The continuous increasing demand for energy coupled with the environmental impact of atmospheric CO2 produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, has motivated the urgent need to explore and develop clean energy sources. Currently, the rate of energy consumption by the global population, averaged over a year, is around 16 Terawatts while the sun provides energy at an average rate of 120,000 Terawatts at the Earth’s surface. Even though solar energy is available far in excess of the needs of mankind, the challenge is to convert and store solar energy by efficient, cost effective and convenient methods. The workshop will focus on this challenge which has been at the heart of Michael Graetzel’s research for the past 40 years and to whom this workshop is dedicated to celebrate his 70th birthday. Emphasis will be placed on the development of new generation of photovoltaic systems and also address the possibility of capturing and storing solar energy in chemical bonds to produce solar fuels. The latter is mimicking natural photosynthesis which is now understood in sufficient detail to provide a blue print for the design of artificial photoelectrochemical systems. This workshop brings together world leading scientists actively involved in understanding the natural biological processes associated with solar energy capture, storage and utilisation with those directing their efforts at creating technological systems for energy generation using sunlight as the power source.
~James Barber (Imperial College London & MSE, NTU)~