Boulder is hosting a presentation and question-and-answer session Thursday night with solar industry leader Karl Rábago.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the West Senior Center, 909 Arapahoe Ave.

Rábago will discuss technological changes that are making solar more affordable, the effect on large utility companies of the increasing use of solar panels, the likely impact of changes Xcel Energy has proposed to net-metering and the future of the solar industry.

In addition to the public presentation, Rábago will meet separately with a volunteer working group that is developing recommendations for Boulder's solar policies so that the city can take maximum advantage of local solar, especially if the city moves forward with creating its own utility.

“These are important areas for us to explore together,” said Heather Bailey, executive director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, in a news release. “The city of Boulder is unequivocally supportive of the solar industry. Our economy benefits greatly from the foothold these green businesses have established locally. In addition, this technology has already helped Boulder make significant progress in its efforts to increase renewable sources of energy.”