The U.S. housing crisis is the main cause of the global financial crisis. Therefore, the availability of loans for green field installations seems to be limited. However, financing for residential and commercial PV applications is still available.
PIERRE-PASCAL URBON - SMA
Pierre-Pascal Urbon | SMA America, Inc.
|The U.S. housing crisis is the main cause of the global financial crisis. Therefore, the availability of loans for green field installations seems to be limited. However, financing for residential and commercial PV applications is still available.|
EarthToys Interview - The Future of Renewable Energy
Pierre-Pascal Urbon, SMA America, Inc.
1. As an industry leader, how do you expect the renewable energy credits recently passed by the U.S. Congress to affect the American solar market?
The extension of the renewable energy credits is very important for the future development of the U.S. solar market. These extended credits should allow the industry to have not only a higher planning visibility, but also better bankability of PV projects. They also should foster the high growth potential for PV systems in the U.S. (such as high solar radiation, high peak load pricing, increased involvement of utilities, etc.).
2. How has the U.S. housing crisis affected the global solar market?
3. How will SMA weather the storm from the upheaval in global financial markets?
4. Where do you see solar energy headed in the next two, five and 10 years? Where do you foresee the strongest growth opportunities?
5. In practical terms, what portion of electricity generation can we expect solar to be able to handle in the future?
6. What are the main factors limiting the growth of solar as a primary energy source?
The solar market still depends on subsidy programs. However, by the time we reach grid parity, we don’t see any growth limitation at all.
7. Micro-inverters have been receiving a lot of buzz in the industry. What's SMA's position on this technology?
8. What news can consumers expect from SMA in the next 12 months?
Managing Board Member and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer
When Pierre-Pascal Urbon was originally tasked with negotiating the sale of an institutional stakeholder’s share in the German solar technology giant SMA Solar Technology AG, he had little idea he would soon join the company—let alone spearhead its hugely successful efforts at international expansion. Yet it was a serendipitous move for the executive, who has been able to parlay his global experience in the mergers- and-acquisition market to grow SMA.
Although Urbon is German-born, he learned the international market early, working as an analyst in a prominent management consulting firm in Washington, D.C. His fast- rising career path took him to an investment banking facility in London, then to another in Frankfurt, Germany, where he served as vice president. It was here that he was first introduced to SMA.
The executives at SMA were clearly impressed with Urbon’s prowess and worldview, and asked him to join the company’s supervisory board, which he accepted in 2004. A year and a half later, he was asked to join the management board. When Urbon joined SMA, the company was focused on the German market, but its founder saw opportunities around the world, and Urbon was selected to spearhead the company’s entry into Europe and Asia (currently, there are SMA presences in Australia, China, France, Greece, Italy, Korea and Spain). Today, Urbon is a managing board member, as well as the chief marketing and sales officer for SMA. He is responsible for the sales and marketing activities of all eight SMA subsidiaries worldwide. Urbon is quick to share the credit for his success with his SMA teammates. “It’s an exciting, dynamic place to work,” says Urbon. “We have a fast-growing company with a culture that takes care of its people and rewards innovation. That’s been a tremendous factor in our success.”
About SMA America, Inc.
SMA America, Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology AG, based in Germany. With more than three gigawatts installed, SMA is the world leader in solar inverter technology and manufacturing with divisions in nine countries on four continents. SMA is committed to its leadership role, offering exceptional value with the most efficient and reliable solar inverters in the industry. SMA takes special pride in promoting renewable energy solutions at all levels through education, information and support for the general public and solar installers, as well as for small and large businesses worldwide. For more information, call (916) 625-0870 or visit www.SMA-America.com
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