Intersolar North America Conference
Offers Valuable Insight from Experts Across Solar Supply Chain
Intersolar North America the most well attended venue in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities, will feature insights from solar industry leaders as part of its conference program at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco.
More than 200 speakers will participate in 50 sessions and workshops, covering topics ranging from energy storage to grid stabilization to new solar cell technologies to utility-scale project development to energy storage to grid stabilization to optimized tracking systems. Attracting around 1,600 attendees, the conference provides expert insight and meaningful exchanges for those looking to stay on top of industry trends.
This year's conference covers three notable topic areas: photovoltaics, energy storage and solar heating and cooling. In addition, this year's conference will provide attendees with in-depth presentations on the latest developments in new solar financing and business models, which have been an area of intense innovation in the United States in recent years as part of an overall push to reduce the cost of solar and expand the market.
Focus on Solar Financing
A promising financing trend in distributed solar generation has been the growth of third party owned solar, or solar as a service, where solar energy systems are owned by the project developer and the generated electricity is sold back to homeowners, business and non-profit owners at a price lower than utility rates. This model, which can include leases as well as power purchase agreements (PPAs), has proven extremely effective in California, where it represents 74 percent of the state's residential PV market in 2012. More than a dozen states have companies that provide solar as a service. Speakers from SolarCity and SunRun, two of the largest U.S. residential solar leasing companies, will discuss why this model has been so successful, and how it will continue to drive industry growth.
This model has also proven popular at the commercial scale, and some manufacturers and project developers have opened divisions dedicated to third-party ownership or partnered with experts in the solar leasing space. As a result, solar-as-a-service has spread to larger projects, attracting an increasing number of non-profit and government installations. Through this tool, developers have been able reach many new customers that otherwise could not install solar due to high upfront costs. This area of the market has also attracted large banks, which have invested more than $2 billion annually in project funds in both 2011 and 2012.
During the session "Financing : Business Models" on Wednesday, July 10, executives from Recurrent Energy, CH2M Hill Engineers, Centrosolar and K&L Gates will provide attendees with an overview of new financing models and project case studies. Larger commercial and utility-scale projects continue to be financed through a variety of means, including construction debt, long-term financing arrangements, loans or a combination of these.
Market Outlook and Policy Challenges
Many of the other conference sessions will discuss how the U.S. and global solar markets can continue their impressive growth rate, and offer information on how best to cope with the changing market landscape. The "Accelerating PV Market Development" panel on Wednesday, July 10 will include commentary from policy makers and representatives from government agencies and industry associations on how the solar industry can adapt to new challenges, and the "Future of PV: Technology and Market Outlook" session on Thursday, July 11 will discuss the impact of global consolidation. Looking beyond the California Solar Initiative, one of the most successful solar incentive programs in the United States, "California Solar Markets: Opportunities and Challenges, RPS and Going Beyond the CSI Programm" will feature attendees who will examine what new policies and incentive programs need to be in place in order to grow the U.S. domestic solar market on Tuesday, July 9 at Intersolar's event venue the InterContinental Hotel San Francisco.
Technology Sessions Examine Notable Advancements
Several conference sessions will examine how technology developments also drive market growth. With sessions that highlight the latest in concentrating solar thermal technologies, building integrated solutions, novel PV cell concepts, crystalline silicon PV and thin film PV, Intersolar North America's 2013 conference covers a wide variety of topics critical to the establishment of reliable and high-performing solar installations. Additionally, the SEMI North American PV Fab Managers Forum offers attendees in-depth information on solar materials, equipment and manufacturing during its full-day conference session on Monday, July 8.
A full conference program, including a listing of speakers and topics, is available online.
Intersolar North America 2013
from 9 to 11 July 2013, Moscone Center in San Francisco
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.de, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Solar Promotions International