For more information contact:
George Douglas, 303-275-4096
e:mail: George Douglas
Golden, Colo., Jan. 20, 2000 - Americans want clean solar electricity. The
U.S. photovoltaics industry wants them to have it. Solar-cell manufacturers
and suppliers see photovoltaics (PV) producing at least 15 percent of the
additional electrical power the United States will need in 2020.
But how will the industry bring down costs, overcome market barriers,
increase production and accelerate research and development? The recently
released Report of the PV Industry Roadmap Workshop provides a guide.
The report outlines goals and strategies for industry and its R&D partners
through 2020. A more detailed roadmap will develop in months to come, with
the final results providing a blueprint of research, technology, and market
The National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV), which conducts research and
development for the U.S. Department of Energy's Photovoltaics Program,
coordinated the roadmapping effort. NCPV Director Lawrence Kazmerski of the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory applauded the roadmap. "By setting
these priorities, the PV industry can work toward a common destination:
clean, renewable solar power taking its proper and requisite place in
America's energy picture," he said.
The PV industry's mapmakers agreed to this vision statement: "To provide the
electrical/energy consumer with competitive and environmentally friendly
energy products and services from a thriving United States-based
solar-electric power industry."
For that vision to be realized, the roadmap will detail four major goals:
- Maintain the U.S. industry's worldwide technological leadership
- Achieve economic competitiveness with conventional energy
- Maintain a sustained market and PV production growth
- And, make the PV industry profitable and attractive to investors.
Allen Barnett, president of PV manufacturer AstroPower, Inc. of Newark,
Del., stresses the importance of a substantial domestic market. Most of the
industry's markets now are outside the United States. And, the U.S. PV
industry, the world's leader in research, technology and manufacturing,
faces strong competition from Europe and Japan.
"The fastest growing market segment is for applications that connect
directly into the electricity grid in Europe and Japan," Barnett said.
"The driver in Europe is concern for the environment. The will of the people
has been translated into favorable government policy. In Japan, the driver
is concern for the environment and energy independence."
Barnett, a member of the NCPV Advisory Board and PV Roadmap Steering
Committee, emphasized that utility deregulation provides an opportunity to
create solid demand at home.
The potential of photovoltaics to make a significant impact on Americans'
lives depends on the PV industry becoming attractive to investors, Barnett
said. A history of steady technology improvements and industry growth of
15-20 percent a year is a good start, he said. The roadmap calls for 25
percent yearly growth over the next 20 years. At that rate, the industry
will approach $10 billion a year, creating tens of thousands of jobs and
enormous environmental benefits.
The Report of the PV Technology Roadmap Workshop is available online at
and can be ordered via e-mail from
firstname.lastname@example.org. The National Center for Photovoltaics includes researchers
and engineers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy
Laboratory in Golden, Colo., and Sandia National Laboratories in
Albuquerque, N.M. Members of the NCPV Advisory Board and industry roadmap
steering committee are Barnett; Larry Crowley of Energy Business Strategies
(formerly with Idaho Power); Chester Farris of Siemens Solar Industries;
Harvey Forest, formerly of BP Solarex; Lionel Kimerling of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology; Roger Little of Spire Corporation; William
Roppenecker of Trace Engineering; and Richard Schwartz of Purdue University.
CLEAN ENERGY FOR THE 21st CENTURY
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