Combined efforts bring mutual benefit.
Julia Hamm is the president and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association.
CEOs who lead today’s electric utilities, solar equipment manufacturers, and solar project developers are learning the value of collaboration.
A variety of collaborative business models have helped drive tremendous growth in solar power, even in the face of economic turmoil and lower demand for energy. Though electricity use was down 4.2 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, overall solar capacity grew by 37 percent. Capacity at the 10 utilities with the most solar in their service territories climbed 66 percent.
In light of this information, it’s no surprise that a vice president of one of the largest banks responsible for investments in renewable energy told me that he expects five of his 10 biggest competitors in search of solar investment opportunities to be utility holding companies.