Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Major grant drives forward cost efficient solar power

14.09.2004


Whether the search for alternative energy sources is driven by our concern about global fossil fuel supplies or over the atmospheric effects of burning of fossil fuels, the government has laid out its aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 60% of 1990 levels by 2050, and aims to over- achieve its goal of sourcing 10% of energy from renewables by 2010.



In a significant step to achieve these targets, an enormous £4.5 million award has been made under the UK SuperGen programme to drive the search for cheaper solar power. The grant, made by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is the largest awarded under the SuperGen programme, which finances the sustainable power generation and supply initiative.

Renewable sources such as wind wave and solar power are already being used to produce a small percentage of UK energy needs, but if the government’s targets are to be met, the contribution needs to be more significant and the technology more cost-effective.


The technology used to derive electrical energy from the sun, photovoltaics, provides theoretically, the best solution, even in the UK, though current technology means that there are high ‘front-end’ costs to the technology, and consequently take-up has been low.

This new UK research into photovoltaics, or solar cell technology, has brought together 6 university and 7 industrial partners with the aim of finding novel ways for driving down costs and making solar power generation a cost-effective alternative.

“Renewable energy must grow and become more visible in the 21 century. To do this it must become cost effective. The aim of this research is to slash the costs of providing solar energy by half,” said Professor Stuart Irvine, of the University of Wales, Bangor’s School of Chemistry, who is managing the whole project.

“The high cost of solar cells is associated with the semiconductor materials that are needed to convert light into electricity. This project will look at ways of reducing the amount of expensive semiconductor material, such as silicon, while at the same time seeking ways to improve the conversion efficiency of light into electricity. This will have a double benefit where the cost of each solar panel will be reduced but will generate more renewable energy.”

Professor Stuart Irvine | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bangor.ac.uk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Fraunhofer ISE Supports Market Development of Solar Thermal Power Plants in the MENA Region
21.02.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

nachricht New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>