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Solar Smarter Faster


As part of the SunShot Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on April 15th the selection of up to $112.5 million over five years for funding to support the development of advanced solar photovoltaic (PV)-related manufacturing processes throughout the United States. The effort is led by Sematech, with a proven track record in breathing life back into the US semiconduster industry, and in partnership with CNSE, The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
Dan Armbrust, Pradeep Haldar, Dan Hallady, Alain Kaloyeros
Energy Department Video

SAM ARMBRUST (President and CEO, Sematech):  SunShot represents a very serious approach by the United States government, recognizing that we are three to five years from having solar photovoltaic adopted as a(n) important energy source.

PRADEEP HALDAR (Professor and Head of Nanoscale Engineering, CNSE):  The SunShot initiative was announced by the Department of Energy really to focus on reducing the cost of solar technologies, the installed cost of solar, to a dollar a watt.

 ALAIN KALOYEROS (Senior Vice President and CEO, CNSE):  What I admire about the Department of Energy and the SunShot initiative is the innovation with which, the novelty with which they are approaching the problem.

DAN HOLLADY (Manager of Advanced Technologies, Sematech):  The DOE funding is a tremendous opportunity to work with these new technologies, transition them into manufacturing, and develop the manufacturing productivity capabilities that are able to turn these into significant industry for the United States.

MR. ARMBRUST:  In the last decade, Sematech, in partnership with CNSC, or the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, have come together to invest in an infrastructure in this complex.

MR. HALDAR:  Sematech has been around for about 30 years now. What they’ve done is brought back U.S. competitiveness in the semiconductor industry after they first got established back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

MR. HOLLADAY:  The semiconductor industry is based on Moore’s Law, a technical and economic theory around planned innovations.  I see the same opportunities – although the solar industry’s different – but I see the same opportunities for the SunShot program.

MR. HALDAR:  What CNSC has done is expanded the Sematech model of collaboration and allowed us to also bring in partners that are interested in terms of keeping their technology proprietary.

MR. KALOYEROS:  We’re literally coming together to be able to share innovation, share the cost of technology, and address the technical challenges and the commercialization challenges.

MR. HOLLADAY:  This is the first time in history that the nation has pulled together a public and private initiative like this to drive solar.

MR. ARMBRUST:  The role of government is best played when it serves as the catalyst to pull the industry together to work in a pre-competitive mode to work on standards and infastructures.  That benefits everybody.

MR. HALDAR:  It meets out future energy needs.  As we grow, it allows us to provide clean, good energy to our citizens.  It helps the environment by reducing our carbon footprint.  And it helps the economy by generating manufacturing jobs all across the U.S.

MR. KALOYEROS:  With the cost of oil increasing tremendously, with the willingness of state government and the federal government, through the Department of Energy, to invest significant resources, with the high level of interest from companies that want to commercialize these technologies, all these events are kind of lining up to make sure that this initiative is a success.