Progress in PV and LEDs Intertwined with Public Policy

Progress in PV and LEDs Intertwined with Public Policy

SEMI is involved in North America public policy efforts to help finance America’s transition to cleaner and renewable forms of energy, specifically light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and solar photovoltaic (PV). While this topic encompasses a myriad of issues, this article describes the upcoming U.S. Department of Energy Solid State Lighting (SSL) R&D Manufacturing Workshop in April in San Jose, Calif., and details SEMI’s involvement in public policy legislation for the PV and LED industries. Both efforts seek to further America’s transition to a “clean energy” economy.

Building a Strong Foundation with Public Policy for Solar PV and LEDs

SEMI and the PV Group support the passage of strong legislation in support of clean energy production and demand. This is a critical part of an integrated strategy to build a strong foundation for broad-based economic growth and prosperity. SEMI urges Congress to pass the following provisions into law:

  • Raising or Removing the Cap on the Renewable Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit: The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) authorized $2.3 billion in tax credits for qualified investments in advanced energy projects, to support new, expanded, or re-equipped domestic manufacturing facilities. However, a cap of $2.3 billion limits the ability of industry to reach these benchmarks. SEMI urges Congress to raise the MTC cap to $7 billion so that more companies can participate. Ultimately, SEMI would like to see the cap removed.
  • Extension of Grant-in-Lieu of ITC: The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) leverages private capital to create growth in the renewable energy technology sector and certainty for investors. Section 1603 of the 2009 Recovery Act provides that qualified companies can use the credit in the form of a grant. This allows companies low on capital to directly invest cash to move projects forward. Over 230 companies have received grants totaling more than $2.3 billion. This provision only applies to projects going into service through 2010. SEMI PV Group would like to see the grant-in-lieu of the ITC extended until 2012.
  • Green Bank: SEMI supports of the creation of a Green Bank to help finance America’s transition to cleaner and renewable forms of energy. The Green Bank would be a publicly-owned bank started with federal government seed money, designed to provide low-interest financing to businesses to invest in clean-energy technologies, like PV and LEDs. Green Bank legislation under the name Clean Energy Deployment Administration (CEDA) was passed by the House in June 2009, but the Coalition for Green Capital (which the PV Group is a member) is urging that CEDA is included in Senate “Jobs” legislation. This is a priority issue for SEMI.
  • Renewable Energy Standard (RES): A Renewable Energy Standard (RES) requires that a certain percentage of energy production come from renewable energy sources. This policy is now in effect in over half the states and the District of Columbia. SEMI supports the implementation of a strong national RES. In June 2009, a climate change bill passed the House with a national RES of 20 percent by 2020, which SEMI and PV Group see as a minimum threshold. SEMI supports the passage of a national RES as a stand-alone bill in the absence of broad-based energy legislation.

In addition, as the federal government continues to look for ways to improve our overall energy efficiency, SEMI has sent letters to both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations committees in support of continued funding of the DOE SSL manufacturing initiative. The DOE expects SSL to completely displace all other lighting technologies in commercial, residential, industrial and outdoor segments by 2030, which will save 1,488 terawatt-hours of energy representing a savings of $120 billion at today's energy prices. With $20.0 million dedicated funding for the SSL Manufacturing Improvements Program, SSL companies will have a greater assurance of success, enabling more green jobs, lower energy costs, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information about SEMI’s involvement in public policy issues, please contact Jamie Girard at

2010 DOE SSL Manufacturing R&D Workshop (April 21-22)  

Last year, DOE launched a new solid-state lighting (SSL) manufacturing R&D initiative, designed to enhance the quality and lower the cost of SSL products through improvements in manufacturing equipment and processes. More than 350 industry stakeholders — chip makers, fixture manufacturers, component manufacturers, and other lighting experts — joined DOE at two workshops to build a roadmap for SSL manufacturing in the U.S. Last year, one of these events was located at SEMI headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

This year, we hope that you join other SEMI members at the DOE SSL Manufacturing R&D Workshop event on April 21-22 in San Jose, Calif. at the San Jose Marriott. The event will have an anticipated 200 professionals from across the U.S., including lighting industry leaders, chip makers, fixture and component manufacturers, and others. Tom Morrow from SEMI and four SEMI LED Steering Committee member companies will be speaking at this event (Ultratech, KLA-Tencor, Applied Materials, and GE).

Participants will learn about SSL manufacturing trends in Asia, Europe and the U.S. The workshop will explore the impact of infrastructure on global manufacturing decisions and examine the discipline of design for manufacturing, as well as U.S. manufacturing equipment and infrastructure needs. It’s an opportunity to share updates on technology progress and learn about the first round of DOE-funded manufacturing projects.

Kicking off the event, James Brodrick (U.S. Department of Energy), Vrinda Bhandarkar (Strategies Unlimited), Jim Anderson (Philips Color Kinetics) will speak. Invited manufacturing R&D presenters include: Nag Patibandla (Applied Materials), Jie Liu (GE Global Research), Anirudha Deshpande (GE Lumination), Srini Vedula (KLATencor), Michael Craven (Philips Lumileds), Andy Hawryluk (Ultratech), Mike Hack (Universal Display), and Bill Quinn (Veeco Instruments).

Panel topics include:

  • “The Discipline of Design for Manufacturing” with speakers from OSRAM Sylvania, Cree, and TCE OLED.
  • “How Will Luminaire Manufacturing Change with SSL?” with speakers from GE, Ruud Lighting, Acuity Brands Lighting and Lumenique
  • “U.S. Manufacturing Equipment and Infrastructure Needs” with speakers from Optoelectronix, SEMI, Bridgelux, Veeco, and Moser Baer

Separate LED and OLED tracks will be available. Finally, the SSL Manufacturing R&D Roadmap will be reviewed, along with proposed updates from the March 2010 Roundtable discussions.

For more information about the DOE SSL Workshop, please visit

For information on the SEMI Opto/LED Fab Watch database, please visit For more information on SEMI LED manufacturing initiatives, visit or contact SEMI also has online communities serving buyers and suppliers in Extreme Electronics, including LEDs. Discuss technology and business issues related to the LED emerging market. Share ideas, explore new topics and build relationships. Visit Extreme LED at

For more information on the PV Group or photovoltaics, please visit or contact Savina Angel at

April 6, 2010