Trends in PV and solar energy: SACC SF/Silicon Valley business luncheon on October 28 at Urban Tavern, 333 O'Farrell Street.
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According to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance, world investments in renewable energy capacity were bigger than investments in new fossil fuel capacity for a second consecutive year in 2009. Some $188 billion was spent in 2009 by governments looking to dole out money to clean technology as part of their stimulus packages. In 2009, China took the top spot in sustainable energy investments for the first time, effectively overtaking the U.S. at the number one spot.


So what are photovoltaics (PVs)? PVs are integral parts of the sleek panels on top of buildings which convert solar radiation into electricity. Since the entire world is hurtling toward irreversible changes in climate, or perhaps the end of fossil powered life as we know it, this stuff is possibly—even probably—very important for the continued prosperity of humankind. And, China's got it. Chinese solar companies like Suntech are now firmly established in the U.S., controlling more than 40 percent of California's photovoltaic market, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Switch to renewable resources
A state mandate requiring California utility companies to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020 is currently in effect, making California a hotbed of solar power(ed) activity. The list of local and global companies trying to get in on the action is long and growing: BrightSource Energy, Tessera Solar, Nextera, Suntech and Yingli to name but a few. This list is poised to expand further as more “green” Obama-stimulus money trickles down to state and local levels and the economy inevitably moves out of its current trough.

So what is being done by American companies to keep up, and where is the solar power market headed? Kristina Peterson, experienced investment and renewable energy entrepreneur and businesswoman is the person to ask. Having spent more than ten years in investment banking and solar clean technology, Kristina Peterson has many of the answers. The founder of Mayflower Partners, a financial advisory firm specializing in environmental, energy and financial services all over the world, Peterson is right in the thick of these developments and will share her thoughts on important trends in PV and solar energy during a SACC SF/Silicon Valley business luncheon on October 28.
By Michael Strom

Swedish furniture company IKEA, which is already running solar energy projects at three of its stores is planning installations at eight California locations in the near future. Info: