Muscle and Speed: The Californian Solar Energy Market

With the creative energy of Silicon Valley, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor and more than 3.2 billion dollars to spend, the solar industry in California and Silicon Valley is ready for a renewable energy boost.

With the creative energy of Silicon Valley, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor and more than 3.2 billion dollars to spend, the solar industry in California and Silicon Valley is ready for a renewable energy boost.

The flexibility of the Silicon Valley mindset - creating new and better products every day - the muscle power of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the abundant venture capital and the renewable fuel of government support could result in a booming solar industry!

From first movers like NanoSolar to very young start-up companies like Solyndra (which just raised 79 million dollars) and SoloPower (10 million dollars), the solar industry in Silicon Valley is moving very fast in a new direction compared to the industry mainstream. The Valley ventures are focusing on thin-film CIGS technology and concentrator module concepts. In 2006 one-third of all venture capital invested worldwide went to clean technology companies based in Silicon Valley, according to Mercury News.

To explore business opportunities and visit these new global PV companies in the "Solar Silicon Valley" region, SolarPlaza is organizing its 6th international PV trade mission to California from 10 to 15 June.
This event will bring together PV business executives and investors from many countries, and create a dynamic environment and a platform for high-level discussions about new business opportunities in the rapidly growing Californian and global solar energy market.

In cooperation with the California Solar Energy Industries Association, the implications of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) will be discussed in detail at a special symposium on 11 June. Major stakeholders will present their views and experiences and discuss business opportunities. The tour will include company visits to the "hottest" PV companies in the USA, like MiaSol, Applied Materials and Akeena Solar. Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena Solar and President of CalSEIA, who participated in SolarPlaza's first China PV trade mission, believes that "California can become the world's biggest PV market within a few years". (According to research by SolarPlaza, the Californian market can easily reach 1 GigaWatt of cumulative installed PV power before 2010.) The tour program starts on the evening of Sunday 10 June and ends on Friday 15 June. Included in the program will also be a symposium on 13 June focusing on VC-funded Californian PV manufacturers working on next-generation PV technologies like CIGS and concentrator modules.

Finally, a matchmaking and workshop event will be organized, at which new Californian start-ups and well-established PV companies will present themselves and work on some case studies with the international participants. Based on the interest already shown, the group of delegates will comprise many nationalities. This event will be a great way to find new business partners and to discuss global market developments with enthusiastic fellow participants from different areas of the solar energy industry.

This PV tour is the sixth organized by, the global PV marketplace. Previous trade missions have visited China, Spain, Italy and Greece. The cost for participation in this exciting event is 3,950 (incl. full program and hotel accommodation). This learning and market exploration experience will start and end in San Francisco. More information and an order form can be found at

Contact: Edwin Koot, Director, SolarPlaza: +31 10 280 9198 or

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