Summer solstice is a great time to celebrate the sun and all the benefits we receive from it–light, resources for life and warmth for the Earth. It’s also a great time to talk about solar energy and its adoption around the world. For the past four years, Applied has used this day to highlight the benefits of solar technology, as well as dispel common misperceptions about this renewable energy source.
Today, we released the results of our annual solar energy survey which measures consumer understanding and awareness of solar in China, India, Japan and the United States. We chose these countries because the anticipated growth of photovoltaic (PV) installations is greatest in these markets.
I want to invite you to a special Applied Materials blog event on Twitter featuring the senior director for Energy Policy and Market Development at Applied Materials, Cathy Boone. Topics she will discuss include solar energy policy, jobs and myths. The Twitter chat is on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific; 1:00 p.m. Eastern and will last for one hour.
The languages were different but the lessons learned were similar. Finding innovative solutions to complex problems requires creatively, experimentation, and teamwork. And, the process of converting a concept – as clever, timely, and intriguing as it may be – to a prototype for public display can be overwhelming. Sometimes a brilliant idea is helped by a ready supply of duct tape, late night calls to mentors, last minute tweaks to wiring systems, and a presentation that includes a bit of theatrical magic!
The H20asis project, a solar-powered reverse osmosis water supplier system, from Cupertino High School won first place in the San Francisco Clean Tech Competition.
The presentations were first-rate and the innovations were ingenious, but what impressed me most at the recent judging of Clean Tech Competition projects in Silicon Valley, Calif. was the focus on how technology can improve the way people live.
In this inaugural year of the Competition, presented by Applied Materials, student ages 13-18 worked in teams both in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Xi’an, China to design a solar solution to a humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of a real or imagined natural disaster. At the California judging recently held at Santa Clara University, students described earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions and then demonstrated their solutions ranging from food storage and cooking systems to communication and location devices to solar masks.
A recent Department of Defense (DoD) study found huge potential for solar deployment on military bases in California. Responding to a Congressional request, the DoD spent a year evaluating the potential for affordable solar energy on military bases in California and Nevada. Although 96% of the land on the bases was deemed incompatible with solar, the DoD identified 25,000 acres that are “suitable” and 100,000 acres that are “likely” or “questionably” suitable for solar.
If solar were deployed on all the suitable land and 25% of the likely suitable land, seven thousand (7,000) megawatts (MW) of energy could be generated – equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants and 30 times the energy consumed by the bases today!
On August 1, 2011, the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced a national feed-in tariff (FiT) for solar PV. Although details are still being released, the plan looks like a serious first step toward unleashing significant demand for solar PV in China.
At Applied Materials we love trying new things, so to celebrate the Summer Solstice, I spent the day yesterday, answering questions about solar energy and photovoltaics on Reddit, one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant online communities.
During the day-long, live “Ask Me Anything” question and answer session, I received nearly 1,000 comments and questions, ranging from topics like how to get a job in renewable energy to nuclear versus solar! I had a great time discussing my passion and life’s work, and answered as many questions as I could throughout the day.
If you have a moment, spend some time reading through the questions the community asked and the responses provided, but to save you some time, listed in this post are the ten best questions, as voted by the Reddit community.
Summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunlight, is significant to our team here at Applied Materials. Today we released the results of our third annual solar energy survey and we discovered that although still in the minority, a significant amount of American consumers would consider installing solar panels on their homes. Specifically, more than a quarter (27%) of Americans would consider installing solar panels on their home. The biggest motivator appears to be cost-related as 65% would be motivated by government incentives to help offset installation costs and 54% would be motivated by the increase in the home’s value.
The top 10 US Utilities ranked by solar capacity additions installed 561 megawatts (MW) of new solar capacity in 2010 – demonstrating 100% growth over 2009, according to the Solar Electric Power Association’s (SEPA) Top 10 Utility Solar Rankings released recently. SEPA’s annual top 10 list ranks utilities by solar megawatts added as well as solar watts-per-customer. It provides great insight into the trends of solar deployment across the country.
For the first time ever, 63% of the new solar capacity added by utilities in the US came from utilities outside California. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG & E) maintained it leadership status by adding 157 MW of solar in 2010. However, Florida Power & Light (FP & L) and New Jersey’s Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE & G) raced to grab the number 2 and 3 spots with 87 MW and 68 MW respectively.
Dr. Charles Gay, President of Applied Materials’ Solar division, discusses when we'll get to $1/watt, solar efficiency improvement opportunities and how Applied Materials is looking at the solar technology roadmap. This interview with the Daily Energy Report is the second of a two part series.
Applied Materials’ president of Solar, Dr. Charlie Gay along with Peking University’s president, Zhou Qifeng; China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) chief engineer and director of the international cooperation department, Wu Guihui; U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) China office executive director, Martin Schoenbauer and other representatives of NEA and the university kicked off the Chinese Solar Decathlon competition with a dedication ceremony in Beijing, China this week.
The history of the semiconductor industry in India dates back to the 1980s, when multinational giants from the U.S. started outsourcing chip design and software development to India, so that the country’s technical talent pool could be tapped. Initially work in this area was centered on software development directly tied to hardware. It included development of automation tools, modeling and simulation, and embedded software, to name a few products. Over the years, the scope of these projects has expanded with several semiconductor companies in India adopting high-end product development. Since its origin in the country, the industry has been growing at a steady pace. The ISAFrost & Sullivan report estimated the Indian semiconductor market to be worth $4.56 bn in 2007. This figure rose to $5.9 bn by 2008 at a compound annual growth rate of 13.4%, and to $7.59 bn by 2010.