or producer-consumers. In Italy, hundreds of thousands of new players have came to the fore of the energy scene.

This change in progress promises new accelerations, with the prices of solar systems having plummeted by 75% in just a few years and with the advent of new technologies like storage systems for the electricity produced by solar power. The goal: growing energy autonomy for households and enterprises.

With regard to the new approach towards the customer and the new business models required by the new markets, Solarexpo-The Innovation Cloud this year launched the concept of renewable energy together with energy efficiency. Two communities, industrial and professional, until now “separate but cohabiting”, which are now speaking a common language and trying out new alliances.

But these sectors are much more than simple markets. “The energy revolution for a low-carbon society and economy is far from over, neither here, even if Italy is already the leader with its 40% of green electricity, nor elsewhere – Luca Zingale, scientific director of the event, explains – We must accelerate on efficiency; we need new buildings, networks, industries, mobility and intelligent cities. Full-electric and carbon-free”.

(Reprinted from Solarexpo-The Innovation Cloud Press Release)