The recently created “Photovoltaics Technology Research Advisory Council” will meet for the first time on 4 December 2003 in Brussels. The initiative of the European Commission involves 18 members representing all the major players in this technology.
Europe is now the worlds second largest manufacturer of photovoltaics, accounting for more than 24% of overall production, behind Japan (44%) and ahead of the USA (22%). Current forecasts show large potential for solar electricity production, for which Europe has seen an average growth rate of 30% per year over the last decade. Nevertheless, photovoltaics are currently under-utilised in the European Union, despite the active support of the Commission for research, development and demonstration projects in this area, with over €200million of funding for almost 200 projects over the last 10 years. To find the best way forward, the Advisory Council’s objective is to develop a Foresight Report and a Strategic Research Agenda, in order to address the remaining barriers to maximising the potential of this clean energy source.
“I see the establishment of the Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council as a catalyst for creating a common European vision and a strategic research agenda,” says European Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin. “So far, electricity produced from photovoltaic technology represents only a very small part of the total electricity generated in the Union. This contribution will remain static unless more ambitious measures are taken. We need to consider how we can overcome the technical, legal and socio-economic obstacles to increase the uptake of this sustainable energy system, which will create a winning situation for Europe’s industry, as well as for Europe’s society.”
Julia Acevedo | alfa
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
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19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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