The past decade has witnessed a dramatic reduction in the cost of photovoltaic (PV) technology. PV is now a thriving industry and is on the verge of becoming a significant fraction of our electric power generation capacity. This talk will review the market, cost, and technology trends for PV. Products and applications will be described. As PV starts to reach high levels of penetration, our grid infrastructure will be faced with new issues and opportunities such as increased variability, the potential need for storage, and the possibility that PV systems can improve reliability of the grid and provide ancillary services.
Bill Mulligan has over 20 years of experience in the photovoltaic field. He joined SunPower in 1998 where until this July he served as Vice President of Research and Development. He is now in a part time role as Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board and Board Member for SunPower’s manufacturing joint venture with AU Optronics. Prior to SunPower he held positions at Fairchild Semiconductor, AstroPower, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and JX Crystals. He received a Ph.D. in materials science from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.S.E in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in history from the University of Washington.