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Loughborough University to lead new £5 million SUPERSOLAR hub
- Published: Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:24
Experts from Loughborough University will be leading a new £5 million project to boost research, training and industry partnerships in the solar energy sector.
The market for photovoltaic (PV) solar technology is experiencing rapid growth worldwide due to increasing energy demand and concerns over global warming. The dramatic drop in the cost of solar panels alongside an increase in the cost of energy produced using fossil fuels has also added to this growth.
The new SUPERSOLAR hub will see the creation of the UK’s first standards lab for solar energy devices, a training programme for the PV sector and the formation of an inclusive solar community that links research carried out in universities and industry.
It is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-led RCUK energy programme. Partners include the Universities of Bath, Liverpool, Oxford, Sheffield and Southampton, along with the Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network.
The hub will be led by Professor Mike Walls from Loughborough’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST). CREST is internationally renowned for its work in renewable energy, conducting extensive research into solar PV, solar thermal, energy in buildings, energy storage, grid connection and integration and wind power.
Speaking about the SUPERSOLAR hub Professor Walls said: “This initiative is aimed at building on some great innovative research already carried out on solar devices in the UK. We aim to continue to conduct ground-breaking research and also build a network of universities and companies to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this exciting industry.”
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC’s Chief Executive said: “The SUPERSOLAR research hub will bring together the UK Solar energy research community to address the key research challenges facing the development of the next generation of solar technologies. Scientific research into all forms of low carbon energy generation is essential if we are to reduce carbon emissions and avert dangerous climate change.”
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