Last week, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) held its annual conference in Denver in conjunction with the World Renewable Energy Forum (WREF). Clean Power Research sent four team members to support the nine sessions and panels we participated in, and to staff our first-ever booth at the event. Partners and extended team members like Richard Perez and Dave Renné were also on hand, as well as customers presenting research that CPR was involved in (SMUD, Austin Energy).

ASES is working hard to reinvigorate its conference. ASES executives, Solar Today staff and ASES board members fanned out across the exhibit hall to meet with exhibitors and get feedback. It’s great to see the focus on attendees and exhibitors, and a recognition that the conference remains a unique event for a broad range of technical discussions around solar. ASES always seems to attract the best technical minds in solar from government labs, academia and industry.

Some other ASES WREF takeaways:

  • Solar forecasting and resource assessment were hot topics that attracted many speakers and had well attended sessions.
  • There appears to be an awareness of variability challenges at the highest levels; both Secretary Chu and Santiago Seage (CEO at Abengoa Solar) noted the challenges around overcoming grid-wide variability. This made us feel even better about our announcement of SolarAnywhere® FleetView™ (with its emphasis on forecasting and variability intelligence) earlier that week.
  • Combining the ASES and WREF events seemed to be positive and helped attract high-profile keynote speakers like Secretary Chu. We were also pleased to see senior international policymakers and experts like Secretary Rajiv Bansal of India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission actively participating in multiple sessions.
  • The exhibit hall had a good variety of vendors and was well trafficked. We felt that having a booth presence was beneficial, especially as it allowed for detailed follow-up discussions after the various sessions we participated in.

This year’s ASES event fostered lively discussion around the issues important to the future of solar, and we look forward to seeing what it brings in 2013.