Photovoltaic Conference and Exhibition Preview 2011

Significant photovoltaic (PV) conferences and events in 2011.
PV conferences and exhibitions are in chronic oversupply; will conference registration and exhibition fees decline as a result?

In chronological order, here are the PV conferences I am interested in following or covering in 2011. As before, my focus remains technical conferences and business to business tradeshows, not regional marketing or sales events. I wanted to attend SNEC this year, however, I thought February was too early in the year for a China visit. Other than EU PVSEC, I am undecided about which conferences I’ll spend my limited time and travel budget upon.

San Francisco and Berlin sport two events each, representing the only location alignment in my short list.

For alternative Photovoltaic conference and event lists, please review’s PV Solar Exhibitions and Conferences, PHOTON International’s PV Event list,’s Event Calendar, or the pv magazine Event listings.


PHOTON’s Solar Terawatt-hours Conference Series 2011 USA
February 15-17, 2011
San Francisco, California USA

PHOTON changes the venue to the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF and drops the exhibition in favor of a Showroom. The exhibition had light attendance in 2010 and would have competed with the SNEC 5th (2011) International Photovoltaic Power Generation Conference & Exhibition held in Shanghai, China, the following week.

PHOTON adds the PV SAFETY Conference on the first day and matches the PV Start-up Conference against the Solar Electric Utility Conference on day three.

Jefferies 11th Global Clean Technology Conference
February 23-24, 2011
New York City, New York USA

Since “Jesse Pichel leaves Piper Jaffray for Jefferies: Pichel’s team follows”, focus has shifted to this Jefferies Group, Inc. (NYSE:JEF) invitation only, client event featuring presentations from at least 100 “leading public and private companies across the clean technology spectrum including batteries & energy storage, biofuels & biomaterials, energy efficiency & energy infrastructure, fuel cells, geothermal, smart grid, solar, transportation, water and wind.”

Web Greentech Media’s 2011 Solar Summit
March 14-15, 2011
Palm Springs, California USA

For the fourth consecutive year, “the Solar Summit is the place where the industry comes to learn and do business.” Here are the Solar Summit’s Conference Agenda and Speaker List. I have not been to one of Greentech Media’s Solar Summits, but “They tell me it’s nice.” The 2011 Solar Summit takes place in nearby Indian Wells instead of Palm Springs as billed.


7th International Conference on Concentrating Photovoltaic Systems (CPV-7)
April 4-6, 2011
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

CPV-7 returns to the American Southwest just under a year after CPV-6 was held in Freiburg, Germany, passing the hometown baton from Freiburg native sun Concentrix Solar to the newest Las Vegas resident, Amonix Inc. The Conference Program already looks jam packed with Oral and Poster Sessions, Invited Talks, and Panel Discussions.


PHOTON’s Solar Terawatt-hours Conference Series 2011 Europe
April 12-14, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Migrating to the German capital of Berlin, PHOTON’s Solar Terawatt-hours Conference Series 2011 Europe retools the exhibition in favor of a Showroom and Meeting Rooms. The conference program adds the PV SAFETY Conference to the roster and drops the Thin-film PV Production Equipment Conference.

I would not be surprised to see numerous German politicians on hand to discuss the latest Feed-in Tariff twists and new directions for the EEG (Erneuerbare Energie Gesetz).

solar2011_small ASES National Solar Conference 2011
May 17-21, 2011
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

SOLAR 2011, the American Solar Energy Society’s 40th Annual National Solar Conference, reachs out to the US East Coast. As Ontario attests, there has been far too much solar emphasis on California and the American Southwest in North America when policy remains a key PV market driver. Please review the SOLAR 2011 Program, Confirmed Exhibitors, and Location.

IS_Europe_Logo Intersolar Europe 2011
June 8-10, 2011 (
Conference June 6-10, 2011)
Munich (München), Germany

Intersolar Europe continues it’s run at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre. Celebrating its 20th year anniversary, Intersolar expects over 75000 visitors from more than 150 countries to attend the world’s largest tradeshow “Connecting Solar Business” sprawled across fourteen halls or 155000 square meters of exhibition space. Alas, the detailed conference program won’t be available until March.

