This year was a big year for solar, both domestically and globally, with some unlikely players throwing their hats into the ring and upping the ante on achievable power generating capacity. Here’s a wrap-up of some of the year’s most impactful events in the solar industry, with a little added perspective from some experts in the field.
Financial Innovation and Collaboration Takes the Solar Cake
If you ask Tom Kimbis what he thinks was one of the most important developments of 2012 for solar energy, he may tell you something you didn’t quite expect to hear. Kimbis, VP of External Affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), says that much of the credit for what’s being seen as a landmark year for downstream solar growth belongs not to technical innovations, but financial innovations — the kind that are making it increasingly possible for people everywhere to be able to afford solar without having to take out a second mortgage on their homes.
“Innovation can take place throughout the entire value chain,” Kimbis said. “We’ve seen phenomenal innovation with the various leasing and third party ownership models that have driven the markets in the U.S. forward more than the increase in cell efficiency.”