One of the greatest scientific opportunities of our time is to learn to efficiently harvest, convert, store, and utilize solar energy. The sun is the most abundant, sustainable sources of energy, providing over 150,000 terawatts of power to the Earth. Today’s global demand for energy is approximately 15 terawatts and is growing rapidly. Conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels cannot meet the demand and energy prices have soared. In addition, the climate impacts of the continued burning of petroleum could be extremely harmful.

The vision of the So Cal Research Initiative for Solar Energy is to serve as the “honest broker” for information about all aspects of solar energy. This is a well-established role of CE-CERT, which has built a reputation as a trusted resource for analysis of controversial technologies for reducing air pollution and improving energy efficiency. The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering is engaged in cutting-edge solar energy research including high-performance solar cells, low-cost organic solar energy collectors and large-area solar cells using nanowire arrays.

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