Solar Energy Technologies Office Director
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Dr. Charlie Gay is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office. In this position, he leads a team that is dedicated to early-stage research and development of solar technologies, with a focus on how they contribute to supporting the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.
Charlie is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, Inc, he later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the research and development program and led the commercialization of crystalline silicon and thin film technologies.
In 1990, he became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, he was named president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, Inc., and from 2001 to 2005 served as founding chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation. He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group. He served as president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council from 2009-2013. As president, Charlie was responsible for positioning applied materials and its solar efforts with important stakeholders in the energy industry, technical community and governments around the world.
He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013. He established the Greenstar Foundation in 1997 to demonstrate an economically sustainable model that delivers solar power and internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to developing world villages.
Total Eclipse of the Sun: How Will Changing Solar Power Output Impact the Grid?
August 14, 2017
While only lasting about two minutes in each location, the eclipse will dramatically decrease output of photovoltaic power plants across the U.S.
4 Unusual Uses of Solar Power
August 9, 2017
As costs drop and energy production rises, solar technologies will be put to more work. Here are 4 unusual uses for solar power today.
Hail No! National Lab's Solar Panels Survive Severe Storm
May 15, 2017
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Solar Jobs: State of the States
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On Display: Smithsonian Shares the History of Solar
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Let it Snow: How Solar Panels Can Thrive in Winter Weather
January 5, 2017
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Making Our Solar Future with American Manufacturing
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Revolution...Now Rewind: Modernizing the Grid to Accelerate a Solar-Powered Future
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As the recently released Revolution..Now report details, the declining cost of solar power has enabled a massive increase in the amount of solar...Learn More