Solar power, reportedly on a roll here in the United States right now, is at the center of attention this week via the 20th annual Intersolar North America conference which just kicked off in San Francisco, California. The conference, now in its 20th year, runs through July 14.
The conference, which has registered visitors representing 62 countries and exhibiting companies from 30 countries around the world, has over 800 solar exhibitors with the co-located SEMICON West across “a record total” of 170,000 net square feet of exhibit space. The Intersolar North America organizers noted this is a 30 percent growth in exhibitors from last year, highlighting the fact that, according to a recent report from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, the capacity of photovoltaic installations completed in 2010 effectively doubled.
Over 200 speakers are presenting across the more than 30 sessions at the conference, noted the conference organizers, covering topics in the solar industry from policy to energy storage to permitting, as well as the latest in photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. All have a focus on how to grow and accelerate a North American solar market flush with business in part from the wave after wave of loan guarantees the U.S. Department of Energy has been sending its way.
While predicted by some that the solar market may again double this year, this may be hampered somewhat with potential cutbacks on the amount of money the DOE is pumping in. Still, the private sector may be a ramp up place for future solar investments as more investors jump into the cleantech VC space.