While the event, sponsored by the Solar Electric Power Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, focused heavily on the photo voltaic (electricity generating) side of the industry, thermal solar products (domestic water heating and space heating) were prominently displayed.
More than 200 exhibitors, filled the Long Beach Convention Center and spilled into the ballroom of the adjacent Hyatt Hotel. Next year's event in San Diego will have three times the exhibit hall space.
While the solar industry has enjoyed a growth rate of more than 40 percent per year in recent years, numerous speakers encouraged attendees to get involved politically, pointing out that Congress is currently debating an extension of solar tax incentives.
The SEIA is pushing for an eight-year extension of the 30 percent business ITC and a six-year extension of the residential ITC, as well as the elimination of the existing $2,000 limit on the 30 percent residential solar ITC.
The group also is in favor of permitting corporate and individual taxpayers to claim the ITC against the Alternative Minimum Tax and the elimination of the public utility exception to the ITC.