The Movers and Shakers of New York's
Energy Sector Discussed the Region's Potential as a
Paver for Solar Energy Market Development
More than 300 market experts, policymakers and participants discussed the role of America's East Coast states in the U.S. solar energy market at the Intersolar Summit USA East in Brooklyn. Two fundamental questions shaped the discussions during the event: "Are legislators ready to embrace the transition to a clean energy economy?" and "How should utilities change their business models to thrive in the new, renewable energy dominated environments?"
Under the slogan "What's Next for Solar Energy in the Mid-Atlantic States? Implications of the Mid-Term Elections for the Region's Solar Future", five keynote and plenary speakers, including New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, New York Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy & Finance for New York of the Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Ralph Izzo, President and CEO of the Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), shared their visons on what is needed to create long-term solar prosperity for the region. All the experts agreed that the overall access to clean energy should be further improved. The recently launched Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, designed to give all more choice and value in resilient, clean energy in communities and remove market barriers to distributed generation, clearly underlines that solar is a key part of the NY State energy policy. The industry's long-term success is dependent on the competitive value provided by solar in terms of reliability, low price, safety, and minimal environmental impact, Izzo concluded. Making solar more accessible to low-income residents was of particular concern. The panelists reiterated the theme sounded by New York State Senator Parker in his keynote speech: "New York sees opportunities, not roadblocks," he said. "New York is about creating success stories and then taking them to another level." The key to success in New York is transforming the current energy patchwork into a comprehensive, connected network, in the same way that an information technology network is created, the panelists said. Building a connected infrastructure will provide a framework of opportunities for new generations.
The subsequent State-level session highlighted incentive structures, opportunities and challenges for solar in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, California and Massachusetts. While each state faces unique challenges with regulation, several themes emerged. The first is that policy can make or break solar. Bad policy decisions and incentive cliffs, such as the policy changes that contributed to a downturn in New Jersey's solar industry, can affect solar growth over the long-term. Lyle Rawlings, president of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA), noted that a broad-based coalition of environmental, industry, professional, civic and faith-based organizations in New Jersey has formed NJ FREE (New Jersey For Renewable Energy and Efficiency) with the goal of producing 80 percent of New Jersey's energy from renewable sources by 2050. While some may not believe it will be possible to make the transition from fossil fuels to renewables by the end of the first half of the 21st century, the goal is eminently doable, he said. In order to reach 80 percent by 2050, it will be necessary to install an average of 425 megawatts per year through 2050, which is less than the 463 megawatts installed in New Jersey in 2012 alone.
Within the panel titled "Future Paths for the East Coast Electricity Business", speakers focused on the need for the solar and utility industries to get along, given the fact that electricity is inherently tied to utilities. Certain forward-thinking utilities, such as PSEG, have invested heavily in solar, from solar farms to installing panels on utility poles. With the integration of distributed energy with the electricity grid, the nation will move away from a centralized utility system to adopt "the sharing utility," which features collaborative consumption and introduces a middle ground between ownership and shared resources, the panelists predicted.
Another highlight of the day was the expert panel on energy storage, where speakers discussed current issues impacting the industry, such as cost structures and available financing mechanisms to assist the growth of this market. The need for storage is evident as distributed generation captures a larger market share, the panelists noted. In particular, they talked about the benefit of storage in helping to address peak demand. However, the consensus was that the nascent storage industry still faces many hurdles.
The day was topped off by the exclusive networking reception "Solar Futures" hosted by New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker at the historic Brooklyn Borough Hall, where delegates took advantage of high-level networking and reflected on the conference findings.
After the successful Intersolar Summit, Intersolar will be hosting North America's most-attended solar event in San Francisco this July. Intersolar offers the ideal platform for all stakeholders in the rapidly growing solar and energy storage market. The new special exhibition - ees™ (electrical energy storage) will debut at this year's Intersolar North America from July 14-16 to extend the event's focus on the latest technologies and policies in the energy storage value chain. 50 out of the 550 exhibitors at Intersolar North America will showcase their storage solutions in this special exhibition, the hotspot for companies with stationary and mobile electrical energy storage solutions. The conference and expo program contains more than 80 conference sessions, technical trainings, workshops and networking events! For more information please visit www.intersolar.us
Information on the Intersolar Summit
The Solar Promotion International GmbH and the Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH are the organizers of the event in cooperation with the co-organizer EuPD Research.The Intersolar Summit USA East was officially supported by the New York State, the New York State Senate, Brooklyn Borough and the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA). Diamond Sponsors were the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Board (NYERDA) and the Resilient Solar Alliance, Premium Sponsor was Demand Energy, Silver Sponsors were Canadian Solar, conEdison, OnForce and PosiGen. Exhibition Sponsors were altPOWER, Jinko Solar, Kaplan Clean Tech Education and KB Racking. Further supporters of the Intersolar Summit USA East were the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), the electrical energy storage (ees), the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), GreenCity Freiburg, the Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA), IBESA International Alliance, Joint Forces for Solar, the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association (MOSEIA), NAATBatt International, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), the NC Sustainable Energy Association, New Jersey Pace (NJPACE), the New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA), the New York Solar Energy Society (NYSES), the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST), the Pennsylvania Solar Energy Industries Association (PASEIA), the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC), Solar Connecticut, the Solar Energy Business Association of New England, the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA) and the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA).
With events spanning four continents, Intersolar is the world's leading exhibition for the solar industry and its partners. It unites people and companies from around the world with the aim of increasing the share of solar power in our energy supply. In keeping with its motto "Connecting Solar Business", Intersolar is the world's leading fair for the entire solar power industry. Intersolar exhibition and conference series focuses on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technology, energy storage and solar thermal technologies. Since it was first held, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and service providers. With more than 20 years of experience, Intersolar, like no other event, brings together international solar industry stakeholders from the most important markets. Intersolar exhibitions and conferences take place in Munich, San Francisco, Mumbai, Beijing and São Paulo. As of 2014 these events are complemented by Intersolar Summits, taking place in the new and emerging solar markets around the world. Further information on Intersolar North America can be found online at: www.intersolarglobal.com Organizers: Intersolar Europe is organized by the Solar Promotion GmbH, Pforzheim and the Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM). The events in North America, India, China and South America are organized by the international subsidiaries Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim and the Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI).
About the Diamond Sponsors
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, known as NYSERDA, promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. These efforts are key to developing a less polluting and more reliable and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Collectively, NYSERDA's efforts aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate economic growth, and reduce customer energy bills. www.nyserda.ny.gov
Resilient Solar Alliance (RSA) builds innovative solar/battery hybrid energy systems that combine technological savvy with capital financing and commodities trading. These systems utilize proprietary state-of-the-art software, technology, and design to make communities and critical facilities resilient to power outages, even during natural disasters. RSA is a joint venture among Advanced Solar Products, a solar "design, build and construct" company and a leader in renewable energy policy, A.F. Mensah, Inc., a next-generation energy company that uses battery storage and advanced controls to improve the economics of solar power generation, and Spano Partners, LLC, a solar development, investment and consulting firm. www.resilientsolaralliance.com
Images: R. Eberhard, messekompakt.com, EBERHARD print & medien agentur gmbh
Source: Solar Promotion International