Solar Power International: A Wrap-Up

Co-authored by Bryan Jacob, Simon Mahan and Alissa Jean Schafer All of the things we mentioned in our blog after the opening session did come up again throughout Solar Power International (#SPIcon).  Maybe we should have been placing bets.  We were in Las Vegas, after all. We were definitely correct with one of our predictions.  [...]

Wind and Solar Power: Complementary Energy Resources

Here at Solar Power International, a number of attendees have openly wondered: how can wind power and solar power work better, together? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two resources pair together quite nicely, naturally.

With nearly 3.5 gigawatts of wind power purchase agreements, and over 5 GW of installed solar power, the South has begun to embrace renewable energy. Pairing utility scale wind and solar power in the South could improve renewable energy market share as well as relieve potential integration issues. For example, as higher levels of solar power penetration occur, several utilities have noted a trend moving towards higher winter peak generation demand.

Corporate Solar Purchasers in the Southeast: A Growing Major Market

More than ever before, corporations throughout the world are powering their businesses with renewable energy. According to Power Forward 3.0, nearly half of the companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), improve energy efficiency, and/or increase renewable energy sourcing—this stat is up five percentage points from 2014. Pushed by social and economic forces, this upwards trend is expected to continue. After a huge bump in 2015, when the Federal ITC was originally scheduled to expire, demand levels of corporate solar capacity have returned to a more incremental rate of increase, with June 2017 numbers already close to 2016’s year end total.

Welcome to Solar Power International in Las Vegas

Moving beyond the antiquated notion of “baseload” generation – instead what we need is “flexible, resilient, reliable” power.
The Suniva trade case. Abigail Ross Harper, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), asserted that all of the jobs represented in the room are at risk. We will have an entire session devoted to this topic today.
Diversity in the solar industry. The Solar Foundation released a report (2017 U.S. Solar Industry Diversity Study). Apparently women represented a full half of the new solar jobs created last year. That’s good news, but I’m sure we’ll learn about other aspects of that report throughout SPI.
Disruption. Our keynote speaker (Rory McDonald) from Harvard Business School, opened our eyes to “competing and innovating in a disruptive environment.” Solar has been and will continue to be a disruptive force in the energy sector.