The Solar Power 2007 Conference and Expo opened yesterday in Long Beach, California, to record registrations from solar industry professionals, investors, utility managers, builders, policymakers, would be solar entrepreneurs, and citizens. Registration lines sprawled the length of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center until early afternoon.
As of today, there were about 9300 registrations including 500 new Expo Only registrations. About 3000 solar curious local residents packed the Expo Halls for the free Public Night to learn about solar technologies, going solar, and solar career opportunities.
The big story from the first day of Solar Power 2007 wasn’t a product or project announcement, a keynote address, or a celebrity speaker like Ted Turner. The cumulative contribution of individual attendees and local residents to the record attendance and interest in everything solar was the real “hot” story.
SEIA President Rhone Resch’s keynote hit on three early Conference themes. His 2007 Year in Review citied the First new CSP Plant Online and 2500MW under contract as the first bullet point. Photovoltaics was a mere second. Next, the status of the Energy Bill with the ITC (Investment Tax Credit) extensions was reviewed. And last, the Action Alert “We need YOU!” was issued to the Plenary audience to support the ongoing Energy Bill negotiations in the US Congress.
Ted Turner didn’t disappoint a receptive Opening Plenary session with quotable sound bites. See Turner: ‘Drop Solar Panels, Not Bombs’ by Jennifer Kho at Greentech Media for Mr. Turner’s insights and comments.
While Ted charmed the crowd, the earlier keynote by Ray Lane, Managing Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), highlighted the keynotes and underscored a shift from Solar Power 2006. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and KPCB’s recent investment in Ausra, Inc. have stolen the utility scale spotlight from High Concentration PhotoVoltaics (HCPV) this year.