US solar market in the spotlight


The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference kicks off today in San Diego, California, presenting the latest developments and analysis on the state of the U.S. solar market.

The confab is underpinned by the Solar Market Insight report series produced by GTM Research and the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the latest of which, published on Tuesday, shows that the U.S. installed 930 MW of PV capacity in the third quarter – the second largest quarter ever for solar PV.

The two-day event, now in its third year, dissects cost trends, discusses the future of project finance and business models, and examines the potential of individual states and market segments, according to organizers.

Organized by Greentech Media and its GTM Research division, with the SEIA on board as a partner, the conference brings together industry leaders to examine complex market dynamics and local policies to reduce installation costs, acquire customers and increase project returns.

Attendees will also include financiers, policy makers, developers and technology manufacturers.

Tuesday’s opening-day agenda includes such topics as the changing role of utilities in the U.S. market in the face of the country’s PV boom. GTM Vice President Shayle Kann and industry reps — including NRG Solar’s Craig Cornelius; David Shuford of Dominion; and Stoel Rives’ Jon Wellinghoff.

Other discussions revolve around prospects for the domestic solar market following the expiration of the federal investment tax credit in 2016 and the future of net energy metering and rate design.

Additional sessions examine market growth potential in less active states and how installers can tap new and less understood regional markets in view of the increasingly saturated leading markets; technological trends and innovations and how new developments may help decrease the total cost of rooftop PV electricity; and the evolution of residential PV customer acquisition strategies.

Combining solar PV with energy storage in a cost-effective fashion will likewise be showcased, with project developers and vendors who are actively coupling PV with storage sharing their experience with new business models that are showing signs of economic feasibility as well as a look at the current opportunities in new markets for solar plus storage.

The U.S. Solar Market Insight Conference takes place Dec. 10-11 at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.