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Copyright Johan Douma
Organised by Professor Salvator Roberto Amendolia, Professor Peter Edwards FRS, Sir Richard Friend FRS, Professor Can Li
Solar power has the potential to provide an abundant, sustainable and low-carbon energy stream for civilization’s burgeoning energy demands. However, this bold vision now requires rapid revolutionary, not evolutionary, progress in the capture, conversion and storage of the Sun’s energy. The world’s leading experts will be asked “Can solar power deliver our global energy solution on a 20–30 year timescale with a world population approaching 10 billion with growing economic needs?”.
The meeting was followed by a satellite meeting at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre on Functional bulk nanostructures for energy generation and storage.
Download the programme here (PDF).
The proceedings of this meeting are scheduled to be published in a future issue of Philosophical Transactions A.
Professor Salvator Roberto Amendolia, Italian Embassy in London, UK and Italy Organiser
Scientific Attaché at the Italian Embassy in London since March 2005. Full Professor of Physics at the University of Sassari, Italy. He worked since 1971 as a High Energy physicist, carrying out research and leading experimental teams at the largest particle accelerator laboratories in Europe (CERN) and in the US (Fermilab, SSC). The main achievements of this activity included the discovery of the raising proton-proton cross-section, the measure of the charmed mesons’ lifetimes, and the discovery of the top quark in 1997. Since 1993 he has also worked in the field of applications of High Energy Physics technologies to Bio-medicine (in particular, innovative techniques for PET and Computed Tomography, for data handling, for image processing). He has been promoter and manager of several national and European projects, including the industrial development of a solid-state high-resolution mammography unit, the application of physics simulation methods to economics, the creation of Grid-enabled medical-knowledge databases for research and healthcare (FP5 project MammoGrid). Between 2001 and 2004 he led the Promotion Section of the Technology Transfer Group of CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) in Geneva, during which time he followed the transfer of technologies in the fields of solar energy exploitation, isotope production for medical applications, Hadron Therapy and advanced detector design. He has published 200+ peer-reviewed papers in his career. Under his leadership the Science Office of the Italian Embassy has organized several conferences dealing among the rest with energy production technologies, climate change issues, solar power exploitation, development of technologies for Medicine, health care strategy, food chain’s sustainability, biodiversity, eco-building. These conferences are promoted in collaboration with government bodies, research institutes, universities and industries of Italy and the UK, with the participation of representatives from other Countries. In 2009 Professor Amendolia has been elected Chairman of the London Diplomatic Science Club, gathering together the Science Officers of all the diplomatic missions in London. Since 2006 he is Honorary Visiting Professor at the City University of London.
Professor Peter Edwards FRS, University of Oxford, UK Organiser
Peter P. Edwards is Professor and Head of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford. His research interests include metal-insulator transitions, high temperature superconductivity, metals in non-aqueous solvents, small metallic particles and energy materials, with a particular emphasis on new-generation, high-performance materials for hydrogen production and storage, CO2 activation and utilisation , inorganic semiconductor thin films for solar energy applications and advanced catalytic materials.
Following BSc and PhD degrees at Salford University, Edwards spent periods at Cornell (Fulbright Scholar and National Science Foundation Fellow)), Cambridge (Lecturer and Director of Studies in Chemistry, Jesus College), Birmingham (Professor of Chemistry, and of Materials), before assuming his present position at Oxford in 2003. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996 and to the German Academy of Sciences in 2009.
He has been the recipient of the Corday-Morgan, Tilden and Liversidge Medals of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society. In 2012 he is to present The Bakerian Prize Lecture of the Royal Society; the Society’s premier lecture in the physical sciences on 20 March 2012.
Sir Richard Friend FRS FREng, University of Cambridge, UK Organiser
Richard Friend is the Cavendish Professor of Physics in the University of Cambridge. He has developed the semiconductor physics of pi-conjugated organic polymers, and his research group has demonstrated that these materials can be used in wide range of semiconductor devices, including light-emitting diodes and transistors. He co-founded Cambridge Display Technology Ltd in 1992 to develop light-emitting diode displays, Plastic Logic Ltd in 2000, to develop polymer transistor circuits that are now being developed as flexible active-matrix backplanes for e-paper displays, and Eight-19 Ltd in 2010 to develop plastic solar cells.
