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.

January 10th 2018
US: Doubling Of Wind & Solar Capacity Possible By 2020 as Coal & Nuclear Drop

In the latest issue of its “Energy Infrastructure Update” (with data through November 30, 2017), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) notes that proposed net additions to generating capacity by utility-scale wind and solar could total 115,984 megawatts (MW) by December 2020 – effectively doubling their current installed capacity of 115,520 MW.  The numbers were released as FERC prepares for a January 10 meeting to consider U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal for a bailout of the coal and nuclear industries.

February 5th 2018
EV, Renewables See CO2 Emissions Plateau By 2030, But Far From 2 Degree Pathway

Major shifts in the global energy landscape, particularly related to electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy sources, mean that MEI expects global CO₂emissions to plateau by 2030. However, increased global energy demand means emissions will remain at more than double the level required for a 2 degrees Celsius warming pathway. Ole Rolser, Associate Partner and Solution Leader at MEI, comments: “Despite the significant momentum around EVs and renewable energy sources taking an increasing share of the power market, to realise the 2 degrees pathway scenario, we’d have to see much broader, much more disruptive change than what we’re seeing now.”

February 5th 2018
Chinese Solar Surge Fuels Overall Global Growth In Clean Energy Investment

World clean energy investment totalled $333.5 billion last year, up 3% from 2016 and the second highest annual figure ever, taking cumulative investment since 2010 to $2.5 trillion. An extraordinary boom in photovoltaic installations made 2017 a record year for China’s investment in clean energy. This outpaced changes elsewhere, including jumps in investment in Australia and Mexico, and declines in Japan, the U.K. and Germany. The figures up 3% from a revised $324.6 billion in 2016, and only 7% short of the record figure of $360.3 billion, in 2015.

December 27th 2017
Rooftop PV Presents a $23 Billion Opportunity in India Over The Next 5 Years

India is accelerating development of renewable energy projects to provide cheap, reliable and clean power to its 1.3 billion people. The country’s per-capita on-grid electricity consumption has increased significantly over the four years; due to increased industrial activity, higher uptake of electrical appliances by residential electricity users and the addition of new consumers to the grid. During this period, the cost of electricity from rooftop PV has halved, due to fierce competition in the market and a drop in equipment prices. In contrast, average retail electricity rates have increased by 22% in the same period. This has made rooftop PV cheaper than commercial and industrial grid tariffs in all major states in India.


 

   

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