Quick Intersolar 2008 Update

Ok, going to start summarizing what I’ve learned here tomorrow and going to be posting a few things here, some of which will appear on the other blog as well.  Couple of quick notes – some that I’ll flesh out in more detail later:

  • Everyone is worried that the ITC won’t get renewed or utilities will be left out.  Basically, if that happens, the solar industry in the US isn’t going to grow as explosively as people are predicting.
  • The price of solar cells is falling faster than many people predicted.
  • People are expecting electricity prices to double in the US in the next 5 years.
  • Which means grid parity in some regions is closer than many people think.
  • Most of the breakthroughs that people are really triumphing are incremental not transformative.
  • The state of the art of BIPV isn’t as impressive and I’d think – it seems to be surviving as a niche on the basis of the high barriers to entry.

I’ll definitely provide more detail on all of these points and more.  Below is a very cool slide from one of the presentations about predicted growth in several solar markets.

Solar Growth by Region

Solar Growth by Region

I was a little surprised to see the expected market growth in Korea and Greece, although both markets have interesting challenges.  Korea’s growth is based on very aggressive government incentives and deployment, but is focused on local job creation which will prove a barrier for overseas companies. Greece’s electricity market is heavily regulated and setting up power there is a bureaucratic nightmare.

Peace and clean power!


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