Solar, Solar Everywhere and Conferences That Make You Think

In 2012, the U.S. solar industry installed roughly 3.2 GW of capacity.  This was more solar power capacity than had ever been installed before. Falling PV module prices and large-scale solar PV farms coming online during the year are what drove it. Most analysts agree that 2013 will be another record year in the U.S. for installed solar capacity. 

That said, it’s important to note that the industry isn’t just slowly and steadily marching forward but rather it’s stumbling along like a drunken sailor in a three-steps forward, two-steps back fashion.  Markets slow down at the same time that others pop up.  When California — the mecca for solar — starts to falter, East Coast states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York pick up the slack. Where will funding come from next? What’s the next big technological breakthrough we expect to see in solar? Will the U.S. ever develop an energy policy?  Good questions and luckily we have answers.

Next month, whether you live and work on the east coast or the west coast, if you have questions about the solar industry, there will be a solar conference near you where you can go and get some answers. And even if you don’t want to leave your desk we still have solutions for you. 

First, The Shows

Solar Energy Trade Show’s PV America is set to take place in Philadelphia from February 5-7. will again be powering Solar Central at the show, conducting live interviews with experts on topics such as Addressing Local Environmental Issues, Opportunities to Advance Partnerships with Electric Utilities and Enticing New Investors to the Solar Industry.  With Solar Idea swaps, PV Technical Training and a super innovative “Choose Your Own General Session,” this is a show you won’t want to miss.

The very next week, the solar conference ship docks on the West Coast with Pennwell’s Solar Power-Gen taking place in San Diego from February 13-15.  At that show (full disclosure – I’m the conference chairperson) we’ll have an amazing array of experts to help you sort out your business plans for this year and into the future.  Interested in finance? We have three sessions on the topic, examining incentives, project finance and how to structure your deals.  Interested in technology? We’ve got sessions covering O&M for solar power plants, concentrating solar and technology considerations for the entire spectrum of solar project development.  There are three other tracks — policy, markets and utility integration — each offering three interesting and informative sessions on their respective topics.  In addition, the plenary session (our Day 2 Keynote) will cover Mergers and Acquisitions in the solar space, something that is expected to continue for at least another year.  The first day keynote will focus on the intersection between utilities and solar companies and how the two very different segments of American business can work together profitably.

Not Up for Any Travel? Learn from Your Desk

If travel isn’t in your future, you can still take advantage of learning opportunities. First of all, this Thursday, January 17, at 2 ET, 1 CT and 11 PT, we’ll be holding a webcast on Solar Power in 2013 featuring four industry experts who will all be presenting at Solar Power-Gen. You can learn more about the webcast and register here.

In addtition, during PV America, we will be offering live streaming of our roundtable discussions in Solar Central. Check out the schedule here then be sure to come back at the appropriate time to watch a live broadcast of the roundtable interview that interests you.

And as always, offers you the most important solar news and information that you need to do your job. We hope to see you at one of these live events soon.  

Lead image: Impressionist Painting of a Ship with Sun via Shutterstock

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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