ISETC 2011 Panel Discussion, Oct. 27, 2011

Solar Financing and Job Opportunities

This panel explore issues related to key topics of financing and jobs in solar PV industry. For the past couple of years we have heard a great deal about solar power installation at homes and for commercial buildings in various parts of US including California and in Silicon Valley. However, in reality we have not seen the a proportional inflow of cash in to industry and any major pick up in the job market. There is disconnect between what we hear and the reality on the ground. This panel will discuss the reasons behind the lag in solar industry including the competitive threat from foreign players from China and elsewhere. The penal will further discuss financing opportunities for the solar companies as well as the outlook for short-term and long-term employment.


Panel Moderator:

Eric Wesoff - Green Tech Media


Don Danh - East West Bank

Kevin Gao - CA Solar

Sandeep Sharma- Sandview Development


About Eric Wesoff

Eric Wesoff Erick Wesoff
Senior Analyst
Greentech Media

Prior to joining Greentech Media, Eric Wesoff founded Sage Marketing Partners in 2000 to provide sales and marketing-consulting services to venture-capital firms and their portfolio companies in the alternative energy and telecommunications sectors. Mr. Wesoff has become a well-known, respected authority and speaker in these fields. He also was the publisher of the Venture Power newsletter, a subscription-only newsletter covering venture-capital investment in renewable energy. Eric's expertise covers solar power, fuel cells, biofuels and advanced batteries. His strengths are in market research and analysis, business development and due diligence for investors. He frequently consults for energy startups and Silicon Valley's premier venture capitalists. From 1988 to 1996, Eric served as product marketing manager for Siemens Optoelectronics, where he oversaw complex product lines and managed relationships with global customers. He then became the U.S. marketing and sales manger for Akzo Nobel Photonics, which was acquired by JDS Uniphase. Eric later served as the sales director for Dicon Fiber Optics, where he was responsible for selling millions of dollars of fiber-optic telecom-equipment. He has consulted for Merck, JDSU, Coherent, IBM and scores of other firms, governments and organizations.

About John Danh

Don Danh Don Danh
Senior VP
East West Bank

Don Danh is currently SVP and Head of Emerging Markets at East West Bank, responsible for helping with the development and execution of new market opportunities including the Greentech Lending Initiatives, as well as the emerging Vietnam related opportunities. Mr. Danh started his Corporate/Commercial Banking at Comerica Bank. Prior to East West Bank, Mr. Danh was VP and Sr. Relationship Manager at City National Bank where he was part of a team that was responsible for the successful turn around of a business unit which was previously acquired; Mr. Danh was also instrumental in the successful launch of City National Bank’s Technology Lending Division. Prior to City National Bank, Mr. Danh was VP and Team Manager at Silicon Valley Bank's Emerging Technologies Division where he successfully helped started several new business initiatives. He was a co-founder of the Vietnamese Strategic Venture Networks (VSVN) and was a Board Member there in its early days. Additionally, Don was also a Board Member at the Asia America Multitechnology Association (formerly Asian American Manufacturing Association). AAMA is one of the oldest and best known networking groups in Silicon Valley.

About Kevin Gao

Kevin Gao Kevin Gao
CA Solar

Kevin Gao founded CA Solar LLC in Silicon Valley. He has nearly 20 Years of experience in sales & marketing, strategic M&A, manufacturing & operation management, local sourcing & global sourcing, engineering R&D in solar, semiconductor equipment and automotive industries. Prior to founding CA Solar LLC, Kevin was Director of Manufacturing at Electroglas, Inc. - a Nasdaq listed semiconductor equipment company located in San Jose, California - reported to Chairman, CEO, and COO of company. He was responsible for managing manufacturing operation team in US, Singapore and China. Previously he was Senior Manager at Foxsemicon Integrated Technology Inc, a Foxconn company, was responsible for business development, M&A, supply chain & logistics management for its US operation. Kevin also spent over 10 years in engineering R&D. He worked as a senior engineer at Lam Research Corporation, a leading semiconductor equipment company, developed its flagship wafer etch product that took over the leadership position from its biggest competitor Applied Materials. He also worked at Dana Corporation and Rockwell International Corporation in developing clutches and axles in automotive industries. Kevin holds Master's of Mechanical Engineering degree from University of Cincinnati; attended MBA program at California State University. Kevin Holds three US patents, and one patent in Europe and Brazil.

About Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma Sandeep Sharma
Sandview Development

A successful entrepreneur with experience in solar renewable energy project development along with diverse experience in software development, semi-conductor testing equipment and project management. Mr. Sharma is a development partner with Sandview Development Corp and recently sold, to a publically traded Korean company, a 4MW utility-scale ground mounted PV solar project in Sacramento that is part of a Feed-In-Tariff program launched by Sacramento Municipal Utility District in 2010. Mr. Sharma has development experience in both on-grid and off-grid commercial solar projects both domestically and in India.