Will Intersolar Europe hold the crossroads of European PV as Germany is eclipsed by faster growth markets such as Italy?

logo-pvsc-37 37th 2011 IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 37)
June 19-24, 2011
Seattle, Washington, USA

PVSC 37 is sleepless in Seattle for the week long conference again covering ten (10) Technical Areas and the PV Velocity Forum along with a 60000 square foot Exhibition. Abstracts are due by February 21, 2011.

Einfaches CMYK Intersolar North America 2011 / SEMICON West 2011
July 12-14, 2011 (Conference July 11-14, 2011)
San Francisco, California, USA

Intersolar North America (NA) rebounded in 2010. Nonetheless, Intersolar NA is an optional second to SPI for exposure to the US solar market. The best suggestion I have heard is for Intersolar NA to synergize the exhibition around production equipment with SEMICON West and tailor the conference to the North American audience. I would also like to see elements of the Intersolar Europe PV Industry Forum brought to the conference program.


26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference & Exhibition
September 5-9, 2011 (Exhibition September 5-8, 2011)
Hamburg, Germany

The 26th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) shifts back to Hamburg after the Valencia Exhibitor uprising with the usual US Labor Day holiday timing. Hamburg is a comfortable and high value destination with easy access for PV industry day trippers interested in visiting the conference or exhibition. Here is the expanded “Overview of the Event Site” with more exhibition halls than the 2009 Hamburg 24th EU PVSEC.

Per my exhibitor discussions in Valencia, I wonder how many companies need a stand (booth) or just meeting rooms to catch up with their customer base?

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Solar Power International 2011 (SPI 2011)
October 17-20, 2011
Dallas, Texas USA

Solar Power International escapes from California after serving a five year sentence to spread the solar gospel at the Dallas Convention Center in Texas. SPI is the number one United States Solar Expo and Conference (period). If you can only visit or budget a single US solar tradeshow, SPI 2011 is =the= one to visit, exhibit, or learn more about solar and the US market.

Don’t forget the SPI 2010 Conference session recordings and presentations are available online for registered attendees.

I disliked the SPI 2010 twitter hashtag, #solpwr10. How about the cryptic but short #SPI11, #SPI2011, or just plain #SPI? Each one of those 140 characters is precious.

NRELIGFlogo 24th NREL Industry Growth Forum
November 8-10, 2011
Denver, Colorado USA

The original renewable energy business plan competition resides in Denver. I don’t see the 23rd Forum Proceedings online, just the Detailed Forum Agenda and list of Presenting Companies.

Solarpraxislogo 12. Forum Solarpraxis
November 17-18, 2011
Berlin, Germany

With a “focus on the political environment, market developments, public relations, financing and marketing”, the 12th Forum Solarpraxis falls the week before the US Thanksgiving Day holiday, perfect timing for an extended visit to Germany. I am certain the 2012 German PV market will be the subject of extensive debate.

logo_pvsec21 21st International Photovoltaic Science and Engineering Conference (PVSEC-21)
November 28 – December 2, 2011
Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan

PVSEC-21 will be held at Pacifico Yokohama in Japan and will cover seven Areas each including Special Topics as described in the Call for Abstract. One extra Special Topic is:

PV in Asia – the Market, Industry and Deployment: PVSEC-21 will focus on this special topic in view of PV developments in Asia not only as a production base but also the introduction of the technology into each local area.

And the honorable mention goes to the second PV America conference returning to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA, on April 3-5, 2011, and covering the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic region. I heard the first PV America suffered from organizational growing pains though I expect major improvements under the SPI umbrella.

I guess the long awaited PV event consolidation will have to wait until 2012. What is my best advice for 2011? Haggle.


  1. Mark Osborne says:

    Thanks for the event review Ed, just saved me weeks of analytical assessment using computational algorithms poached from ISE, to figure out which 10 months of the year I am not at home…

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