600 million people without power – and those were the ones expecting to have power. I’m not going to join the chorus of critical voices reacting to two of the world’s largest power black-outs this week in India. While surely there is ample blame to go around, it’s not really clear what happened. It could have been the lack of infrastructure investment, the light monsoon weather causing farmers to use more electricity for pumping irrigation water or states taking more than their allotted share of electricity from the grid. But one thing is clear, this power outage ground India’s economy to a halt, left 10% of the world’s population without power and rolled through 22 of India’s 28 states. And that’s not counting the 300 million people there who have no regular access to electricity.
India’s solar industry is finally taking off, but before it can make a meaningful contribution to the country’s growing power demands, many hurdles must still be overcome say experts and business leaders in the field.
In order to remain competitive in the global solar market and compete with countries like China and others, Indian manufactures will need to scale up and quickly. The market is there and booming, but manufacturers need capacities of 300-1,000 MW to remain competitive.
In India, according to the World Bank, approximately 400 million people are without access to reliable electricity and an estimated 100,000 villages are without access to the national grid and receive no electricity. In these cases, the use of coal, kerosene, and other "dirty" fuel sources for power, cooking, and lighting provide energy with intermittent quality and reliability, as well as serious health and environmental concerns.
The lack of reliable light at night affects young students’ ability to study and these find it difficult to concentrate on their studies for an extended period of time, due to irritation and pain in the eyes caused by smoke and heat produced from kerosene lamps. These unsafe sources of energy also cause long-term lung conditions.
Today I’m thrilled to share, that the Applied Materials Foundation, (and our partners) E+Co and SELCO were invited to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to announce our commitment to electrifying villages and schools and training social entrepreneurs in rural India.
IIT Bombay and Applied Materials commemorate 5 years of collaboration with the launch of the “Applied Materials Chemistry Laboratory for Energy and Nanoelectronics (CLEAN).
The state-of-the-art laboratory will broaden the scope of ongoing research collaboration for the development of new materials that will be used for a variety of electronic and renewable energy-focused applications, including the fabrication of next-generation solar cells. Applied Materials began its association with IIT Bombay through several research scholar exchange programs.
In a region as diverse as Silicon Valley, the arts can bring people together in shared experiences that transcend boundaries and foster understanding. Through the arts, we gain exposure to the traditions of various cultures and learn of issues important to people in communities around the world. Two current events in San Jose, Calif., funded in part by the Applied Materials Foundation, work to build bridges between people through the arts.
Buildings consume 40% of all energy in the U.S., 72% of all electricity and 55% of all natural gas. In the U.S., we spend $350 billion on energy for buildings … and that number is growing. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that current trends in energy demand for buildings will stimulate about half of energy supply investments through 2030. If building site energy consumption in China and India grows to current U.S. levels, China’s and India's consumption will be about four and seven times greater than they are today.
Applied Materials was recently featured in an article for The Hindu Business Line regarding semiconductor manufacturing in India. Below are short excerpts from the article including quotes from Dr. Randhir Thakur, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Silicon Systems Group who was interviewed for the feature.
We did and said a lot around solar and clean energy in 2010 — it was definitely a BUSY year for everyone at Applied Materials. So to reflect on the year, we compiled a list of the ‘Top 10 Blog Posts’ for your reading pleasure.
Early in the year, Applied Materials was honored in The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review as one of the world's 50 most innovative companies. Applied was recognized specifically for "Saving solar costs with large-scale manufacturing."
The Government of India hosted the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) 2010 recently on the theme of "Up-scaling and Mainstreaming Renewables for Energy Security, Climate Change and Economic Development". The show was the most significant event on renewable energy ever held in India, attracted more than 9,000 delegates and had more than 250 speakers and 600 exhibitors from 50 countries – including ministerial delegations from several countries.
I learned a lesson in tree planting while in Bangalore, India recently. The job is much easier and more fulfilling when you team with children, especially from orphan schools, to accomplish the task. Their eagerness, enthusiasm and elbow grease was a perfect compliment for the dozen Applied Materials India employees who ventured to the outskirts of the city to do a good act for mother nature. We partnered with the NGO Trees for Free who made all the arrangements, found the location and provided volunteer experts to show us the proper tree planting methods.
For 12 year old, Savitri from Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, India, school was only till dusk and she had to manage with a kerosene lamp, which used to cast shadow on the books and gave limited amount of light. Throughout rural parts of India, many children work in the fields during the day and attend school only at night. Due to electricity outages there is often not enough power to light the classrooms after dark.
Last week in snow-covered Davos wrapped up with a very different feel than previous Davos summits. The mood was slightly more optimistic than last year but attendees were also pragmatic about the pace of global recovery. Not surprisingly, the global economic outlook panel was one of the most widely attended demonstrating the reality of what is really on the minds of world leaders.