Dr Nancy Haegel, Invited Guest Speaker at ACAP Conference

Dr Nancy Haegel, Materials Science Center Director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado will deliver a plenary lecture on Day 1 of the 2016 ACAP conference at ANU on 1 December.

Terawatt-Scale Photovoltaics: Trajectories and Challenges


It is increasingly well understood and commonly cited that the solar energy resource significantly exceeds the world’s total energy consumption.  However, despite rapid advances in deployment and cost reduction, the vision of PV providing a significant fraction of global electricity generation—and ultimately, total energy demand— remains to be realized.  In the near term, PV has a clear path for substantial growth.  Longer term, the question remains whether PV will be able to provide a moderate (e.g., 20%, ~ 4 TW in 2030) or a large (e.g., 50%, ~ 10 TW in 2030) fraction of world electricity needs.

 Significant material for this presentation will be drawn from The Terawatt Workshop, held March 17–18, 2016, in Freiburg, Germany.   Fifty-seven global leaders in PV came together to highlight the opportunity and discuss the challenges that could impede this vision.  This presentation, informed by that unique gathering, explores where PV has been, where it is headed, and what it would take to reach TW-scale PV deployment to simultaneously address energy demand, major greenhouse gas reduction, and global prosperity.  Terawatt scale PV deployment is achievable with growth rates substantially below what the industry has achieved over the past decade.  But the energy system must be transformed to accommodate this level of PV generation, and investment to drive growth can be aided by lower capex requirements and consistent policies aimed at enabling viable profit margins.  Moving to a more flexible grid will enable solar energy to maintain value at higher levels of penetration and play a critical enabling role in addressing climate change.



     Nancy M. Haegel is the Center Director for the Materials Science Center in the Materials and Chemical Sciences Directorate at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  She leads an organization of ~ 100 staff, associates and post-doctoral and graduate students providing fundamental and applied materials science discovery and problem-solving for current and next-generation renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies.  Haegel joined NREL in 2014, after ten years at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California, where she was a Distinguished Professor in the Physics Department.  She has also been a faculty member at UCLA and Fairfield University.

   Nancy received her BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in Materials Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are in electronic materials and devices, with emphasis on transport characterization, high resistivity semiconductors and infrared imaging and detection. Her research has been supported by NSF, the Packard Foundation, NASA and ONR.  Haegel is the author or co-author of ~ 130 publications and was the recipient of the 2004 American Physical Society (APS) Prize for Research at an Undergraduate Institution.  She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame and was a 2012 Fulbright Senior Scholar at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

   In March of this year Nancy helped facilitate The Terawatt Workshop, an international gathering of ~50 experts from Germany, Japan, the United States and elsewhere to discuss the future of PV at terawatt scale to contribute to global prosperity and mitigate climate change.