and a bigger gap between those cells and what our manufacturing lines can achieve day in and day out. There are opportunities in both places to improve performance.”

Mr. Strunk asked what would be next step in dealing with alternative energies—”not just solar or wind, but integrating systems, including storage. Would storage allow the renewable energies to have a final breakthrough?” Dr. Le said that a number of breakthroughs will be required—not just technology, transmission, and storage of electricity—but also financial. “This is a capital-intensive industry,” he said. “We need finance mechanisms that will enable industry to expand.”

Dr. Neuhoff added that “we are in the middle of a transformation. It is reassuring that we don’t have to wait for one big decision from government, because these issues are difficult to deal with in commercial environments. It’s really about gradually evolving the system, and I think we are in a world where we can learn from each other in this process.”

“In Germany now,” he continued, “we have the revision of the renewable energy law, which happens every two years, and we anticipate a move from the feed-in system to a system that offers a premium to sell the electricity in the market. I think the discussion behind this decision was a bit too narrow, because we want to open the electricity market to different technologies. I don’t think we need to adjust the feed-in tariff for this purpose; that would make it more complicated and therefore risk misbalancing it. What we need is to change the power market so it is open to other technologies. The United States has experimented for years, but now has established the renewable portfolio standard that has spread across the liberalized markets and is demonstrated to be effective. So let’s learn from each other and adopt another system which is established, well practiced, and tried out.”



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