At the plenary session of APEC Dr. Larry Kazmerski spoke of energy needs and one possible future. Is the power of the sun shining on the automotive industry?
The plenary session at the APEC show had some fascinating speakers and topics. The first was Larry Kazmerski, the director of the National Center for photovoltaics. His talk was a tip of the hat to Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" and how little things can make a big difference. For example, why aren't we in the US pushing to make solar a more significant form of energy production? Oil is being consumed at a more rapid pace than it is being discovered and the US will need 10 to 15 terra Watts more energy than we use presently. It's all about energy and where we will get it. Why don't we use more solar? According to "Kaz" we don't market solar very well. If solar was owned by oil then there is no doubt that it would be supported more.
A surprising fact that Kazmerski mentioned is that presently, photovoltaics consumes about one-half the silicon produced worldwide. With an average growth rate of 30% for the past six years you can easily see that, in order to meet the coming solar cell demand we need a method for mass production and one that won't take away from the silicon needs of the electronics industry.
Here's a good link to find out more about solar power from the National Center of Photovoltaics.