Two letters published Aug. 27 completely missed the mark in describing the proposed sale of Atlantic Richfield Co.'s solar subsidiary to Siemens AG.
One writer raised the fear that Arco Solar's advanced photovoltaic (PV) technology would "slip away" from the United States, presumably never to return. Echoing this theme, the second writer said the sale would prevent America from "contributing to the final solution of the triple crises of our time: energy, air pollution and the greenhouse effect."
To both statements, Arco's response: not true. Upon completion of the sale, Arco Solar will become part of Siemens' U.S. group of companies, which employ 30,000 people in 46 states. It is Siemens' intention to retain Arco Solar's management, staff and manufacturing facility in Camarillo and to continue the outstanding research and development work done there over the years.
PV technology does not "slip away" from one country to another. Whatever scientific advances that Arco Solar will make under Siemens' management will find application in the United States, one of the world's largest PV markets. The truth is that the most efficient photovoltaic technology in the world today--single crystal technology--is already in the public domain. Should the technology ever reach a point where it can help solve the world's environmental problems, the application will be universal, just as it is now.