Solar is the Largest Source of Energy on the Planet
Methods for harvesting, storing and converting solar energy are so advanced and efficient that it becomes the primary source of energy on our planet.
For a look ahead, Thomson Reuters analysts consulted the Web of Science and Derwent World Patents Index to identify rapid progress and emergent trends in scientific research and technological innovation, gauging the advances most likely to affect health and the quality of life in the next decade.
As the world’s population grows, generating renewable energy will remain a pressing concern. Fortunately, access to one ready source, and its harnessing, will be vastly improved.
Thanks to improvements in photovoltaic technology, chemical bonding, photocatalysts and three-dimensional nanoscale heterojunctions, the use of the sun as the world’s primary source of energy is no longer for the environmentally-conscious select; it is for the masses.
The sun’s energy will be harvested much more efficiently. Its energy will be stored and used when needed. And the conversion of solar power will be much more efficient. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic energy (from new dye-sensitized and thin-film materials) will heat buildings, water, and provide energy for devices in the home and office, as well as in retail buildings and manufacturing facilities.
Chemical bonds, a photosynthetic process, will make solar energy available when needed. Increased efficiency of energy conversion will be realized through new materials such as cobalt-oxide and titanium-oxide nanostructures, photocatalysts and 3D nanoscale heterojunctions; while new methods using mesoscopic oxide films sensitized by dyes or quantum dots will contribute to improving the 2014 solar conversion efficiency rate of less than 10 percent.
“Fabrication of novel heterostructure of CO304-Modified TIO2 nanorod arrays and enhanced photoelectrochemical property” most highly cited paper (last two years)
“Design rules for donors in bulk-heterojunction solar cells – towards 10-energy-conversion efficiency” most highly cited paper (more than 1,600 times)
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