Solar Energy (photovoltaics)

Technical Symposium

Panel Discussion: Opportunities and Challenges for Innovation in Photovoltaics

Thursday, September 27
9:35 AM - 10:20 AM
Location: 203AB

In a maturing market, innovation is essential to successful growth. This panel of industry experts will forecast future challenges and opportunities in the industry as solar expands over the next 5-10 years.

Charlie Gay

Solar Energy Technologies Office Director, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE),
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Dr. Charlie Gay is the Solar Energy Technologies Office Director for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this position he is leading the SunShot Initiative, a team that is dedicated to research, manufacturing and market solutions to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.

Charlie is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, 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, 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.


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Tanuj Deora, MBA

Chief Strategy Officer
Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA)

Tanuj Deora is the chief strategy officer of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (formerly known as the Solar Electric Power Association), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization focused on facilitating electricity utilities in the transition to a clean energy future through research, education, and stakeholder collaboration. There he leads the research, advisory, and communications teams, and oversees SEPA’s 51st State Initiative.

Mr. Deora’s decade of experience in the clean power industry includes includes wind power project development, policy advocacy, strategy consulting, market forecasting, and financial analysis. He served in the cabinet of Governor John Hickenlooper as director of the Colorado Energy Office, and earlier served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica. Mr. Deora is a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Analysis and Implementation Advisory Board, has also served as an advisor to the Rational Middle Energy Series, co-founded the Colorado Renewable Energy Conservation Collaborative, and served on the board of Renewable Energy New England. He started his career as an engineer in the chemical industry and holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


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Dustin Haddock

VP Research & Development, S‐5! Attachment Solutions, Metal Roof Innovations,
Chair of the SEIA Mounting System Manufacturers Committee.
Chairs the UL Non‐Combustible Roof Group of the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) Insurance Committee
UL 2703 & UL 1703 STP Member
Metal Construction Association (MCA) Triumph Award Winner

Dustin has collaborated and led many efforts in standards and codes development with organizations such as the ICC, UL, and Intertek and universities and institutes such as the University of Adelaide and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the fields of metal roofing, roofing attachments and racking and mounting systems. In addition to chairing SEIA’s mounting systems manufacturers committee, Dustin also chairs the UL Non‐Combustible Roof Group of the MBMA Insurance Committee, serves on the UL 2703 and UL 1703 Standards Technical Panels and the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Roofing Work Group. He has 5 issued patents and more than 10 patents on file or pending domestically and internationally. He has developed over 50 new and custom products for S-5! including: S-5-PV Kit / EdgeGrab, S-5-K series clamps, S-5-S clamps, S-5-N clamps, S-5-R 465 clamps, S-5-R 500 clamps, VB 47, TrapBracket, RibBracket, SolarFoot, and CorruBracket product lines.

Currently a member of: International Code Council (ICC), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Metal Building Manufacturers’ Association (MBMA), Metal Construction Association (MCA), National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and American Society of Tests and Materials (ASTM)


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Mary Werner

Mary Werner is the NREL Program Manager for Solar Energy Technologies R&D. In her current role, Mary manages NREL’s flagship Solar portfolio covering over 100 projects in photovoltaic and concentrated solar power research, development, analysis, applications, and systems integration. During her tenure at NREL, Ms. Werner has served as an engineer, a team leader, a Group manager, and a Program Manager for several program areas. Throughout her career, she has built new lab capabilities, developed several new program areas and brought innovative concepts to realization. Her expertise lies in program development and management, project finance, and technology integration. She has an MBA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.


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Kate Trono


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Panel Discussion: Opportunities and Challenges for Innovation in Photovoltaics

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