To all the naysayers who questioned whether energy legislation could pass this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has an answer for them: not so fast. Speaking at the third annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Reid revived hopes that a bill would get through after all, albeit a much smaller one than the House approved last summer, which may even include the resurrection of a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).
In 1960 the semiconductor industry was in its infancy. The first integrated circuits contained just a few transistors and the production costs were about $1,000 per circuit in 1960 dollars. The only viable applications for this early technology were two programs, the Minuteman missile and the Apollo space program. And these programs bought nearly every circuit produced between 1960 and 1963.
The result of this early market creation by these government programs was that the cost per circuit dropped to an astonishing 98 percent to $25 by 1963 -- and an industry was born. This year, the world will produce about a quintillion transistors or one to the 18th power and the semiconductor industry will generate about $300 billion in revenue. As for the cost per transistor – today’s $200 MP3 player produced in 1975 would have cost about $3 billion.
On behalf of Applied Materials, we commend Senators Kerry and Lieberman in advancing this key piece of a comprehensive renewable energy and climate package in the U.S. Senate. Today's effort, when added to other legislative action, brings this country closer to regaining our position as a leader in the global clean energy technology industry. This industry will create millions of jobs and billions of dollars of economic development in the coming decades and could be a major driver of our economic future.
What policies will allow the U.S. to claim leadership in climate change and renewable energy? Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA) and CEO Mike Splinter talked about this topic during the Congressman’s visit to Applied Materials' Silicon Valley headquarters last week.
As Americans we don’t shrink from challenges, we embrace them. In the 19th century, we united the nation’s economy with the first transcontinental railroad. In the 20th century, we powered the Southwest with the largest hydroelectric power station in the world. We recognized that these challenges were not merely about laying track or building a dam, but about securing the future of our nation.
The question of how we will create, store and use energy is the great challenge of the 21st century. It threatens our economy, our security and our planet.
On November 12, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, visited Applied’s Santa Clara, California campus to learn more about Applied’s solar activities.
On October 20 at the Congressional Quarterly-Roll Call Conference on Climate Change in Washington, D.C., Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke about an important subject she (and we) believe doesn’t get the attention it deserves: creating a strong renewable electricity standard at the federal level.