8 May 2017 2017 01:15 PM GMT

The Evolution of Solar: 10 Years of Solar Pride in San Francisco With Intersolar

The U.S solar industry has seen exponential growth over the past decade. Since 2007, photovoltaic (PV) solar installations have skyrocketed from 1,063 megawatts in2007 to 14,762 megawatts in 2016. Intersolar North America has been there every step of the way and experienced a similar boom. More than 550 exhibitors and more than 18,000 visitors participated in Intersolar and ees North America in 2016, with an even larger crowd expected to attend in 2017.

Alongside the growth of Intersolar North America, a key driver of industry growth has been the declining cost of hardware. According to GTM Research, the cost of solar has fallen over 70 percent over the past decade, dropping from over $7 per watt to just over $1.5 per watt.

As the solar industry has evolved, discussions at Intersolar North America have also shifted. Attendees used to delve deeply into photovoltaic hardware costs, reduction and manufacturing efficiencies each July, but now conversations are shifting to soft costs, benefit analyses of competing battery technologies, the performance of emerging analytics platforms and other software-based solutions.  Hardware is still a vital component to the event, and there is growth in many other sectors that answer the call to lower costs and become more competitive with fossil fuels.

To embrace the rise of energy storage and related technologies in the industry, Intersolar North America launched Electrical Energy Storage (ees) North America in 2015, a conference and exhibition dedicated to this emerging sector. ees North America is co-located with Intersolar North America and features additional exhibition space for smart renewable energy technologies and software solutions.

“Intersolar North America has been the established meeting place for solar professionals since the industry was just starting out,” said Florian Wessendorf, managing director of Intersolar. “The U.S. solar industry has shifted focus from strictly photovoltaic technologies to include technologies like electric vehicle transportation and big data software. We’re excited to see what lies ahead for both solar and Intersolar North America in the years to come.”

Beyond technological innovation, the solar policy landscape has also changed significantly over the past decade. Ten years ago, the federal investment tax credit (ITC) was set to expire, removing all federal subsidies for solar. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended the subsidy for eight years and in 2015, there was a bipartisan push to extend the ITC until 2020. Since then, attention has shifted to the states, where net metering regulations are the centre of the conversation.

Throughout the years, Intersolar North America has featured prominent political leaders to discuss the impact of regulation on the solar industry, from California Governor Jerry Brown to White House energy advisors. This year, Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, will take the stage to discuss how New York is taking a leading role in developing the utility model of the future.

The evolution of the solar industry is also reflected in the growth of one of Intersolar North America’s signature events, Solar Summerfest. Solar Summerfest started in 2010 to raise funds for event partner California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). The event has taken place at the Metreon each year to date. This year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Intersolar North America and the 40th anniversary of CALSEIA, industry partners Intersolar and ees North America, as well as SEMICON West, will co-host California’s largest-ever solar networking event, Solar Summerfest, at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Proceeds from the event will be donated to CALSEIA to support the organisation’s efforts advocating for solar adoption across the Golden State.

Over the next few years, hard and soft costs are expected to continue to drop, making solar increasingly cost-competitive as compared to conventional energy resources. Intersolar North America will continue to transform alongside the industry and bring attendees the latest information and ideas from the forefront of the solar industry. This year’s exhibition and conference will take place on July 10 through July 13 in the heart of San Francisco. Interested parties can register online now.

October 16th 2017
Nordex Adds To Successes In Argentina, Winning 100 MW Pomona Wind Farm Order

The Nordex Group has added a further chapter to its success story in Argentina with an order for 26 N131/3900 turbines for the “Pomona” wind farm. The contract will be executed on a full EPC basis, including civil and electrical engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing, delivery and installation of the wind turbines. Preparations for construction will be commencing in 2017, after which the wind power systems will be installed at the beginning of 2019. In addition, a ten-year full operation and maintenance contract has also been signed. 

October 17th 2017
Grids Integration, Energy Networks Boosted By Distributed Generation Growth

Renewable energy has continued to develop at ever increasing rates, with remarkable growth seen since the start of this decade. The pace of the energy transition is driving innovation and growth in related sectors. For energy networks and grids integrating small gas turbines, micro-turbines, fuel cells, biomass, small hydropower, wind and solar energy; distributed generation installation provides significant solutions in the restructured electricity regime. This is particularly so, where there is a larger uncertainty in demand and supply.

October 16th 2017
Uganda Inaugurates Breakthrough Tororo PV Plant. A Future Model For Africa?

Production has commenced at the Tororo PV power plant; which, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons. Overall, $19.6 million was invested to build the 10 MWp plant, with the engagement of several major organisations including KfW and FMO Development Banks, the World Bank and the EU. Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador said, “One of the key objectives of this plan is to encourage private sector participation in higher risk investments and we’re happy to demonstrate that Uganda is well positioned to be successful and a good model for replication.”

October 10th 2017
Enel Starts Construction Of Australia’s Largest Solar PV Project

The Bungala Solar One facility is part of the Bungala Solar PV Project and will have an installed capacity of 137.7 MW out of a total of more than 275 MW for the whole project, that will be able to produce 570 GWh per year. The facility will cover an area of approximately 300 hectares and will consist of about 420,000 polycrystalline PV modules mounted on single-axis tracker structures which will follow the Sun’s path from east to west; increasing the amount of energy produced by the plant, compared to PV modules with fixed structures. The overall Bungala Solar PV project is expected to become fully operational in early 2019.


 

   

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