Solar Power International Video Coverage, Part 2

All eyes are on the American market in 2011. Will the Treasury grant program get extended? If not, will there be enough tax equity to fuel strong growth? And if so, will there be enough demand to make up for the lagging German and Czech markets?

The answers to those questions partly depend on what happens in November when Americans go to the polls to elect their local and federal politicians.

When it comes to solar, nothing is ever certain in the policy sphere. But one thing was very clear at last week’s Solar Power International conference: Whatever the political outcome this year, industry leaders are confident that the pieces are in place for gigawatt-scale growth in the solar industry.

Featured here are some policy-related interviews we conducted at the conference.

Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) was fired up. In an interview with Stephen Lacey, he laid out SEIA’s roadmap to getting 10 GW of solar installed per year by 2015. He also talked about why years of inconsistent policies have actually made the industry stronger, not weaker.

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The recent success of the solar industry has hinged on state programs more than federal support. Carrie Cullen Hitt, president of the Solar Alliance, spoke with Jennifer Runyon about competition between states to attract solar installation and manufacturing jobs. She also explained what it means to create “cost-effective” solar policies.

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Moving into the end of the legislative season, there are still many unanswered questions on the federal level. Dan Adamson, vice president of government affairs at SEIA, spoke with Stephen Lacey about the likelihood of any action on a renewable portfolio standard or an extension of the Treasury grant program.

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One of the most contentious battles in 2010 has been over PACE programs, also known as Property Assessed Clean Energy. The state or municipal-level program allows homeowners to roll a loan for a solar system or energy efficiency upgrade into their property taxes, making the payment process easier. But mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have opposed PACE because of concerns about what happens to a loan if a homeowner goes into foreclosure. Shaun Chapman, the east coast campaign director for Vote Solar, gave Jennifer Runyon an update on the status of the program.

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For all our coverage from Solar Power International, check out our video page.

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