Santa Clara University


Solar nexus

Mike Splinter

Mike Splinter
Top: Splinter offers his vision of a global solar revolution—with Silicon Valley at the center of it. Bottom: SCU Solar Decathlon students welcome a donation from Applied Materials.
Photos: Charles Barry.

Applied Materials President and CEO Mike Splinter calls solar energy the next big opportunity for Silicon Valley. Splinter took his message to the world via an address at Santa Clara on April 20 in an address titled “Unlocking the Potential of Solar Energy; Silicon Valley’s Next Big Opportunity to Change the Way People Live.”

For equipment manufacturer Applied Materials, the foray into the solar market has already racked up several hundred million dollars’ worth of deals—with analysts predicting sales of several billion over the next several years. What would applying the entrepreneurial skills of Silicon Valley mean for the environment? Splinter took on that important question, as well as offering a prescription for what needs to happen in terms of policymaking if solar is to really take off in the United States.

Following his talk, Splinter presented a check for $25,000 to SCU’s Solar Decathlon team. In step with his talk, the check was printed on the front of a photovoltaic panel.

The presentation was sponsored by SCU’s School of Engineering and The Commonwealth Club of California.


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