There are many misconceptions about solar energy; the most prevalent is probably cost. In part, this is because people aren’t aware of how much solar technology has progressed in recent years, but it’s also because many people don’t understand what makes up their monthly energy bill.
With economies around the world struggling with recession, many policymakers are looking for the “next big thing” that can spark recovery, economic expansion and job growth. At the same time, governments are grappling with proposed solutions to the climate crisis. The quick answer to these issues is to promote “green jobs”, but successfully building the infrastructure to make the clean tech sector a tangible part of the economy is a complex challenge.
Applied Materials has sponsored the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, but is also lending its technical and monetary support to two California schools that teamed together for this year’s contest, Santa Clara University and the California College of the Arts. Their entry, Refract House, is a “zero-energy” house that will compete in a number of challenges on the National Mall in October.
Applied Materials Chairman and CEO Mike Splinter greeted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in front of a demonstration of the world's largest and most powerful solar panel as she visited the company's Sunnyvale, Calif. campus for a briefing with Silicon Valley CEOs.