Solar Power International day 1: Optimism or denial?


The first day of the Solar Power International was a flurry of activity, with new technologies and deals being announced in rapid-fire succession. The level of activity at the show suggests a healthy solar industry which has bounced back from the troubles of 2012 and 2013, when overproduction and price collapses pushed many companies out of business.

Beneath all of this optimism are very real concerns about a coming crash in the utility-scale market in 2017 if the U.S. Investment Tax Credit is not extended. “It’s been surprising to see a number of developers that are planning for 2017 assuming to see the ITC is kept, with minimal backup plans for how to grow in a 10% ITC world,” said GTM Research Solar Analyst Cory Honeyman.

Some highlights from the first day of the show:

Locus Energy announced its acquisition by energy data provider Genscape, which is backed by the Daily Mail and General Trust conglomerate.

SolarEdge unveiled its HD Wave inverter, which it says breaks through previous barriers in weight and size, while optimizing performance.

The newly launched Latin American and Caribbean Solar Alliance gave an inaugural presentation with talk led by GTM Research Senior Solar Analyst Adam James. This joint effort of Conergy, NexTracker, Envolta, Solectria, GTM Research and Solar Energy International will provide a unified voice to advance solar industry goals across the various nations. Additionally, it will help to establish best practices and launch initiatives to spur solar industry deployment in the region.

As of Wednesday morning, attention is focused on the arrival of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is set to announce a new round of solar industry funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.