During a tour of the Sharp solar-panel factory yesterday, Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize winning U.S. Secretary of Energy, said innovation in technological manufacturing, “to use an expression,” is what we need “get back Americas groove.”
Chu concluded the Thursday afternoon address by raising the specter of a “Sputnik Moment,” a definitive Cold War image appropriated by President Obama in his State of the Union address. The U.S. has lost the lead in some key areas, he said, and in order to “get it back” we need many things, including a “nuclear renaissance.” He also said that to see solar power proliferate manufacturers have to reduce the price of their products by a factor of four.
The Sharp solar panel factory has added 300 jobs since 2007. This kind of manufacturing, Chu said, would be necessary to put Americans back to work in “well-paying jobs.”