Photovoltaics versus Fracking?

As fracking continues and natural gas prices drop, enthusiasm for alternative energy sources seems to dim. On Thursday, May 10, at 4:30 p.m., David Eaglesham, chief technology officer of First Solar, will lecture for Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He will speak on challenges faced by a high-tech area in which Princeton had been a leader — the photovoltaic industry. 

The Andlinger Center building, marked in brown, is under construction. The former Carl A. Fields Center (the Third World Center) was demolished and has reopened in a renovated space across the street. Its footpring will be occupied by a lecture hall and a public garden. Much of the center will be several stories underground. The new buildings are slated for completion in spring 2015. 

Eaglesham will speak in Computer Science building Room 104. Click here for a map of where to find that building — it is attached to the Friend Center but it faces Shapiro Walk. A reception follows and all members of the community are invited.

Educated in Great Britain, Eaglesham worked at Lawrence Livermore and Bell Labs before joining First Solar. Based in Bridgewater First Solar is a global privder of comprehensive photovoltaic solar systems using advanced thin film modules. In a press release Eaglesham says,  “I will show that the underlying economics and energy-balance continue to favour PV as the long-term solution, with minimal carbon footprint and excellent scalability. However, the precipitous drop in margins presents a barrier to the growth of the industry that can only be overcome by a new round of radical innovation.”
On a similar topic for the university’s reunion crowd, there will be a panel discussion on Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 in McCosh 50. Emily A. Carter, the founding director of the Andlinger Center, will discuss “Managing Our Expectations; Long Term Energy Solutions.” 

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