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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Clemson Professor Earns Solar Champion Honors

April 18, 2014

On April 17, the White House honored nine “Champions of Change” who took the initiative to spur solar deployment. The honorees included Clemson University Professor Rajendra Singh, recognized for his efforts to promote and expand solar deployment in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

“The vision I had in 1980 is happening only now, 30 years later,” Singh said. “The economic crisis of 2008, followed by recession or low economic growth in developed economies and high growth in emerging economies, has changed the landscape of energy business all over the world.”

Singh, the D. Houser Banks Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of Clemson’s Center of Silicon Nanoelectronics, is considered a local hero leading the charge across the country to create jobs and economic opportunity in solar power and driving policy changes at the local level to further advance solar deployment. To transform global electricity infrastructure, Singh is providing leadership to use photovoltaics as the source of local direct-current electricity in the United States and emerging and underdeveloped economies.

During the Arab oil embargo in 1973, Singh devoted his doctoral thesis research to solar cells. In the last 40 years he has served as a visionary leader to advance the technology of photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing. Based on Dr. Singh’s contributions several companies are selling fast-processing furnaces for manufacturing photovoltaic modules. Back in 1980, due to economic costs, he predicted silicon as the dominant PV material. To transform global electricity infrastructure, he is currently providing leadership to use PV as the source of local direct current electricity in U.S., emerging and underdeveloped economies.

To prepare future solar leaders of the 21st century, mentoring students at all levels is his passion. He also actively works with civic groups in South Carolina to enact legislation and regulations that will lead to the growth of solar-generated electricity.

In the last year, solar installations have increased almost eleven-fold, adequate to power more than 2.2 million American homes. Solar power now is a cost-competitive option that offers financial and environmental benefits and yields new economic opportunities for many Americans.


Sally Grans Korsh
Director, Facilities Management and Environmental Policy