SOLAR 2011 Dawns in the Southeast By SOLAR TODAY STAFF
Some 3,804 registrants attended the ASES National Solar Conference from May 17–21,
in Raleigh, N.C. The opening plenary theme,
“Mainstreaming Clean Energy,” highlighted the
economic reality that wind energy has achieved
grid parity across the country, and that both
distributed photovoltaics and utility-scale concentrating solar thermal are now competitive
sources in important niche markets.
Some high points from among the 366 pre-
During Thursday’s morning plenary, three
leading experts summarized recent progress in
fast-growing renewable energy technologies.
James Lyons, Ph.D., chief technical officer of
Novus Energy Partners and former chief engi-
neer at General Electric’s Research and Devel-
opment Center, described the state of progress
in wind energy. Now a mainstream energy tech-
nology, wind saw installation of 200 gigawatts
worldwide in 2010. Lyons predicts 15 to 20 per-
cent annual growth indefinitely.
Katherine Gensler, senior manager for gov-
ernment affairs at the Solar Energy Industries
Association, noted that the United States now
has 500 megawatts (MW) of concentrating
solar power (CSP) in place, with 1,500 MW
under construction and projects totaling 7,200
MW in some stage of development.