Professor Can Li, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, CAS, China Solar hydrogen from water
Professor Can Li received his PhD degree in 1988 from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. He was then a Post-doc fellow and visiting professor at Northwestern University (USA),The University of Liverpool (UK), Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI (France). He became a full professor in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in 1993. He was awarded a JSPS Honorary Professor Fellowship in 2001.He has been elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2003, member of the Academy of Sciences for Developing World (TWAS) in 2005, and Royal Chemical Society Fellow in 2005, foreign member of Academia Europaea in 2008. He has been director of State Key Laboratory of Catalysis since 1998; Director of Dalian National Laboratory for Clean since 2011.
He is President of the International Association of Catalysis Societies since 2008; on the editor boards of more than 15 academic journals. Can Li is the invited professor of Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris VI, France and honorary professor of the University of Queensland, Australia. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers with over 5000 citations, granted 25 patents and delivered more than 70 invited and plenary lectures. Under his supervision, 50 obtained their PhD degrees. Among the prestigious awards he received are the “International Catalysis Award”, Hong Kong “Qiu-Shi Outstanding Young Scientist Award”, “HoLeungHoLee Prize”, and “National Award for Outstanding Young Scientists in China”.
Professor Carlo Rubbia ForMemRS, European Organization for Particle Physics (CERN), Swizerland Why solar?
Carlo Rubbia was born in Gorizia on 31st March 1934. He graduated in Physics at Scuola Normale of Pisa. In 1959 he obtained his PhD from Columbia University (USA). Since 1961 he has been working at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, where he served as Director General from 1989 to 1994. In 1976, he suggested adapting CERN's Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) to collide protons and antiprotons in the same ring and the world's first antiproton factory was built. The collider started running in 1981 and, in early 1983, an international team of more than 100 physicists headed by Rubbia and known as the UA1 Collaboration, detected the intermediate vector bosons. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. From 1972 to 1989 he has held the Higgins Professorship of Physics at Harvard University. During the 1990s Rubbia proposed the concept of an energy amplifier (ADS) – a novel and safe way of producing practically unlimited nuclear energy exploiting present-day accelerator technologies from natural thorium and depleted uranium. The energy resources potentially deriving from this technology, which is actively being studied worldwide, will be practically unlimited and non-proliferating. During his term as President of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment (1999-2005), he developed a novel method for concentrating solar power at high temperatures for energy production, known as the Archimedes Project, which is presently being developed by industry for commercial use. Since June 2010 he is the Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS e.V.) in Potsdam. Carlo Rubbia has received numerous honours, amongst which, the Italian "Cavaliere di Gran Croce" in 1985, the French "Officier de la Légion d'Honneur" in 1989 and the Polish Order of Merit in 1993. He is a member of numerous academies and holds 28 honorary degrees.
Professor David MacKay FRS, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK Energy arithmetic for a low-carbon future
David MacKay was appointed as Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 1st October 2009. The Chief Scientific Advisor’s role is to ensure that the Department’s policies and operations, and its contributions to wider Government issues, are underpinned by the best science and engineering advice available.
David MacKay studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College, then went to Caltech to complete a PhD in Computation and Neural Systems. In 1992 he returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. In 1995 he became a university lecturer in the Department of Physics, where he was promoted in 1999 to a Readership and in 2003 to a Professorship in Natural Philosophy. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2009.
David MacKay’s research interests include reliable computation with unreliable hardware, and communication systems for the disabled. He believes that what the climate-change discussion needs is clear, simple numbers, so that we can understand just how big our challenge is, and not be duped by wishful thinking. His book on the subject, Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air, has received endorsements from all sectors and from all political parties; The Economist called it “a tour de force”, and The Guardian called it “this year's must-read book”.
Professor Martin Green, University of New South Wales, Australia Silicon solar cells: state-of-the-art
Martin Green is currently a Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Executive Research Director of the University's Photovoltaic Centre of Excellence. His group's contributions to photovoltaics include development of the world’s highest efficiency silicon solar cells and commercialization of several different cell technologies. He is the author of several books on solar cells and numerous papers. His work has resulted in many major international awards including the 2002 Right Livelihood Award, commonly known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, the 2007 SolarWorld Einstein Award and the 2009 ENI Award for Renewable and Non Conventional Energy.
