Today we're announcing a new initiative to identify and invest in early-stage, privately-held Chinese companies with promising technologies that can advance or complement the company’s core expertise, particularly in the areas of cleantech, display and semiconductor manufacturing.
Today’s blog post is part two of the three part series running this week looking at the interrelated building blocks that are key contributors to producing solar modules at a cost of less than US$1 per watt.
Thinner Wafers and Higher Throughputs
Silicon wafers for PV are much thinner and more fragile than those used in typical integrated circuit (IC) fabs. While the IC industry starts with 700-750 micron thick wafers, the solar industry has been driving to thinner wafers to save on silicon consumption, the largest single materials cost in solar cell production.
Today, Applied Materials’ R&D campus—home to one of the largest corporate solar installations in the nation—served as the backdrop for the debut of the newest ad for the “No on Proposition 23” campaign. The ad was introduced in a webcast this afternoon by Tom Steyer, Campaign Co-Chair (far left), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (center), and "Avatar” movie director James Cameron (second from right). Applied Materials CFO, George Davis (far right) welcomed guests and provided a brief overview and tour of Applied Materials. The ad can be viewed at the Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition's YouTube channel.
I am pleased to share with you an update on Applied Ventures as we celebrate our fund's fifth anniversary. Over these past five years, we have had the privilege of investing more than $100 million dollars in 27 companies, mostly in cleantech, making us one of the most active investors in the space.