National solar conference to help thousands

As the nation struggles with concerns about nuclear energy, fossil fuel dependency and a sluggish economy, thousands of renewable energy professionals and interested consumers will gather at the 40th annual ASES National Solar Conference (SOLAR 2011) May 17–21 in Raleigh, N.C.


Solar show logoOrganized by the American Solar Energy Society, the event will bring together leading experts to discuss advances in technology and mass deployment of renewable energy and efficiency, with benefits for national security and jobs-creation.  North Carolina alone has added more than 100 solar companies and 1,500 solar jobs since passing a renewable portfolio standard in 2007, according to ASES chapter the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association.

Being held at the Raleigh Convention Center, the ASES National Solar Conference is the industry’s most comprehensive educational event for everyone interested in our nation’s rapidly expanding clean-energy economy.  The conference will attract a wide audience, including installers, manufacturers, architects, builders, media, academics, government officials, policy makers, scientists, researchers, engineers, investors, energy utilities and consumers interested in clean energy to learn about the latest renewable energy technology, products, trends, installation techniques, policies, energy efficiency and high-performance building methods.

“There’s never been a more critical moment for solar professionals to convene to exchange expertise and developments to help our nation quickly realize the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency,” explained Shaun McGrath, the newly appointed executive director of ASES.  “SOLAR 2011 will connect, train and empower businesses that already are leading, or will soon lead, our clean-energy economy.”

SOLAR 2011
is the longest-running educational event in the U.S. for solar energy professionals.  It was developed by and for solar- and renewable-energy experts working in technology, buildings, policy, professional education, workforce development and consumer education.  More than 5,000 attendees are expected.

In partnership with National Solar Trainers (NST, — a leading provider of unbiased solar education — ASES’ SOLAR AND YOU! training will provide installers and other interested participants exceptional skill development in advanced topics in solar technology, business management, market trends, residential and commercial installation, and more during early-conference training sessions May 17 and 18.  As a first, participants can earn in a single conference all 18 continuing education credits needed for recertification by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.

“Public Day” is Saturday, May 21, and will feature presentations in the three main areas: “Green Careers,”  “Greening Your Home or Business,” and “Understanding Renewable Energy Technology, Policies and Incentives.”   Also happening as part of SOLAR 2011 is the 36th National Passive Solar Conference; the Sixth Renewable Energy Policy, Advocacy and Marketing Conference; and a renewable energy products and services trade show.

“Attending the National Solar Conference during the last few years has been the most important activity my business and I have pursued,” explained Darryl Thayer, a renewable energy contractor and consultant from Minneapolis, Minn.  “ASES has provided us with great training, networking opportunities, and the ability to see the latest solar technologies and components available.  If you’re in this business and don’t attend, you’re really missing out.”

Special, pre-full-conference registration pricing is being offered as follows: until April 17: $739; April 18 through May 16: $839; on-site: $939.



****As a special offer to readers of Metal Roofing Magazine, you can save $200 off the registration price: Please enter the code METROOF when registering. ****

SOLAR 2011 will feature high-level government and industry officials leading the green economy, including SunPower’s Richard Swanson, Architecture 2030’s Edward Mazria, and Plug-In America’s Dan Davids.  A complete list available is available here.


  • Utility PV installations more than tripled in 2010 to reach 242 MW, up from 70 MW in 2009.*
  • 52,600 PV systems were connected in 2010, bringing the cumulative number of grid-connected PV systems in the U.S. to 152,516.*
  • The grid-connected PV market more than doubled in 2010 to 878 megawatt (MW) installed.  Prior to 2010, the U.S. PV market had grown at an average annual rate of 69 percent over the previous 10 years, rising from just 3.9 MW in 2000 to 435 MW in 2009.*
  • U.S. manufacturing of PV components increased substantially year-over-year for wafers (97% growth), cells (81% growth), and modules (62% growth).*
  • • “Within the decade, solar power is expected to be competitive with nuclear power without subsidies.” (“Solar and Nuclear Costs – The Historic Crossover,” July 2010.)
  • Complete guide of solar rebates offered, by state:


Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and grassroots advocates.  Supported by more than 13,000 members, ASES’s mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.  It advances research, education and policy.  ASES publishes the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine (, presents the ASES National Solar Conference (, rallies citizens to build a Solar Nation (, and leads the ASES National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.

CONFERENCE INFORMATION:, Kate Hotchkiss, ASES National Solar Conference director, 303.443.3130 x111

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