The dust has settled behind last week's Greentech Media Solar Summit in Phoenix and we're back to the mines. The event was a brilliant success (make sure to attend next year). In the meantime, here's a collection of quotes from just a few of the solar executives in attendance at the Summit.
Barry Broome, President of Greater Phoenix Economic Council: "We consider solar the most important industry in Arizona."
Edwin F. Feo, Managing Director, USRG Renewable Finance: "Just go to a coal conference if you really want to be depressed."
"Until we get to 2016, the best thing is that the ITC will go away and we'll trade in a nice commodity called cash."
"You’re not going to see the effect of 1603 not being renewed until sometime next year.”
Jesse Pichel of Jefferies: "Taking the German cost structure to the U.S. gets me really excited."
"None of the solar companies know how to sell."
John Lefebvre, President, Suntech America likened the maturing solar market to the commodity DRAM market with its "three- to five-year cycles of oversupply and undersupply. As we go through the business cycle, some of the business models will fail." (But, he noted, consumers are starting to notice that solar today is more affordable now than it was six months ago.)
Eran Mahrer, Vice President, Utility Strategy, Solar Electric Power Association, acknowledged that natural gas is currently cheaper than power from solar but noted that sophisticated energy producers "must balance their portfolio." In balancing risk, natural gas can't be the completely dominant source and "utilities are pricing in that volatility."
Constellation Energy’s Senior VP of Green Initiatives Michael D. Smith said: “If we fast-forward to this conference five years from now, half of the agenda is going to be storage.”
Abe Yokell of RockPort Capital: "There's only one Silicon Valley investment guy at this conference, and that's me. That's distressing."
Sheldon Kimber, Chief Operating Officer, Recurrent Energy worked in the natural gas business prior to his work at PV developer Recurrent. He is bearish and long on natural gas. He's also less than optimistic about solar's current situation, and the source of his negative attitude is the 50 gigawatts of available capacity in the solar industry with a market demanding only half of that. Kimber said, "This industry needs to come to grips with the fact that the industry has to be almost wholesale-competitive." Kimber also said, "The developer shakeout is going to come from capital and interconnection [pressures]."
Matt Cheney, CEO, CleanPath Ventures: “We’re in this awkward scramble, which means that stuff gets put in the warehouse and the title transfers and ultimately, at some point in time, it has to become associated with an actual project. Even if it does or it wasn’t structured adequately, there is recourse on the part of the [IRS] to essentially dismantle the deal."
And here's a collection of articles from Greentech Media and elsewhere reporting on the event:
--Tom Doyle of NRG Solar on reasons to be cheerful in solar
--Solar Balance of System update including Enphase-Tigo slap-fight
--No-holds barred Solar tariff debate
--Net energy metering debate with more civil participants
Utilities' Honest Assessment of Solar in the electric mix
Motley Fool Solar Summit Day 1 -- Notes and Quotes
Motley Fool Solar Summit Day 2 -- Notes and Quotes
US Solar Developers Face Bottleneck (from Environmental Finance and behind a paywall)
Thanks to the attendees, speakers, and our online audience.