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For Immediate Release: Date October 20, 2003
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

M E D I A     A D V I S O R Y


Attention City and Assignment Editors:

Energy Commission Co-hosts World Conference on Solar Power
16 Countries will be represented in Palm Springs October 21-23, 2003

What: The California Energy Commission co-sponsors a worldwide gathering on solar energy - the most evenly distributed and readily available renewable energy resource on the planet. The conference will highlight solar thermal plants whose main features are concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies - parabolic troughs, central receivers with a field of heliostats (mirrors) or dish collectors to capture and concentrate the sun's energy.
When: October 21-23, 2003
Where: Marriott Rancho Las Palmas, Palm Springs
Why: The International Executive Conference on Expanding the Market for Concentrating Solar Power is the second to be held in two years. The first conference occurred in Berlin last year. The Palm Springs gathering will set into motion the declaration of the Berlin conference to devise a bold and effective plan to expand the international market for CSP. This year's meeting seeks to define and launch a coordinated global market initiative aimed at building 5,000 megawatts of large-scale CSP power projects in prime areas around the world within the next 10 years.

California serves as an ideal site for the conference because it is home to the largest CSP project in the world (Kramer Junction solar power plants in Boron, California), which produces about 354 megawatts of CSP power. The state has adopted an aggressive Renewables Portfolio Standard mandating that 20 percent of California's electricity be derived from renewable sources by the year 2017, with the state's energy agencies adopting a policy to accelerate this goal to 2010.
Who: About 70 energy ministers, governors, chief executive officers and senior members of the energy, financial and policy sectors from 16 countries are represented in the by-invitation-only conference. Among the invited participants are California State Senator Debra Bowen, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy; New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; California Energy Commissioner John Geesman; Algeria's Minister of Energy and Mines, Chakib Khelil; the European Union's Director General of New Energies, Guenther Hanreich; and Ajay Vikram Singh, India's Secretary of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources.

Co-sponsors of the conference are the United States Department of Energy, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Global Enviromental Facility, Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment, the International Energy Agency, SolarPACES, a world-wide consortium to promote CSP, and the German Development Bank.

Attention: News and Assignment Editors:

Your news contact during the conference is: Sheila Blum at 760-568-2727 or cell: 301-996-8071. For questions about the Commission's renewable energy program, your on-site contact is Tim Tutt, the program's technical director at: 916-747-2019.

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