The US market is continuing to be a major hub for solar PV installations. According to GTM Research, cumulative PV capacity will surpass 10GW by the end of 2013.
Importantly, both the residential and utility-scale markets continue to build momentum and the commercial sector, which lagged far behind, is also showing improved conditions, driven by high-profile corporations such as Walmart, Apple and Intel increasingly relying on solar energy for corporate purposes.
GTM Research is forecasting PV installations in the US to reach 4.4GW in 2013, up from 3.3GW in 2012, generating an overall annual growth rate of 30%.
This year, Solar Power International 2013, the country's largest dedicated PV expo and conference is being held in Chicago from October 21-24 at McCormick Place.
PV Tech is in attendance and, as in previous years, will cover the show extensively, through a mixture of breaking news and analysis of hot topics at the event. A special news section has been designed on the homepage this year to further greater accessibility to the breaking news at this major regional event.
“Each year the solar industry convenes during SPI to collaborate and to discuss the advances, products and issues impacting our industry,” said Stephen Miner, CEO of SPI 2013 organiser, Solar Energy Trade Shows. “Throughout the year, SPI strives to build the most dynamic event possible, reinforced through invaluable content and immersive learning, to support the expansion of the US solar energy market.”
The show this year has several new features, intended to reflect the dynamic business environment as well as increase awareness of PV in the country.
Highlights designed by the organisers include ‘Start-Up Alley’, located on the Expo floor, a dedicated area specifically designed to promote up-and-coming ideas and companies in the solar industry. New to SPI '13, Start-Up Alley offers a competitive forum for up to 30 early-stage solar companies to present their business proposals. Companies will be selected through an application and committee review process. During SPI '13, 12 finalists will compete in the Start-Up Alley Challenge. This will give finalists the opportunity to pitch their business proposals to a panel of entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders.
One of the new formats for SPI is Quick Talks – 25-minute sessions with quick content on timely topics from recognised industry experts. These 15 sessions, featuring speakers from a broad range of industry markets, will touch on topic areas such as global trends impacting PV, emerging markets, construction and permanent debt financing, and the future of solar micro-grids.
SPI 2013’s pre- and post-conference workshops will offer delegates an opportunity to further their industry knowledge and expertise. Workshops will cover a range of topics including the basics of PV financing, commercial & utility-scale inverters and the commercialisation of new solar technologies.
Pre-conference workshops are planned for Sunday and Monday, October 20-21; post-conference workshops will be held Friday 25 October.