When PV Met EV…and EE and DR…
Denver is ground zero for the U.S. renewable energy industry this week, as ASES (http://ases.org/), the American Solar Energy Society, and the World Renewable Energy Forum (WREF) join forces for the first time to collocate in the LEED-certified Colorado Convention Center. The result? A solar conference that is breaking free from traditional PV events by happily sharing the stage with wind, storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles and other synergistic technologies.
For those of us that have been a part of the cleantech movement over the past decade, solar has long been positioned as the heir-apparent to the energy generation challenge, with a multitude of different flavors (Si, aSi, concentrated, thin film) and applications. And while solar has unquestionably taken root, it, like the other renewable technologies, has remained virtually siloed.
So, at WREF it was encouraging to hear the solar conversations evolve beyond talk of simple PV installations and instead reveal the new avenues in which solar is fulfilling its potential in the nation’s renewable energy portfolio.
Yesterday gave way to insightful talks on new directions in which solar is evolving, ranging from PV’s integration with energy efficiency and demand response to solar’s emergence as a new financial asset class. I even had the pleasure of moderating a panel on PV’s growing role in the electric vehicles movement, which showcased three pioneers—ECOtality www.ecotality.com, REC Solar www.recsolar.com and Schneider Electric www.schneider-electric.com —that are driving industry collaboration. Each has achieved impressive milestones towards the creation of a new national infrastructure based on years worth of behavioral data, technical advancements and demand dynamics.
My last image of the panel was the sheer knowledge of the audience. 10 years ago most members would have struggled to decode the acronyms and techo-talk being tossed about, but today’s Q&A underscored just how far we’ve come, both as a nation and as a united industry.
- Caroline Venza
Tags: American Solar Energy Society, and the World Renewable Energy Forum, antenna group, antennagroup.com, Caroline Venza, Clean tech PR, ECOtality, ECOtality www.ecotality.com, electric cars, electric vehicles, EV, PV, REC Solar, REC Solar www.recsolar.com and Schneider Electric www.schneider-electric.com, renewable energy, Schneider Electric, solar, World Renewable Energy Forum, WREF, WREF2012, www.ecotality.com, www.recsolar.com, www.schneider-electric.com