GTM is set to host its sixth annual Solar Summit next week, and before we head off to Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at the topics and themes on this year's agenda. With 90 world-class industry leaders from across the value chain slated to speak, we'll be covering trends and predictions for the global solar market, PV modules, inverters and balance of systems, emerging solar markets, and the U.S. solar market.

One such topic is product differentiation. As the profitability environment for PV remains challenging, manufacturers are looking to differentiate at the system level in order to distinguish themselves in a commoditized market. Joining us to discuss their organizations' changing go-to-market approaches are five well-versed industry professionals: 

  • Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers, Managing Director, REC Americas
  • Scott Franklin, President and CEO, Lighthouse Solar and LUMOS
  • Jessica Super, Director of Sales, Western Region, Renesola
  • Aaron Thurlow, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Silevo
  • Jack West, Chief Technology Officer, Founder, Chairman of the Board, ZEP SOLAR

Here are some of the topics we'll discuss:

The Differentiated Value Proposition: How are suppliers differentiating in regards to technology, product portfolio, and/or efficiency? How are these differentiation strategies delivering value to the organization and its customers? 

Innovation for a Sustainable Market: There has been much discussion as of late regarding the transition to a post-subsidy reality, particularly in the U.S. solar market. As we approach this point, how can differentiation bring solar closer to being competitive with conventional sources of electricity? 

Standardization vs. Specialization: Will the large suppliers continue produce similar, commoditized products? Or will the primary products in different suppliers' portfolios start to diverge? Furthermore, will manufacturers' portfolios be dominated by one standard product? Or will production be spread out over a larger range of product types? 

Niche to Mainstream: Are some currently niche module and system designs destined to become industry standards in the future? What differentiated products have the greatest potential in the mainstream market? 

Have a question to ask? Let us know in the comments section below, and we'll pose it to the panelists at the show.

Greentech Media's sixth annual Solar Summit will be held from April 22-24 in Phoenix. For more information, click here.