In today’s rapidly growing solar industry, the emerging role of digital solutions in elevating solar to a mainstream energy source is now at the forefront of industry thinking. This was a major theme surrounding the first ever S3: Solar Software Summit, hosted by Greentech Media and Folsom Labs in Scottsdale, Arizona last week.
With the inception of this new event, it is now apparent that the industry has created a thriving ecosystem surrounding solar software. The emerging presence of solution providers is encouraging to see, proving that comprehensive solutions for companies is possible. Software’s potential is now being recognised across the entire value chain in solar project development- whether it be in U.S. residential solar, or for those across different businesses technologies and market segments. These various segments were represented across a variety of dynamic panel and keynote sessions surrounding software’s role in various parts of the solar project lifecycle. Notably, Yann Brant from Conergy and Mercatus customer spoke to software’s role in shaping the landscape of solar project financing.
Following S3 came GTM’s annual Solar Summit, which was centred around the developments of the U.S. solar industry as a whole. Important discussions included developments from the ITC extension and utility rate reforms and net metering. The obstacle filled future of solar and the traditional utility was also top of mind, as solar reaches utility integration and makes higher levels of penetration into the fuel mix. Optimistically, the increasing promise of solar and storage is growing, and proving fundamentally game changing for the utility.
To sum up the entire three days, it is apparent that solar as a whole is a transformative, disruptive industry. In order for new energy companies to scale and for utility providers to adjust, tools and processes are essential to maintain steady, healthy growth. How seriously they choose to implement these tools, as well as how comprehensive solution providers can be, will play a major role in dictating solar power’s future in America and the rest of the world.
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