Applied Materials is a capital equipment producer that services a number of manufacturing industries, including semiconductor, TFT LCD display, solar (thin film and crystalline), and glass. There are four primary groups of Applied Materials – Energy and Environmental Solutions, Display, Silicon Systems Group, and Service. Because of its industry, Applied Materials has been extremely involved in the clean technology sector, especially within the branches of renewable energy and energy efficient.
1 ) World’s Most Advanced Solar Research and Development Center. In 2009, Applied Materials opened the most advanced solar research and customer demonstration facility in the city of Xi’an in China. Known as the Applied Materials’ Solar Technology Center, this non-government solar energy research facility is comprised of a number of laboratories and offices over 400,000 square feet. It contains a full Applied SunFab thin film manufacturing line and a full crystalline silicon pilot process. Customers from all around the world can walk along the building with the technologists to learn all about what is available.
2 ) Applied Materials Launches New Solar Tools to Meet Increased Demand. In August of 2011, Applied Materials unveiled a brand new set of equipment to enables customers to lower their production costs and increase cell efficiency. Known as Baccini Pegaso, it covers all equipment used for screen printing metal lines that serve as the necessary highways to conduct and transport electrons out of the cells.
3 ) Applied Materials Expands their Taiwanese Solar Manufacturing Business. In March of 2010, Applied Materials opened a new Tainan Manufacturing Center in Tainan, Taiwan. This manufacturing plant will create flat panel displays as well as thin film solar photovoltaics. This is one of Applied Material’s biggest investments in the Asian continent and puts Taiwan on the map for solar equipment technology manufacturing.
4 ) Applied Materials Partners with IIT Bombay for CLEAN Lab. In April of 2011 Applied Materials partnered with IIT Bombay, a high rated university in India, to create the Chemistry Laboratory for Energy and Nanoelectronics, or CLEAN on the IIT Bombay campus. The laboratory includes the research and development of brand new materials that may be potentially used in a number of electric and renewable energy-focused applications, including next generation solar cell development. “Our goal is to serve as a catalyst for developing the critical technology needed to solve the many challenges of next-generation electronic and solar device manufacturing. Applied Materials has grown to become IIT Bombay’s most important industry collaborator in terms of the scale of research collaboration,” said IIT Bombay Professor, Devang Khakhar.
5 ) Applied Materials Demonstrates New Solar Cell Screen Printer. In September of 2011, Applied Materials released the details of a new platform for screen printing solar photovoltaic cells. “Efficiency is ultra-important. The challenge our customers have today is that we’ve reached a point where efficiency and cost reduction must happen simultaneously because the balance of system cost is becoming a larger fraction, sometimes even larger, than the cost of the modules themselves,” said Applied Material’s Dr. Mark Pinto.
6 ) Applied Materials Takes Unused Space and Turns it into a Solar Energy Solution. Applied Materials worked with SunPower to create solar power systems that offered two megawatts of energy to Applied Materials’ Sunnyvale, California corporate facilities. “This is another exciting milestone in the adoption of solar power in California,” said Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. “More companies are realizing the wisdom of integrating solar as a non-intrusive, clean, silent form of energy generation into our businesses and communities. We’ve converted our parking lots to power plants and we encourage others to join us in making solar power a meaningful part of the energy supply.”
7 ) Applied Materials Received 2009 Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Leadership Award. In 2009, Applied Materials received the Green Power Leadership Award which is awarded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This award recognizes the leading purchasers of green power in the country for their continued contribution and commitment to assisting in the development and the advancement of the green power market. “Purchasing and generating green power are important elements of our long term commitment to business and global sustainability,” said senior director for Applied Materials’ Environmental Health and Safety and head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Bruce Klafter. “Through our solar installations we are demonstrating the ease of integrating clean energy into existing business campuses and proving that solar power is a sound business decision, in addition to being an important choice in combating climate change.”
8 ) Applied Materials Demonstrates Leadership in Clean Energy. IN 2007 Applied Materials expanded an agreement to buy 8,220,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy a year from solar and wind generation sources throughout the state of California rather than getting energy from nonrenewable sources of energy. This amount equals roughly 12 percent of all the energy consumed in the Santa Clara facilities. This consumption will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over five percent. This will make Applied Materials one of the leading purchasers of renewable energy in Silicon Valley. This purchase was done as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge. “We are committed to demonstrating practical environmental leadership in industry and the conservation of natural resources,” said Mike Splinter, president and CEO of Applied Materials. “We challenge other companies to join us in purchasing renewable power as we believe heightened demand will lower cost and increase availability for both business and consumer use.”
9 ) Applied Materials Received 2007 Environmental Leadership Award for Energy Efficiency Product Design. In June of 2007, Applied Materials received the Business Environmental Award from Acterra for its demonstration of environmental leadership. The award is known as the “Susanne Wilson Award for Pollution Prevention/Resources Conservation: Special Project” and Applied Materials won it for its design program for energy efficient semiconductor equipment. The award is commonly given to companies that seek to improve production or operation processes that reduce the consumption of resources and decrease pollution generation.
10 ) Applied Materials Partners with DuPont for Solar Cell Efficiency. In 2009, Applied Materials Partnered with product manufacturing company DuPont to collaborate on the advancement of multiple printing technology that would increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon photovoltaic solar cells. This would make photovoltaic power much more cost effective when compared to other available forms of energy.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org