California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got things rolling at North America’s largest solar industry conference, San Diego’s Solar Power International Expo 2008, with a keynote address last night. “We must not give into those who say that our environmental goals should take a back seat until the economy improves and comes back,” he said, “Quite the opposite. It’s short-sighted thinking and just plain wrong.”
The governor said that states and countries should double their commitments to green initiatives, and he praised the U.S. Congress for passing an 8-year extension on the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy, which includes the $2,000 cap on residential solar tax credits.
Today’s highlight events include a four-member CEO panel on solar market development, followed by a Solar Power Block Party in San Diego’s Gaslamp District.
Elsewhere at the expo, over 400 exhibitors will be displaying their solar products and programs. Some exhibitors include Kyocera Solar, Inc., which is debuting its most powerful solar module to date, and Xantrex Technology Inc., which is launching the Grid Tie Solar Power Inverter, a high-efficiency transformer. One development getting extra attention is a collaboration between SunPower Corporation and General Electric to install SunPower T10 solar roof tiles on five Hewlett Packard rooftops. Developers said that the new system will provide 10% of the facility’s power load. According to a joint statement from the companies, “The system will reduce more than 60 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, which is equivalent to providing electricity to 3,800 homes or removing more than 5,250 cars from the road.”
200 speakers will also present this week at 60 breakout sessions surrounding the topics of solar tax credits, efficiency and performance, and state and federal initiatives. Viewers can watch daily coverage on the official web site at RenewableEnergyWorld.com.
For more events like this and more, check out the Fast Company Now Calendar.