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14th November 2023 @ 16:30 - 17:30
I-SEE Sustainable Energy & the Environment Webinar
‘Solar PV energy has become mainstream but what are the prospects for future developments’
Professor Stuart Irvine Emeritus Professor, Swansea University
The talk will reflect on progress made in just the past 10 years on power generation from solar photovoltaics (PV). Despite impressive progress for renewable energy in general, and solar PV in particular, the global use of fossil fuels has actually increased by over 8%. COP 26 made some stark warnings about the urgent action needed to avoid climate disaster. A total of 268 GW of new PV capacity was installed in 2022 with the accumulated total PV power exceeded 1 TW. The cost of PV power has fallen while gas prices have increased. The efficiency of PV modules has increased over the past 10 years from 15% to over 20%. The market is still dominated by crystalline silicon, but emerging materials offer some exciting opportunities for future building integrated PV and what is being called “The Internet of Things”. Are there limits and what are they for future growth? The talk will explore some exciting future opportunities, such as Space Based PV, and make some bold predictions.
Professor Stuart Irvine is an emeritus professor at Swansea University having previously been Director of the Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER) in Materials Science and Engineering. He is one of the pioneers for deposition of II-VI compound semiconductors by Metal-organic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD) for application to thin film solar cells and advanced thin film materials for the photonics industry. His career started out researching new methods for producing thermal imaging materials which is now a production process in the UK for very high-performance thermal imagers. He pioneered early research for in situ monitoring of MOCVD which led to a spin-out company. In the past 20 years, Prof. Irvine has led major UK projects on solar PV research and consulted for First Solar Inc. This research has led to the publication of over 200 journal and conference publications and more than 10 patents. He has also published books on Solar PV and MOCVD.
Professor Irvine received his B.Sc degree in Physics from Loughborough University, Ph.D in Physical Metallurgy and Science of Materials, and D.Sc in Physics, both from the University of Birmingham. Stuart was director of the £9.3M SPARC II WEFO project to build research capacity in solar PV technology. Professor Irvine is past chair of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Energy Materials Group (EMG) that has a broad view over the application of materials in energy generation and the challenges faced with both renewable energy generation and large power generation.
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