Silicon Valley officials say solar power may spread rapidly across globe

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- What happens this week in Paris during the U.N. climate change conference could mean money flowing into the Bay Area.

Silicon Valley officials said people can expect to see solar spread rapidly across the globe.

Read more: World leaders gather for UN climate conference

The forecast is looking bright for Silicon Valley just as Sun Power CEO Tom Werner prepares to head to Paris. "I think money will flow to where the innovation is and innovation is here," he said.

On day one of the U.N. climate change summit, Bill Gates and others announced a public private partnership.

It will put billions into green energy efforts explained Julia Pyper with Greentech Media. "What Bill Gate's money does is actually bridge that gap between the government dollars and the later stage investors to really get these companies off the ground and get some of these much needed technologies into the market," she said.

That helps start-ups and more established companies.

Solar company CEO's are watching the funding directions and using the talks as an opportunity to influence long term policy. "The climate change negotiations in general serve as a platform to promote the industry overall and that's really important as some of the local policies remain up in the air," Pyper said.

"Important legislation invariably follows, it's unclear when, but invariably there's change," Werner said.

In the short term, climate change commitments from some 180 countries means an expanding solar market. "This year China will install as much as America has cumulatively in one year and it's a new market so it's trends like these that come out of the climate talks," Werner said.

It's still too early to say when changes influenced by the summit will reach consumers.

There's no word yet on government incentive programs, but you can bet leaders in Silicon Valley are pushing for anything and everything to help the world go green. "Silicon Valley has been more engaged in the climate talks overall than probably ever before and that's really exciting to see."
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