California Governor Jerry Brown Last Years' Intersolar Keynote

Intersolar Returning to San Francisco: Strengthens Partnership with CALSEIA

Intersolar Flags 0904 rdax 100 rdax 100 300x225 Intersolar Returning to San Francisco: Strengthens Partnership with CALSEIASAN FRANCISCO, June 09, 2014 – Intersolar North America, the most well attended industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals to exchange information and develop business opportunities, announced today it has formed a new, long-term agreement with valued partner California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA). Together, the partners will work to strengthen supportive solar policies in California, and further the state’s solar market through joint campaigns and programs.

Intersolar North America is celebrating its seventh year as the premier venue for the solar business in California and the entire United States. The success of the exhibition and conference can be attributed, in part, to the high quality programs developed by Intersolar and its industry partners. CALSEIA’s expertise, as one of the nation’s oldest solar energy associations located in the heart of the largest solar U.S. market, has played a critical role. With more than 4.1 GW, California ranks first in the country in installed solar capacity, and is home to more than 1,670 solar companies, employing 43,700 solar professionals. “Intersolar North America is California’s premier solar conference and trade show,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of CALSEIA, “it is an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of market developments and trends while making important business connections and networking. From the workshops to the networking events, Intersolar North America is the place to be for the U.S. solar industry.”

“Intersolar supports the North American solar industry yesterday, today and tomorrow,” said Markus Elsässer, CEO of Solar Promotion International GmbH, an organizer of Intersolar North America. “We began our event in California with the primary goal of providing the U.S. solar industry with an exhibition platform that would further the market by bringing together key national and international players, and showcase the latest products and technology innovations. We developed educational workshops, conference sessions and networking events to connect industry advocates. Our commitment to hosting Intersolar North America in the U.S.’s largest solar market, and our continued collaboration with CALSEIA and co-organizer SEMI speaks to that mission.”

Intersolar and CALSEIA have historically collaborated on portions of the Intersolar North America conference agenda, special exhibition programs and networking events, including the popular Solar Summerfest. Solar Summerfest, hosted by CALSEIA and Intersolar, is the premiere networking event for approximately 2,000 attendees that include Intersolar North America exhibitors, visitors and conference attendees. Intersolar proudly supports the Solar Summerfest, a 100 percent fundraiser benefiting CALSEIA’s activities to strengthen the Californian solar industry. Tickets for the Solar Summerfest are available for purchase online. Intersolar runs July 8-10 in San Francisco.

Climate Change Inaction Risky Business

New York, June 24 – The American economy could face significant and widespread disruptions from climate change unless U.S. businesses and policymakers take immediate action to reduce climate risk, according to a new report released today. The report, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States,” summarizes findings of an independent assessment of the impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level, and shows that communities, industries, and properties across the U.S. face profound risks from climate change. The findings also show that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience, and through immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.

HenryCisnerosLibraryHIGHRES 200x300 Climate Change Inaction Risky Business Risky Committee Member Henry Cisneros

The Risky Business report shows that two of the primary impacts of climate change—extreme heat and sea level rise—will disproportionately affect certain regions of the U.S., and pose highly variable risks across the nation. In the U.S. Gulf Coast, Northeast, and Southeast, for example, sea level rise and increased damage from storm surge are likely to lead to an additional $2 to $3.5 billion in property losses each year by 2030, with escalating costs in future decades. In interior states in the Midwest and Southwest, extreme heat will threaten human health, reduce labor productivity and strain electricity grids.

Conversely, in northern latitudes such as North Dakota and Montana, winter temperatures will likely rise, reducing frost events and cold-related deaths, and lengthening the growing season for some crops.

The report is a product of The Risky Business Project, a joint, non-partisan initiative of former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 Michael R. Bloomberg, and Thomas P. Steyer, former Senior Managing Member of Farallon Capital Management. They were joined by members of a high-level “Risk Committee” who helped scope the research and reviewed the research findings.


All Our Patents Belong To You – By Elon Musk, CEO


Tesla 300x102 All Our Patents Belong To You   By Elon Musk, CEO

Recently, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.


Sun Still Shining On Solar Investments

IMG 0180 225x300 Sun Still Shining On Solar InvestmentsMercom Capital Group, llc, a clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity for the solar sector during the second quarter of 2013. Solar venture capital : (VC) investments increased to $189 million (M) in 19 deals in Q2 2013 compared to $126M in 26 deals in Q1 2013. Solar downstream : companies received most of the funding with $128M. Total corporate funding in the solar sector including, VC funding :, debt financing and other types of funding raised by public companies through sale of shares totaled $915M.