Professor Richard Cogdell FRS, University of Glasgow, UK What can we learn from photosynthesis about how to convert solar energy into fuels?
Professor Richard Cogdell FRS is the Hooker Professor of Botany at Glasgow University, where he is also Deputy Head of The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences. He has worked in the area of photosynthesis research for more than 30 years and is an expert on the light reactions of photosynthesis.
Professor James Durrant, Imperial College London, Molecules and Nanostructures for Solar Energy Conversion
James Durrant is Professor of Photochemistry in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, and Deputy Director of Imperial College’s Energy Futures Lab.Following undergraduate studies in Physics, his PhD and postdoctoral studies focused on the primary processes of plant photosynthesis. He joined the Chemistry Department in 1999, where he established an interdisciplinary research group focusing upon chemical approaches to solar energy conversion – harnessing solar energy either to produce electricity (photovoltaics) or molecular fuels (e.g.: hydrogen). His research is based around employing photochemical studies to elucidate design principles which enable technological development. His group is currently researching organic and dye sensitized nanostructured solar cells, as well as photoelectrodes for solar fuel generation. He has published over 220 research papers and 5 patents, and was recently awarded the 2009 Environment Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Professor Ayodhya Tiwari, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology, Switzerland Prospects of high efficiency flexible solar cells
Ayodhya N. Tiwari is the head of the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics, Empa-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology, and Tituar Professor at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Zürich, Switzerland. He is the Chairman and a cofounder and of Flisom AG, Swiss company involved in production of flexible CIGS solar modules. Before moving to Empa, (an institute in ETH domain) in 2008 he established a photovoltaics laboratory at ETH Zurich where he worked from 1988 to 2008, simultaneously during 2002 to 2008 he was a Professor in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University.
Dr. Tiwari has more than 30 years of R&D experience in various photovoltaic technologies. The main R&D activities of his group are on CIGS, CdTe, Kesterites, TCOs, nano-composites for thin film solar cell applications. He is a co-author of about 200 publications and about 240 conference presentations including numerous invited papers and talks. He has co-chaired or co-organised several international conferences, co-edited special issues of leading journals on solar cells and thin films, is serving on the editorial boards of the “Progress in Photovoltaics” journal. He has moderated numerous panel or group discussion sessions in international conferences. He has been advisor to various institutions and PV-Expert delegation member of EU and other national agencies. Dr. Tiwari is a co-recipient of several awards and recognitions, his 8 students have won young scientist and other awards (12 in total) at international conferences for innovative research.
Professor Keith Barnham – Imperial College LondonConcentrator photovoltaics
Keith Barnham is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College London. His early research career was in Experimental Particle Physics at Birmingham University, CERN Geneva, Berkeley California and Imperial. In the 1980's he changed his research field to the study of photovoltaics, spending a year as a Royal Society/SERC Industrial Fellow at Philips Research Laboratories, Redhill. On returning to Imperial he co-founded with Jenny Nelson the Quantum Photovoltaic group initially with support from the Greenpeace Trust. The group developed a new type of high efficiency solar cell, the quantum well solar cell and a novel quantum dot concentrator. He has co-founded two solar cell companies. One of these, QuantaSol Ltd manufactured 40% efficient triple-junction concentrator cells using the quantum well technology. The company achieved Guardian CleanTech Top 100 positions in 2008 and 2009. The cell passed qualification by a leading US concentrator manufacturer and received a substantial order for cells but was sold against the founders wishes to JDSU a major US semiconductor company in July 2011. He was founder member of Scientists Against Nuclear Arms (SANA) and led a group which exposed the links between the U.K. civil and military nuclear programmes. He is now a sponsor of the successor organisation to SANA, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR).
