Solar Power International reports positive trends

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Spread across more than one million square feet of total gross space at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the event saw 1,122 companies exhibit their wares across the entire solar value chain, compared to 929 companies last year. In total, 23,300 industry attendees flocked there.

The organizers added that the show’s global presence also grew this year, with 32 percent of the exhibits featuring an international company and industry professionals attending from 111 countries. Furthermore, they said that solar power continues to draw mainstream consumer attention as well, with more than 2,500 people visiting the exhibit floor and attending sessions for free at the featured Public Night on 13 October.

Industry news

News announced at this year’s conference included:

  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, reported on the progress of new, first-ever permits for solar projects on public lands, and signed a record of decision on stage after his remarks for the first large-scale solar project approved for construction on public lands in Nevada.
  • SEPA’s Utility Solar Business Models Report demonstrates that utilities are increasingly identifying unique business models to integrate solar energy into their energy portfolios.
  • SEIA and GTM Research’s U.S. Solar Market Insight midyear report showed growth of the U.S. solar market for the first half of 2010 and forecasted growth for 2010 and for the next five years.
  • SEIA and SCHOTT Solar’s Barometer annual public opinion poll found that 94 percent of Americans think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy and 80 percent thought Congress should consider shifting subsidies for fossil fuels to solar.
  • The Solar Foundation’s first census of the U.S. solar workforce in the United States, showed that hiring in the solar workforce, currently 93,000 strong, is expected to grow 26 percent over the next year.

"While oil and gas remain a necessity, our nation’s future depends on our ability to capture the power of renewable energy," stated Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who spoke at the Solar Power International 2010 Conference and also signed a Record of Decision approving the construction of Nevada’s first large-scale solar project on public lands. "We know that to build a safer, more secure energy future, we must continue to expand on the progress we have made in the past two years on the renewable energy front."

"Among other things, this [solar jobs census] study shows that investments made through Recovery Act – including the USD$2.3 billion in tax credits to U.S. based clean energy manufacturing – are already generating positive results," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a press statement about the solar jobs census results. "The solar energy sector is an increasingly important source of good jobs for Americans. Fostering the growth of this emerging industry will help protect our environment, ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global economy and offer great opportunities for the nation’s working families."

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Next year, Solar Power International 2011 is scheduled to be held in Dallas, the U.S. from 18 – 20 October. Show management expects more than 1,200 exhibiting companies and more than 23,000 industry attendees. The 2011 show floor has been expanded to 1.2 million gross square feet.

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