The global market for photovoltaic (PV) devices grows at an impressive pace, in 2011 alone more than 25 GWp were installed, and in 2012 we expect to see close to 30 GWp of new installations. On June 1, 2012 an amazing 22 GW of electricity were fed into the German grid, corresponding to about one-third of Germany’s total electricity needs at that time. The driving force behind this global PV revolution is the learning curve that predicts further 20% decreases of module production costs, and ultimately PV prices, with each doubling of the globally installed capacity. At the current pace, we have seen such doubling almost every year.
In the past, Germany was the major driver of this development by offering preferential feed-in opportunities of PV power at guaranteed rates for uncapped quantities of electricity. Asia is now emerging as one of the world's next fastest growing areas for PV deployment. China’s PV market surpassed the US market in 2011 and might surpass the German market size in 2012, or in 2013 at the latest. Japan just announced feed-in tariffs starting in July, 2012, which will support over 3 GW of installations. The US market is beginning its long-anticipated growth. Although a federal feed-in legislation is not in sight, the 30% Federal Investment Tax credit increases the attractiveness of investments in PV. Additionally, cities and states in the US are debating and passing legislation to broaden incentives at the local level in order to create favorable investment conditions. The US SunShot Initiative, announced in 2011 to bring down installed costs of PV to $1/Wp, represents an effort to accelerate installed PV price declines in the USA. In Germany, the price for small rooftop systems has already come down to less than $ 2/Wp, not so far any more from the goal of SunShot.
This European-American Solar Deployment Conference has been designed to support the large-scale deployment of PV Systems in the US, on both the distributed PV home rooftop system and the PV power plant levels. We invite leading experts from science, industry and government agencies to discuss current PV technologies, certification and bankability issues, financing and regulatory issues. A special focus of our Conference is the comparison of PV implementation in the US and Europe which will highlight best practices from both sides of the Atlantic.
The first and second PV Roll-out meetings took place in February 2010 and 2011, respectively, in Boston. They were a great success: more than 100 delegates enjoyed the opportunity to discuss with distinguished speakers from the US, Germany and other countries, technology issues of PV deployment, market support policies and market introduction barriers. The satisfaction rate of the participants was greater than 90%.
The third PV Rollout workshop will come to the South of the USA. It will provide an opportunity to update the discussions on technical, economic, and political hurdles to rapid and widespread PV deployment in the US. Conference speakers will address, additionally, new trends in module design, certification and bankability issues, and balance of system components in the PV supply chain.
We invite you to participate in our conference and to join in the growing excitement about PV. Hear from developers of new PV concepts and from system integrators who implement these concepts to drive innovation and cost reduction. Due to different levels of PV deployment between Europe and the US, this transatlantic conference will leverage the European experience to accelerate PV deployment here. Experts active in the European market will be presenting and will be available to network with guests interested in tapping into their experience. At the same time, this conference will emphasize the distinctive aspects of the North American markets to ensure that the best solutions are found in both regions.
We are looking for you – the experts in the field of PV from both sides of the Atlantic!
Prof. Eicke Weber, Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg, Germany
Juris Kalejs PhD, American Capital Energy, Lowell, MA, USA