Joint Forces for Solar: “Photovoltaic could become the backbone of the US electricity grid.”

Bonn / Somerset, NJ., November 2012: The severe damage caused by the super storm Sandy is still, two weeks following landfall, top of the agenda on the US East Coast. Sandy also dominated discussions among over 90 participants at the final PV Briefing & Networking Forum USA for 2012 hosted by Joint Forces for Solar in Somerset, New Jersey. Both attendees and speakers spoke out in favor of solar energy becoming the “backbone of the US electricity grid”. Faced with several days of power outages, also in New Jersey, and combined with a lack of emergency electricity generators, the majority of participants are convinced that “in such catastrophes solar energy can play a vital role in guaranteeing energy security”.

The significance of the US solar market, particularly East Coast states, was discussed by experts, market specialists and local installers in two sessions. Delaware stood out in particular thanks to both successful market developments and transparency. Positive developments were also noted for Pennsylvania and New York. Connecticut is considered to be a relatively small market but shows great innovation in their financing models.

Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, member of the New Jersey General Assembly, concluded that New Jersey is currently the second largest solar market in the US with huge potential for growth. Yet Chivukula also noted “we are only half way through our journey. There is still a lot to be done but we take the role played by solar energy in the US very seriously”. The panel discussion examined local developments, market dynamics as well as the regulatory framework. Lyle Rawlings, Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association, as well as Wyldon Fishman, Founder and President of the New York Solar Energy Society chaired the panel discussions.

Participants were also unanimous in their agreement that both training and regular further training play a vital role in successfully expanding the domestic industry. Educating the public is equally important. The panel discussion titled “How technological innovations will transform the technology, organization and financing of the PV Industry“ with Boris Schubert, CEO of Q-Cells North America, Bret Young, US Sales Director of Samil Power and Chris Wood, Sales Director Centrosolar America Inc., was chaired by Dennis Wilson, President of the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association.

About Joint Forces for Solar

The organizers of the 9th PV Briefing & Networking Forum USA thank the premium sponsor Samil Power, gold sponsor Q-Cells and catering sponsor Centrosolar America Inc. as well as the media partners pv magazine, Sun & Wind Energy, and Renewable Energy World Network. A further word of thanks also goes to the Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA), the New York Solar Energy Society (NYSES), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), the International PV Equipment Association (IPVEA) and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

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