Enthusiasm abounds at US market session

During a Wednesday morning session at Intersolar, speakers were positive on the US market for solar PV, but expressed concerns about challenges from lack of transparency to funding.

July 13, 2011 –During a Wednesday morning session on US markets, speakers were positive while expressing concerns about the challenges ahead.

Jan McFarland from the Fairhaven Institute explained California’s labyrinth police structure, noting that the data used are not transparent. In particular the lack of transparency is a problem with the reverse auction where, anecdotally, rates may be as low as 9¢.

Doug Payne, SolarTech, added that innovation is crucial — and the US government underfunds it.

Canada is ready for solar, said Elizabeth McDonald from CanSIA. While the elections in October will definitely bring changes, she does not think the FiT will come to an end (while noting that there are no federal incentives in Canada). The country has significant oil and gas reserves and is the largest supplier of these resources to the US. The goal of the country’s green technology and efficiency act is to create 50,000 jobs, phase out coal by 2014, and phase in 10700 MW of renewable energy by 2018.

Paula Mints is principal analyst, PV Services Program, and director in the energy practice at Navigant Consulting. E-mail: pmints@navigantconsulting.com.

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