Professor Hans Muller-SteinhagenConcentrating solar thermal power from the deserts
Professor Andreas Zuttel, EMPA, Switzerland Hydrogen for energy storage and beyond
Born 22. 8. 1963 in Bern, Switzerland. 1985 Engineering Degree in Chemistry, Burgdorf, Switzerland. Exchange student research work "Polyurethan network formation" with Dow Chemical in Terneuzen, Netherlands. 1990 Diploma in Physics from the Unversity of Fribourg (UniFR), Switzerland. 1993 Dr. rer. nat. from the science faculty UniFR. 1994 Post doc "Amorphous hydrides and optical films" with AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA. 1996 Head of the Metalhydride and Energy Storage Group in the Physics Department UniFR. 1997 Lecturer at the Physics Department UniFR. 2001 Vice president of the Swiss hydrogen association "Hydropole". Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of IMRA EUROPE. Member of the Advisory Committee of HERA. 2003 External professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2004 Habilitation in experimental physics at the science faculty UniFR. Vice-President of the Swiss Physical Society (SPS), President of the Swiss Hydrogen Association „HYDROPOLE“. 2006 Head of the section “Hydrogen & Energy” at EMPA the Swiss National Institution for Materials Sciences and Technology. Prof. tit. in the Physics department UniFR. 2007 Organizer of the Int. Symposium “Hydrogen & Energy”. 2008 Editor of the book „Hydrogen as a Future Energy Carrier“, Member of the scientific advisory board of HyCentA, Graz and UK-SHEC. Member of the Steering Committee (ISC) for the International Symposia on MH Systems. 2009 Head of the Research Program „Material Sciences & Technology for Energy “ at EMPA. Guest Professor at IMR, Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.
Professor Anthony Harriman, University of Newcastle, UK Prospects for conversion of solar energy into chemical fuels
Anthony Harriman was educated in the West Midlands before starting his career in artificial photosynthesis at the Royal Institution in London in 1974, working under Sir George Porter. He spent a total of 14 years at the Royal Institution, including terms as Dewar Research Fellow, 1977-88, and Assistant Director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory, 1982-88. He moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 1988 to become director of the Center for Fast Kinetics Research. This was followed by a short stay at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg. In 1999, he took up the position of Professor of Physical Chemistry at Newcastle University. He has maintained a strong interest in artificial photosynthesis.
Among his many awards are the Corday-Morgan Medal and Prize, 1984, and the first Prix Grammitakis-Neumann en Photochimie, 1985. He has held numerous visiting professorships, including appointments in Strasbourg, Tokyo and Washington. He spent one year as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg.
He has published more than 400 papers in the areas of molecular photophysics, artificial photosynthesis and electron/energy transfer, reaching an h-index of 66. He holds numerous patents for applications of photochemistry and photophysics and is director of the Molecular Photonics Laboratory at Newcastle University. Recent research has focussed on aspects of electronic energy transfer in artificial networks.
Professor Lee Cronin, University of Glasgow, UK New approaches to photosynthesis: from metal oxides to synthetic biology
Lee Cronin is the Gardiner Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award holder, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He runs a group of around 30-40 people, has around £8 M in research income, and his research interests range from the mainstream e.g. inorganic molecules, energy applications, nanoelectronics to trying to engineer ‘inorganic-biology’, understanding self-assembly at the nanoscale, as well as investigating the design / emergence of complex self organising chemical systems. He is also interested in novel electronic molecules and frameworks and is developing novel routes to new computing architecture e.g. ‘Crystal Computing’. His ultimate research aim is nothing less than the development of inorganic biology and evolution perhaps even leading to intelligent systems. To date he has published over 180 papers and given over 150 lectures around the world, and one of his papers describing the non equilibrium self assembly of a gigantic molecular nanostructure was recently highlighted on the front cover of Science.
Professor Robert Schlögl, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, Germany The role of chemistry in the renewable energy challenge
Robert Schlögl has been Director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin since 1994. He studied chemistry and completed his PhD at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. After postdoctoral stays at Cambridge and Basle he carried out his habilitation under the supervision of Professor Gerhard Ertl at the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and was appointed Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Frankfurt University.
Prof Schlögl's research focuses primarily on the investigation of heterogeneous catalysts based upon inorganic solids with the aim of bridging experimentally the gap between surface science and chemical engineering in the field of oxidation catalysis. He recently also moved into the chemistry of energy storage.
He is the author of over 500 publications and registered inventor of more than 20 patent families. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina as well as member of numerous international organizations. His research activities have been recognized with several international awards.
Professor Michele Aresta, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro Italy So, can solar power deliver?
Panel discussion 25 May
Public lecture 29 May
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