The Gut Erlasee plant uses solar energy to generate about 14,000 megawatt hours annually, enough to meet the demands of a town of about 9,000 inhabitants. Germany is said to account for 60 percent of the world market for solar energy.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ — More than 5,000 delegates gathered today to kick off Solar Power 2006, the largest business-to-business and business-to-consumer solar expo and conference in US history.
Presented by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and hosted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Solar Power 2006 focuses on new and innovative developments in the solar energy industry. Keynote speakers at this morning’s Opening Plenary included Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems and clean tech investor; Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission and architect of the California Solar Initiative; and Celeste Migliore, manager of Toyota Motor Corporation’s alternative fuel vehicles division.
“This conference is the largest and most visible solar event in the history of the United States,” said Julia Judd, executive director of SEPA and conference chairperson. “Long-term market policies in California and other states have made the US solar market more attractive than ever before. The growth of this conference reflects a surge in interest from many different commercial sectors, as well as a huge increase in international participation, especially those from Germany, China, and Taiwan. Solar Power 2006 has become the place for the leading companies in the global solar industry to unveil new products and broker major deals.”
Solar Power 2006 has five-fold the number of registrants as compared to last year’s show, and 55 percent of this year’s attendees are considered to be outside the traditional “solar chain” of manufacturers, distributors, and installers. The finance sector alone accounts for more than 300 delegates, representing major venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins and investment banks like J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley. More than 100 attendees representing large energy users, such as Target Corporation and Home Depot, are also confirmed. Attesting to the surge in international interest, 13% of the attendees are from outside the US. The expo hall, which includes a record 167 exhibiting companies, will feature a “German Pavilion.”