I made it home safely form the left coast. The solar conference was one of the most well attended that I have seen in many years. We had appointments with over 25 potential clients over three days and attended several training sessions covering incentives and other topics. I came home with several impressions and many more questions.
Much of Europe and Asia are well ahead of us in solar deployment. Germany is the world leader and Spain has made a large push. China is making a lot of noise about cleaning up their act but I don't buy it. California and New Jersey are in the forefront of the efforts in the US. The efforts here are uneven and are mainly determined by who has the best incentives. Sometimes the incentive come and go, depending on state budgets.
The questions surround whether or not we stay the course. At the present time the cost power produced by solar in most areas is not competitive with more established sources, especially not in North Carolina. There is a wide gap and this has to be bridged with incentives or rising cost or new technology. I think we must continue to explore every avenue available until we find the answers to our dependence on foreign energy. Solar needs to be a part of the strategy and North Carolina needs to be a player in this. I will be interested in following the industry and comparing who is present at the conference next year as compared to this year.It should be an intersting ride