From the rack of over 30 sample magazines the cover of one jumped out at me. It showed what at first glance appeared to be  two menacing tractor trailers bearing down on a bicyclist. This made sense as for many years the trucking industry has been the bad bogey man of the green energy world.

But upon looking more closely I saw these trucks were not menacing the bicyclist but instead joining him in the race toward a sustainable green energy future. This is the future eNow personnel first grasped several years ago when our first prototype systems were deployed and the one we are glad to see is emerging in the consciousness of the industry now. Our goal at eNow is to enable and accelerate this vision to the benefit of all.

Solar industry pricing and technological trends have been converging for the last several years along paths that have enabled transportation based solar energy derived systems to be very cost effective. This tipping point happened so quickly that it has caught many in both industries off guard.

Beneficial technical and pricing trends over the last several years that have enabled solar based transportation systems

  • 2008 financial crisis spurred cell efficiency innovation that has triggered an unprecedented reduction in CPW
  • BIPV initiatives have spurred lightweight, thin, and flexible materials sets
  • Distributed panel optimization and subsequent miniaturization of electronics
  • EV growth spurring storage innovation and pricing reductions.

The fruits of these trends were evident in the wide range of offerings and new product announcements made in these areas at SPI. This activity also points to the vigor of this growth industry which will keep these trends progressing forward. Per the show opening remarks.. “In 2011 the solar industry in the US over doubled with installed capacity increasing by 1.8GW making it the fastest growing major industry in the US.” Keynote speaker President Clinton stressed the need to educate the American public on the strengths of the industry stating “They would be shocked to know that even in the depths of recession, this industry (greentech) was growing at 8%”.

That growth is occurring because solar based energy systems now make economic sense.