DuPont Chair & CEO: Science, Investment and Collaboration Can Deliver New Energy Solutions

Feb 26, 2013, 10:30 ET from DuPont

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Innovative science, private sector investment and public-private collaboration are the foundation for harnessing new sources of energy, DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman told leaders today at the 2013 Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit.  Speaking to over 2,700 leaders from the U.S. energy industry, government and academia, Kullman outlined how DuPont has developed and brought to scale cost-effective sustainable solar energy with its expertise in material science.  Additionally, the company is commercializing advanced renewable fuels through its strength in bioscience.

"Because of our long-term reliance on petroleum, there is no other challenge in greater need of innovation than our modern energy needs," Kullman said. 

With global energy demand expected to double by 2050, Kullman emphasized that scientific innovation is the key to building a varied energy supply.  "The challenge we collectively face is how to make our energy mix more diverse, sustainable and cleaner, while assuring that the world has all the energy it needs to thrive," said Kullman.  "We are applying our science to enable new sources of energy in ways that make them accessible and affordable in global markets."

Kullman outlined three essential elements which will make significant advances in energy:

  • real energy solutions take time and investment and require collaboration; 
  • science has to be translated into business if it is going to result in solutions that actually make a difference; 
  • a stable energy policy encourages R&D investment in novel and transformative energy technologies.

In the area of solar energy, DuPont offers the broadest portfolio of specialty materials for the photovoltaic industry globally.  DuPont materials, which are in over half of the world's more than 400 million solar panels installed since 1975, improve the power output and reliable lifetime of solar panels, helping to reduce the overall cost of solar electricity and fuel its further adoption.  

"It's not enough to know who makes your modules or to rely on a 25-year warranty from a three-year old company.  You have to know what's in the modules.  Materials matter.  We support the development of criteria and standards for photovoltaic materials that buyers can use to specify long-lasting modules," said Kullman.

DuPont also is currently commercializing two advanced renewable fuels: cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural residues and dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass, and biobutanol -- a high-performance "drop in" fuel fully compatible with the current fuel and vehicle systems.

Kullman took the opportunity to support the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  "Good government policy is critical and supports technology development and early manufacturing until the new technology is mature enough to stand on its own.  There is no better illustration of this than the Renewable Fuel Standard.  The RFS has succeeded in doing what Congress intended it to do.  Continued policy stability will ensure continued progress -- meaning renewable fuels technologies developed and optimized to reach the scale and maturity needed to permanently impact American energy security and consumer choice."

At the Summit, DuPont is helping to cultivate the next generation of energy leaders through its sponsorship of the Student Program that enables 70 graduate-level students to attend the Summit, participate in additional student-focused panel sessions and network with corporate recruiters.  "We must create pathways for the leaders of tomorrow to work at addressing energy solutions today," said Kullman.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit