Issue Date: June 29, 2009
Dow Corning, Customers Lobby For Solar Energy
Representatives from Dow Corning and from firms that use Dow Corning's polysilicon to manufacture solar cells visited Capitol Hill for three days last week to lobby Congress. Their goal was to press for renewable energy incentives and requirements in the Waxman-Markey energy bill that would favor growth of a domestic solar industry. At a press conference, Dow Corning CEO Stephanie A. Burns and representatives from Kyocera, BP Solar, SolarWorld, and seven other Dow Corning customers said they want policies that will increase domestic photovoltaic manufacturing by providing financial assistance for factories as well as larger, long-term tax credits to stimulate demand from consumers. They also called for a renewable energy standard that requires a portion of all energy generated to come from solar sources. Dow Corning manufactures polysilicon through its Michigan-based joint venture Hemlock Semiconductor. Hemlock and other producers have greatly expanded capacity in the past year. But now the large supply of polysilicon and low energy prices have resulted in an oversupply and a 40% price drop in solar cells. The solar manufacturers said low costs and high capacity make now a good time to expand federal incentives for solar installations.
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