10-07/08 :: July/August 2010
Interview With Alex Valenzuela Vice President European Business Development at Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Recently, we spoke to Alex Valenzuela, Vice Presi- dent European Business Development at Konarka Technologies, Inc.
Konarka is a manufacturer of third generation photo- voltaic modules. Their product, Power Plastic®
, is a
material that converts light to energy and uses nano- technology and organic chemistry to create the thin- nest and lightest module in the world while offering opaque and semi-transparent panels in four colors.
Konarka was founded in 2001 by a team of scientists, the late Dr. Sukant Tripathy, a renowned material scientist and professor at the University of Massachu- setts in Lowell, Dr. Alan Heeger, Nobel Prize recipient in Chemistry for discovering plastic polymers and energy conductives in 2000, and Howard Berke, Konarka’s Executive Chairman. The company has rapidly grown since its inception.
We asked Alex Valenzuela about Konarka’s current situation, special characteristics and the company’s competitive advantage.
When the company was founded in 2001, the main focus was research and development of dye sensi-
tized cells. Konarka sold that technology in 2004, and focused then on producing the polymer based organic material now known as Power Plastic®
primary objective was to make a stable manufac- turing process and to create a product with broad application possibilities, the most efficient manufac- turing cost and at the same time a product with the lowest carbon foot print possible.
The company achieved these targets and in 2009 started worldwide commercialization. Konarka is now successfully introducing Power Plastic®
de. Europe saw initial commercialization officially in October 2009 during the Photovoltaic Solar Exhibiti- on and Conference (PVSEC) in Hamburg, Germany.
Regarding the competitiveness of Konarka’s Power Plastic®
, Alex Valenzuela said, “The renewable en-
ergy market is one of the biggest in the world and is continuously and rapidly growing. It’s very important to add value to the market while respecting the envi- ronment and our responsibility to future generations. Konarka understands the value of introducing a stra- tegy that enables a diverse number of applications to use the same product – Power Plastic®
– which can
be applied universally. And, the possibilities of crea- ting even more applications are tremendous.” Regarding competitors, Mr. Valenzuela said: