January 30, 2009: Mike Splinter, CEO of nanomanufacturing company Applied Materials Inc., was one of several business leaders who met with President Barak Obama this week to urge quick action on a plan to stimulate the US economy.
Splinter, whose company produces a line of nanomanufactured thin films for solar panels, said that government incentives and support for solar technology is key in Obama’s mission to strengthen the US infrastructure — just as important as repairing bridges and roads.
Splinter urged the president and Congress to act in three specific ways on solar energy:
- Provide for short-term refundability of the federal solar investment tax credit as well as new tax incentives to locate solar manufacturing facilities in the United States.
- Require the adoption of renewable and solar energy sources for federal properties, make $10 billion available for construction and operation of solar installations and increase the Energy Department’s solar technologies budget to $300 million.
- Create a “clean energy bank” that would provide low- or no-cost financing for solar and other renewable-energy projects.
“We talked about what was good, what was bad” in the stimulus package, Splinter said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. “Most everybody represented a different part of the industrial landscape of the U.S., so it was quite comprehensive.”
Applied Materials’ SunFab thin film manufacturing line, announced in 2007, is designed to produce enough solar modules in a year to generate up to 75 megawatts of electrical power, according to the company. SunFab, the company has said, promises to reduct the cost of utility-scale and building-integrated photovoltaic system installations by more than 20 percent.
In a statement issued in a news release after the meeting, Splinter praised Obama’s “great leadership in energy.”
“The president’s objective to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by harnessing the power of the sun can be realized through solar technology and products that we are innovating and manufacturing here in this country,” Splinter said in the statement. “This could create thousands of new jobs and ultimately change the global energy equation.”