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.
Applied Materials, Inc. was recognized as the largest supplier of photovoltaic (PV) solar manufacturing equipment in 2011 by VLSIresearch, a market research firm located in Santa Clara, Calif. This is the fourth consecutive year that Applied has been ranked number one in revenue in the PV solar market, and fiscal 2011 represented its third year of achieving more than $1 billion in sales in this market.*As the market leader in PV manufacturing equipment, Applied currently supports over 1,800 solar manufacturing systems including screen printing, precision wafering, ion implantation and thin film deposition equipment at more than 200 customer sites worldwide through its Applied Global Services division. Applied also provides factory automation software and service solutions for optimizing solar cell efficiency and factory operations.
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.
Recent climate targets supported by China and the U.S. state a common goal of 17% emissions reduction, which is equal to slightly more than a 40% reduction in emissions intensity by 2020.Energy from renewable sources, including solar photovoltaics (PV), is expected to play a key role in reaching this target.The current market for solar PV is dominated by crystalline silicon solar panels.This technology likely will continue to dominate the residential and commercial rooftop markets because of higher efficiency and rapidly falling costs.The largest contributor to the cost of crystalline silicon solar installations is the highly purified polysilicon raw material for the PV cell wafer substrate.It accounts for as much as half of the solar module cost and more than 10% of the total installation cost.Supply shortages in 2008 drove the price of this material to more than $300 per kilogram.Since then, silicon refining capacity has caught up with the solar industry's growth, reducing prices to less than $50 a kilogram.
One of the things I learned last week was that an event that combines cleantech, jobs and great food—along with effective advertising—can deliver an excellent turnout. Indeed that formula worked at the recent Cleantech Outlook:Growing Green Jobs panel. The event, moderated by Rex Northen, executive director of Cleantech Open, was co-sponsored by the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business, Applied Materials, and PayPal, which hosted the venue.