The White House honored Clemson professor Rajendra Singh Thursday as a "Champion of Change" for his efforts to promote and expand solar deployment in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
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.
Singh devoted his doctoral thesis research to solar cells in 1973 during the Arab oil embargo and in the last 40 years he has served as a visionary leader to advance the technology of photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing.
As part of the Climate Action Plan launched by President Obama in 2013, the U.S. has observed a record-breaking year for new solar installations, increasing almost 11-fold, which is enough 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.
"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."
To transform global electricity infrastructure, Singh is providing leadership to use photovoltaics as the source of local direct-current electricity in the U.S. and emerging and underdeveloped economies and is actively involved with civic groups to bring legislation and regulations in South Carolina that will lead to the growth of solar-generated electricity.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.