SOLAR 2017 marks the American Solar Energy Society’s 46th annual National Solar Conference, an event long-regarded for delivering cutting-edge research and valuable trends and analysis to the solar and renewable energy community.
Meeting of America’s first/foremost national solar association
For 46 years, ASES has been bringing together the leading professionals and advocates of solar energy. This year’s conference sessions and networking events are designed to maximize the knowledge sharing and community building that is the hallmark of ASES.
Technical and Policy Pathways to a Renewable Energy World
The first conference plenary session, Progress to a Renewable Energy Society, provides overviews on global to national to regional pathways that are working. The second plenary, Accelerating Progress Together, explores how policy challenges are being overcome and how bridges are being built across very different constituencies. Advances in a variety of technical and policy approaches are carried throughout the conference sessions (New Technologies, Solar Resource Applications, Solar Cooking, Plant Performance, and Deployment of Distributed Solar Forum)
Co-located with the U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon and the Buildings Theme
The last plenary provides an overview of the Decathlon history and how it is contributing the to renewable energy movement. Sessions on building science and applications (Buildings: Lighting and Other Innovations and Buildings: Net Zero) and the Passive Solar track on Bioclimatic Design worldwide provide ongoing focus on the important role of buildings and energy efficiency throughout the conference.
Special Solar in Your Community Challenge Track and Community Solar Sessions
The community challenge workshop on the second day of the conference explores how US communities are working to effectively pursue the renewable energy society goal. Community solar projects and approaches in the US and around the world are discussed on the first day (Community Solar, Solar Communities: Developing World Business Models, and Renewable City Forum), and a special forum on analysis tools developed at NREL for community building completes the focus.
Creating Synergies Among Diverse Professionals and Advocates
Working more effectively together is another important theme of the conference. The second day plenary, Accelerating Progress Together, stresses the need to build bridges, and this theme is reflected in several forums on each day of the conference (Broader Look at Community Sustainability, Spirit and Sustainability, and Energy & Environment Group Synergies).
Education Sessions and Workshops
The conference showcases innovations in education at a wide variety of levels from k-university (Education I and II), to business development (Installer Marketing Forum), to the general public. The importance of public acceptance is highlighted in the plenary panel discussions during the first two days, and again in the concluding plenary addressing the main conference conclusions.
Building Community Through Special Events and Daily Networking
The conference provides ample opportunity for informal discussions among the wide variety of attendee backgrounds. In addition, ASES is hosting several special events including the Opening Reception, Emerging Professionals mentoring session and reception, the Women in Solar Energy forum and luncheon, and the Awards Banquet.
Special this year, SOLAR 2017 is an integral part of the two-week U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, also in Denver, Colorado. ASES has partnered with the Solar Decathlon organizing team to maximize interest in solar energy through sustainability and educational workshops.
This collaboration integrates the ASES mission of enabling a 100% renewable energy society with the Solar Decathlon’s focus on green buildings. It also underscores ASES’ role as an essential community-building, knowledge-sharing organization.