Featuring 800 exhibitors from 30 countries, organizers claim the event captures the truly global nature of the photovoltaic industry. Intersolar North America is being held in San Francisco California, which is the state with the leading solar market in the U.S.
This years Intersolar North America is 30 percent larger than in 2010 and 22,000 visitors are expected to attend. San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee opened the event and spoke oft he citys prominent role in the US photovoltaic industry.
The U.S. industry was very much in the spotlight on day one, with a discussion taking place on what it will take to create a 10 gigawatt (GW) solar market there. During this discussion it was revealed that the U.S. solar industry grew 67 percent in 2010 while the economy grew only three percent. The role of the solar industry in job creation was also highlighted, with employment in the sector doubling last year.
Industry analysts Jeffries report from the first day of Intersolar North America that despite the US growth in 2011 module price decline is continuing, as demand remains weak. Most downstream companies reported to Jeffries that psychological factors are playing a role as many wait for a price bottom before committing to further project orders.
Slow moving inventory and a financing bottleneck in Europe are also factors, reported by Jefferies, behind slow demand.
In the face of this demand environment most companies claim to still be running at 100 percent utilization in June. Top-tier companies also confirm that market share remains their primary goal while price competition intensifies.
Energy storage in discussion
At the Intersolar North America presentations, energy storage solutions were also a major topic of discussion and a packed conference room heard how cost-effective and efficient storage solutions are key to the wider adoption of solar energy.
Over 200 speakers are presenting across more than 30 sessions at the conference on other topics ranging from public policy, the latest in photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies and strategies to grow the North American solar market.