Summary:

Despite a difficult solar market this year, the future of solar technology was on display at the annual Intersolar conference in San Francisco this week, from startups and big companies alike.

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One of my favorite things to do at trade shows is to walk around the exhibit floor to look for the newest technologies and players. Intersolar, one of the largest solar energy trade shows in the country that materialized in downtown San Francisco this week, is a good venue to do just that and this week I was able to peer into the future of solar technology across the show floor.

At the same time, the solar industry has been beset by an oversupply of solar panels in recent years and collapsing prices for over two years now, and dozens of solar module manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy or been sold cheaply in recent months. Dozens more have tried to hang on by cutting back their production significantly.

All of this has meant that many companies seem to have cut their trade show budgets, and the event was a decidedly smaller and quieter event than last year. In addition, I didn’t see a few technologies as prominently this year, particularly concentrating photovoltaic technology, which uses mirrors and lens to concentrate sun light onto tiny solar cells.

Here is a photo slide of some of the interesting products I did see at the show:  

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