“With solar technology companies struggling, investments have been going to downstream companies,” commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “That said, investments into solar technology companies haven’t completely dried up. Small venture rounds are still going to several niche technology companies instead of the larger deals that were typical for thin film:, CSP: and CPV:companies.” The largest VC deals in Q2 2013 included the ~$69M raised by Chinese developer Hefei Golden Sun Energy Technology. Clean Power Finance raised $42M from Edison International, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Google Ventures, Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels, Hennessey Capital, Duke Energy, and others. Solexel raised $14.8M, followed by Tigo Energy which raised $13M from Alon Ventures. Scifiniti raised $10M from Alloy Ventures, Firelake Capital Management, I2BF Global Ventures and Peninsula Ventures.

Solar lease companies raised $1.33 billion (B) in disclosed residential and commercial solar project funds this quarter Solar M&A : activity in Q2 2013 amounted to $1.27B in 18 transactions. Themes emerging out of this quarter’s M&A activity included: consolidation in the inverter market, strategic acquisitions, and acquisitions of distressed assets/companies. The largest disclosed M&A transaction by dollar amount in Q2 2013 was ABB’s acquisition of inverter company, Power-One, for approximately $1B. Announced large-scale project funding in Q2 2013 came in at $2.94B. Solar Star Funding, the wholly owned subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s MidAmerican Energy, completed a $1B bond offering this quarter, the largest solar bond financing deal to date. There were more than 670 MW of disclosed projects that changed hands in Q2 2013. Loans, credit facilities and other types of debt agreements from Chinese banks now stand at about $53B.

The Next Generation In Solar Cars

EN4A0310 300x213 The Next Generation In Solar Cars

The internationally recognized Sunswift solar car racing program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia recently debuted their revolutionary new solar racer “eVe”. The eVe not only inspires with its stunning design but also demonstrates long-term ecological sustainability. The students who volunteer their efforts to Sunswift created eVe in the hopes of capturing another team championship at the 2013 World Solar Challenge (WSC) – the pinnacle event for solar racing.

At this year’s WSC taking place in October  teams from top universities and private institutions around the world will compete in a 3,000 km race across Australia’s Outback from Darwin to Adelaide relying solely on the sun’s energy to power their cars. This year, eVe races in the ‘cruiser’ class, a class that rewards entrants for incorporating practical motoring features into their advanced solar technology vehicles.

Sunswift has teamed with ToyLabs to impart these invaluable science lessons to school kids. The Sunswift team uses the Volta Racer to share their passion and to inspire future generations of scientists and engineers through a series of hands-on workshops located at the University of New South Wales Engineering School and at various location en-route to WSC. During the workshops kids get to build the Volta Racer and learn about Sunswift’s innovative work on eVe. UNSW engineering student and Sunswift Project Director ‘Alex To’ went so far as to liken the Volta Racer to a “miniature version of the car we build. Both vehicles, in fact, use the same direct solar to power conversion methods to provide electricity to their motors. The Volta Racers allow these kids to have a practical hands-on experience building their very own electric car while learning about basic mechanical engineering, electronics and using solar as a sustainable energy application.”ToyLabs founder ‘Tim Curley’ is honored to lend his support to Sunswift’s efforts. “ToyLabs wants to help inspire kids to become the world’s next generation of scientists and engineers – just like the extremely bright students at UNSW working on eVe.

Solarthon Brings Solar Power to the People

Solar champs header.2a531c2da6c2c53e01d2f251e101aaf07781 Solarthon Brings Solar Power to the People

MCE (Marin Clean Energy), a program offering cleaner energy choices for electric customers in Marin County and the City of Richmond,  sponsored  GRID Alternatives’ largest installation event earlier this  of the year at the May 8th annual Bay Area Solarthon.On September 7, 2013 solar panels were installed on the roofs of more than 8 low income homes in Richmond’s Iron Triangle.  The Solarthon community installation event is, a fundraiser and solar block party that brings together hundreds of people including individual fundraisers, corporate sponsors, job trainees, community leaders and the homeowners themselves to install multiple solar systems in one neighborhood in a single day.

The funds raised at the Solarthon event are used to further support GRID Alternatives’ work to bring clean, affordable energy and hands-on solar installation experience to families and workers that need it most. Participants get hands-on experience installing solar with and for local families.

MCE offers its customers 50 percent renewable energy, more than twice that offered by PG&E, at affordable rates and also has one of the best Net Energy Metering programs in California. “The Solarthon event aligns with our mission and goals to provide local clean energy alternatives and demonstrates our commitment to environmental and community sustainability,” said Dawn Weisz, Executive Officer of the Marin Energy Authority, which administers MCE. “We’re pleased to support this event and GRID Alternatives as another way to foster community control, workforce development and renewable energy in Richmond.”