The most important meeting of the international off-grid industry, OFF-GRID Expo + Conference, closed its doors to its visitors, giving them not only positive results, but also important impulses. A total of around 900 international visitors attended the three days of the exhibition and conference, two-thirds via a digital platform. More than 50 exhibitors from 11 countries presented solutions and services live on site and informed visitors about the latest developments in off-grid energy and water supply. Personal networking was at the forefront of attendees' minds in times of the pandemic.
Augsburg. Held under strict hygiene regulations at Messe Augsburg, the OFF-GRID Expo + Conference congress trade show thrilled attendees with infotainment and plenty of networking opportunities. The hybrid event format offered participants excellent conditions for exchange and networking both on-site and via a digital platform. Traditionally, the event started on December 1 with the TechDay, which offered users deeper insights through product and service trainings.
“We are pleased that the OFF-GRID Expo + Conference was so successful and safe in this live format thanks to our comprehensive hygiene plan. Conference participants as well as exhibitors praised the opportunity for networking and personal exchange. The congress fair showed how well on- and offline elements can be combined,” said a pleased Lorenz A. Rau, Managing Director of Messe Augsburg.
In the five conference sessions, participants discussed sustainable energy solutions for use in mining, agriculture and local communities, as well as energy storage systems in rural regions. On display were predominantly renewable energy systems and projects for decentralized supply.
A special highlight in the conference program was the speech by Mr. Dr. Mngereza Mzee Miraj, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Energy & Minerals, Zanzibar. The representative from Tanzania explained that Zanzibar is the first island nation in the world to produce, treat and distribute its water exclusively through off-grid solar energy: “Such a magnificent project is part of a greater strategy of re-branding Zanzibar as an environment friendly destination for tourism around the world. Zanzibar wants to be flagship jurisdiction that phases out plastic bottles and fossil fuel from its entire water sector!”
The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) was again involved as a conceptual partner at this year's conference and business matchmaking. It also gave the conference top marks: “The OFF-GRID Expo + Conference at Messe Augsburg is a major attraction of the off-grid community and we are proud to be both the conference and matchmaking partner. We are very excited to launch with UNIDO ITPO the landmark study on DRE solutions for mining and electrification of surrounding communities. One of the key highlights was a PWCET session co-organised by the ARE and Green People's Energy, demonstrating the huge potential of community-driven DRE projects to scale up and help deliver on the clean energy transition and energy access,” said David Lecoque, CEO of the ARE.
Together with its partner the ARE, Messe Augsburg had expanded the program focused on the topic of decentralized water supply and treatment. During the trade fair, the founding and merger of industry and association partners to form the Off-Grid Water Alliance (OGWA) was announced. The OGWA aims to advance the supply of potable water in East Africa and lay the groundwork for introducing technologies to communities in need as well as to policy makers and developers.
A special highlight of the live exhibition was the Education Mile, where six colleges and universities presented their numerous projects, all of which attracted a lot of attention among the visitors.
The Off-Grid Challenge took place in a designated area in Hall 7. Here 15 students presented their work in 15-minute pitches. Prize money was donated by BOS AG.
Next year, the OFF-GRID Expo + Conference will again take place from December 1 to 2.
About the OFF-GRID Expo + Conference
The OFF-GRID Expo + Conference is considered the most important off-grid event in the sector and is aimed at individuals and companies who are interested in self-sufficient power supply and standalone solutions, including commercial companies, aid organizations, installers, agricultural and forestry companies, mobility equipment suppliers, public administration bodies and universities. The high-caliber, English-language trade congress with a trade fair focuses on all the themes relating to off-grid solar, wind and hydropower systems and a self-sufficient power supply, which are particularly important in rural areas and in aid to developing regions. The official conference partner of the event is the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE). The other partners are the company Phaesun, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO ITPO Germany) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Agency for International Cooperation – GIZ).
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