Economic, environmental, political, and social interests are powerfully aligned in support of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
A crowd of several hundred heard a parade of speakers address the latest developments in solar energy during a plenary session at the SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium about emerging innovations in the solar energy industry.
Stephen J. Eglash, a consultant to the National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL), gave an overview of DOE and NREL programs to accelerate growth in the solar industry. He noted that venture capital investment in solar has more than doubled, from $160 million in 2005 to $360 million in 2006.
Eglash explained that the United States Department of Energy, through Solar America Initiative, seeks to make photovoltaics cost-competitive by 2015. Other goals at the DoE include increasing manufacturing capacity, addressing grid integration and issues of scale, and developing the solar workforce.
View slides from presentation.