Category CLEAN ELECTRICITY FROM PHOTOVOLTAICS

THE PAST AND PRESENT

MARY D. ARCHER
Centre for Energy Policy and Technology,

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London SW7 2AZ, U. K.

mda!2@cam. ac. uk

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future. T. S. Eliot Burnt Norton, Four Quartets, 1935-1942.

Photovoltaic (PV) cells generate electric power when illuminated by sunlight or artificial light. They are by far the most highly developed of the man-made photoconversion devices. Bom of the space age in the 1950s, their earliest terrestrial applications emerged in the 1970s and they are now poised for significant market expansion in the new millennium.

PV technology is elegant and benign, with a number of striking advantages over conventional methods of electricity generation...

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CLEAN ELECTRICITY. FROM PHOTOVOLTAICS

Editors

Mary D. Archer

Imperial College, UK

Robert Hill

University of Northumbria, UK


Dennis Anderson is a Professorial Research Fellow and Director of the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology in the T. H. Huxley School of Imperial College, London. At the time of writing his chapter, he was a Fellow of the UK Economic and Social Science Research Council (Global Environment Change Programme), undertaking research on innovation and the environment. He has previously held posts as the Energy and Industry Adviser of the World Bank, Chief Economist of Shell, and as an engineer in the electricity generating industry. He has published widely on the subjects of energy, economic growth and development.

Mary Archer read chemistry at Oxford University and received her PhD on hetero­geneous catal...

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

And there the unregulated sun Slopes down to rest when day is done And wakes a vague, unpunctual star…

Rupert Brooke, The Old Vicarage, Grantchester, May 1912

Since the dawn of history, man has been fascinated by the Sun, the provider of the light and warmth that sustains life on Earth. In pre-industrial times, our major sources of energy — wood, wind and water power — derived from solar energy. The subsequent discovery and massive exploitation of fossil fuels laid down in the Earth’s crust by early aeons of photosynthetic activity have conditioned the developed world to be dependent on convenient, readily available energy. But we are living on our energy capital. The Earth’s reserves of coal, oil and gas are finite and likely to become resource-depleted in the course of this century...

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CLEAN ELECTRICITY. FROM PHOTOVOLTAICS

Mary Archer read chemistry at Oxford University and took her PhD from Imperial College London, in 1968. From 1968 to 1972, she did post-doctoral work in elec­trochemistry with Dr John Albery at Oxford, and she then spent four years at The Royal Institution in London, working with Lord Porter (then Sir George Porter) on photoelectrochemical methods of solar energy conversion. She taught chem­istry at Cambridge University from 1976 to 1986. From 1991 to 1999, she was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Imperial College London, and from 1999 to 2002, she held a Visiting Professorship at ICCEPT (Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology)...

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