A new research center for solar energy was launched in Wales with a EUR 7 million investment
Financed by the Welsh government Swansea University has inaugurated the Ser Solar Initiative at Baglan Energy Park, lead by Professor James Durrant.
In Swansea was built brand new solar energy research center worth €7 million or $10.5 million. The center is located at the Baglan Energy Park in Swansea and was constructed by local higher education establishment, Swansea University.
The Ser Solar initiative, as the research center is named, was supported financially by the Welsh government and has been inaugurated this week by Welsh Government economy minister Edwina Hart. The center will be lead by one of the most honored research scients, Professor James Durrant of Imperial College London
“I am very pleased to welcome Professor Durrant to Wales and Swansea University, where his experience and knowledge will help to create a world-class research team in the field of solar energy,” in Hart’s words.
“The Ser Cymru programme is helping us deliver our commitment to developing science and innovation in Wales, which is an important driver in economic growth.”
“This research in the field of low carbon energy will also help us meet our commitments to reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.”
When asked about the competitions with China Prof. Durrant replied honestly that it wouldn’t make sense to compete with China in domains as PV production and solar cell manufacturing, and highlighted the fact that for countries such as the U.K. would be best if they concentrated on research and development.
“We have to realize that the current solar market is dominated by cells made in China,” he said.
“These cells are efficient, stable and not that expensive. Therefore, if the U.K. is going to be part of the manufacturing of new solar technology there is no point trying to compete with China at what they are good at.
“We have to build on what we are good at, which is innovation, and develop technologies that are not just cheaper and more stable but things that are fundamentally different to the current technologies.”
The professor applauded the commitment of the Welsh government and its purpose to accelerate the de-carbonization process of Wales and the U.K.
Professor Richard B. Davies, Swansea University’s vice chancellor, says: “The Ser Solar initiative is brave and bold, but I really believe it is going to develop big time for Wales. “It is very much based on building strengths. We know we cannot create world-leading excellence over night” he added.
The center will collaborate with the Imperial College London and local scientists, Bangor University working in close collaboration with Swansea University in order to study the solar progress.
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