Dr. Sarah Kurtz: A New Era for Solar

A New Era for Solar

 

ABSTRACT

Photovoltaic technology has historically been viewed as too expensive and too small to be able to make a difference, but prices have come down to the point of competing with conventional electricity in some markets and in 2017, more solar electricity generating capacity was installed than any other kind of electricity generating capacity. We are now in a new era for solar in which the challenges for continued growth expand to include not only the need for reduced costs, but to be able to deliver value from sunshine even after the sun has set. The presentation will outline the current situation and briefly summarize some of the research we have started to better understand and address the remaining challenges.

 

BIO

Short bio: Dr. Sarah Kurtz received her PhD from Harvard University in Chemical Physics in 1985 with Roy Gordon. She moved directly to the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL) where she worked for more than 30 years on a variety of solar energy projects. She is known for her contributions to developing multijunction, GaInP/GaAs solar cells, supporting the Concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) industry, and, more recently, her work with PV performance and reliability. Her work has been recognized with a jointly received Dan David Prize in 2007, the Cherry Award in 2012, and the C3E Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016. In late 2017 she transitioned to a faculty position at the University of California at Merced, while continuing work with NREL.

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