This week’s guest is Joel Jean, Co-Founder & CEO of Swift Solar.
Before joining Swift, Joel served as Executive Director of the Tata-MIT GridEdge Solar research program, which focuses on scale-up of new solar photovoltaic technologies for India and other developing countries. He developed ultra-lightweight, flexible solar cells that the 2017 Katerva Award recognized, and he was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Fellow in Energy.
Swift Solar is designing and manufacturing lightweight solar panels and cheaper, more efficient systems than existing products. The company is working on a new kind of technology called Perovskites. Perovskite uses a crystal structure that allows you to tune the material. Swift Solar is tuning Perovskite panels to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum. The team stacks two Perovskites on top of each other; the top panel absorbs blue and high-energy light, while the bottom panel absorbs red and near-infrared light. Swift Solar’s goal is to optimize different parts of the solar spectrum to make a more efficient solar cell. The company was founded in 2017 by leading perovskite scientists from Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In this episode, Joel explains how the Perovskite technology works and where it fits in the renewable energy and solar landscapes. We deep dive into Swift Solar’s incorporation, the research behind the technology, and the company’s progress to date. Joel also touches on funding in the solar energy space, why LPs are hesitant to invest in it, and how the sector has evolved since the early 2000s. Joel is a great guest with a wealth of knowledge on solar and Perovskite technology. This is a fantastic episode for those looking to double click on new solar technologies.