The official conference opening will feature presentations that provide an overview of the opportunities and challenges facing the U.S. solar market. Notable speakers include Dr. Dan Arvizu, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Dr. Michio Kondo, director of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan; and Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber, director of the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems (FhG ISE) in Germany. The opening will conclude with a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to form a Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes (GA-SERI).
This year’s conference program boasts more than 200 speakers from industry-leading companies at all levels of the solar supply chain, as well as policymakers, investors, utilities and industry advocates. Sessions are designed to provide attendees with expert insight into the trends and market movements that will impact the North American solar industry. More than 30 sessions will cover photovoltaic technologies; solar markets, policies and finance; materials and manufacturing; solar heating and cooling; energy storage; and utility-scale solar power plants.
‘The North American solar industry continues to face many challenges as it looks to maintain its impressive growth rate. However, each of these challenges present unique market opportunities and we planned our conference program accordingly, to equip attendees with the knowledge they need to continue to drive innovation in the North American solar market,’ said Markus Elsaesser, CEO of Solar Promotion International GmbH, organizer of Intersolar North America. ‘From the future of net metering to energy storage technologies to innovative cell and module concepts, the conference sessions will cover all of the hot topics.’
Policy and financing mechanisms have played a large part in encouraging the growth of the U.S. solar market, which more than doubled in 2011 and is on pace to beat industry expectations again in 2012, adding an estimated 3.3 GW of new capacity, according to EuPD Research. Furthermore, with the expiration of the 1603 grant, changes in New Jersey’s SREC market, and most recently the expansion of California’s net metering program, this year has seen many changes in available financing mechanisms. As such, a variety of sessions at the conference will be devoted to the topics of financing, net metering and incentive programs, including ‘Global Markets – Future Market Prospects,’ ‘The Future of Net Metering,’ and ‘PV Market Support – Political Framework Outlook’ panels.
Additionally, the highly anticipated ‘The Future of PV’ panel will feature expert opinions from five CEOs on the new solar technologies, financing models and incentive programs that will continue to drive the North American market. Joining moderator Professor Dr. Eicke Weber of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy ISE are Tom Werner, SunPower Corporation; Dr. Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, Soitec; Terry Jester, Calisolar; Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar; Dan Shugar, Solaria Corporation; and Dr. Andrew Skumanich, SolarVision Co. The panelists will also provide insight into solar leadership strategies.
Other panels will cover energy storage, growth in the market share for concentrating solar power, innovative cell and module concepts with crystalline silicon, the growth of utility-scale solar projects and the increasing traction of distributed generation projects.
Intersolar North America is also the site of the first International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Building and Industry, organized by IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The conference is the first in a new series of scientific and policy conferences on solar heating and cooling, and will offer a broad discussion platform for the industry. The full lineup of speakers is listed online.
Co-located with SEMICON West, Intersolar North America 2012 is expected to draw approximately 800 exhibitors and more than 22,000 registered visitors from more than 80 countries to provide a true global perspective of the solar industry. A full list of speakers is available online, along with registration information.
With over 3,500 exhibitors and 120,000 visitors spanning three continents, Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition series for the solar industry. Intersolar North America takes place annually in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Since its establishment in 2008, the exhibition and conference have developed into the premier platform for the solar industry in North America. Intersolar North America focuses on photovoltaics and solar thermal technologies and is co-located with SEMICON West. It has quickly established itself among manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service providers as an international industry meeting point.
In total, 834 exhibitors and 19,168 trade visitors participated in 2011. The conference featured 30 sessions with 220 speakers and catered to 1,617 conference attendees.
Intersolar’s storied history of international exhibitions and conferences spans more than 20 years. Taking place in addition to Intersolar North America are Intersolar India in Mumbai, and Intersolar China in Beijing, which was launched in 2011. The world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry is Intersolar Europe in Munich.