There are few things in life that I'm absolutely certain about: the sky is up, manmade climate change exists, and not a single person on this planet has watched every Greentech Media presentation and panel from this year. There are just too many. We hosted five conferences (soon to be six), most of which were multi-day events, and each event had multiple tracks of presentations.

So I crowdsourced the following question to the entire Greentech Media team: "What are the best GTM panels and presentation of 2014?" I whittled down the nominees to the following four presentations and panels worth watching.

Energy Gang Live: The Utility 2.0

Is Jigar making a funny face right now? Does Stephen have a nervous tic? If you've ever wondered these questions while listening to the Energy Gang podcast, then we have your answers right here.

Audrey Zibelman, commissioner of the New York Public Service Commission, and Sergej Mahnovski, director of Con Edison's "utility of the future" team, join the Energy Gang live in New York City for a discussion on Utility 2.0.

The gang examines trends in distributed generation, utility operations, grid planning and the future of business in the U.S. electric power sector.


Assessing inverter performance and reliability

GTM commenters love to debate the value of inverters and microinverters. On stage, leaders from Enphase, SMA, Fronius USA, Solectria, and Envect discuss and debate inverter performance and reliability.

"We're the first to admit that Fronius has a 100% failure rate. I would say this is true for everyone else in the power electronics field," said Fronius USA's director of itssolardivision. "Eventually, over the life of the system, you will have to face the failure of power electronics."

GTM Research's MJ Shiao then turns to the other panel members and asks, "Would you agree with this statement about the 100 percent failure rate of inverters?"

Uncomfortable squirms and a heated debate follow.


 

Crowdsourced market insight: Solar's biggest questions

What will happen to the market if the ITC expires? Which technologies will dominate the market in ten years? Will the value-of-solar tariff replace net metering?

In this presentation, we hand voting devices to 300 solar professionals and find out their answers to these questions and more. GTM Research's Shayle Kann moderates the discussion with panelists from Borrego Solar, U.S. Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy and RockPort Capital.

Grid modernization: Challenges and opportunities

Keynoting GTM's inaugural Grid Edge Live 2014, SDG&E's Senior Vice President James Avery gives a candid view of running a utility in California.

"California is a microcosm. What we're experiencing now are things you'll be experiencing in the future," said Avery. "If you do not get ahead of some of these issues today, the problems you will face in the future are the same problems we are facing in California now."

"Perhaps the biggest challenge in our industry at this very moment is the fact that the way we charge for services today predates the dinosaurs."

 

 

And if you have a few hundred hours to spare, you can catch up on all of our presentations here.

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If you can't make it out to San Diego next week for the Solar Market Insight Conference, be on the lookout for our livestream.