Solar Conference 2017

Feedback from SOLAR 2017

“I’ve been to about two dozen solar conferences and events in the last year, but I enjoyed interacting with the attendees at your event the most! Many other conference sessions just disseminate theory and ideas, but I left your sessions more confident that I can be more self-reliant and sustainable.”
Colin Nackerman – Program Coordinator, The Solar Foundation



SOLAR 2017 – Call to Action
Paulette Middleton, SOLAR 2017 Chair & Co-Chair ASES

For nearly a half century, ASES has organized and delivered the National Solar Conference. What began as an idea to bring pioneering solar thinkers, designers, and researchers together to drive progress and re-imagine the energy path to the future, continues today as a unique blending of science, business, policy, industry and advocacy. While it is now one of many annual conferences in the field, the National Solar Conference remains unique in its delivery of cutting-edge research, trends, analysis and community-building, the likes of which continue to affect the renewable energy landscape in the U.S.

This year almost 400 participants came together in an intimately structured setting to review and strengthen:

  • Technical and policy pathways to a renewable energy world
  • Synergies for diverse advocates and organizations working together
  • Effectiveness of community efforts across the country
  • Advancements in building design and energy efficiency and
  • Education and workforce development innovations

Through a dynamic mix of provocative plenary sessions, interactive forums and technical sessions, and networking events, these key calls to action emerged:

INFORM policy makers, utility decision makers and general public of the
compelling facts and trends about renewables
BUILD stronger partnerships with other groups and individuals working for
a renewable energy world
SUPPORT programs at the community level

ASES welcomes all professionals and advocates to join in the important work to achieve a renewable energy world for all, used wisely and efficiently.

The conference was made possible through the dedication of many partners,
sponsors, volunteers, and staff. Thank you all for your important contributions.

Join ASES and be part of the progress.

Donate to ASES programs and initiatives.



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.

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