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Making the Most of the Sun – Jonathan Spanier to Speak at March ScholarSip Event

Society has an insatiable demand for energy, and solar energy remains the most promising and abundant source of renewable, clean energy to replace our current reliance on fossil fuels. However, in 2010, less than .2% of global consumption of electricity was from solar. So, why isn’t large-scale production of electricity from solar more prevalent?

Jonathan Spanier, PhD, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and member of the new AJ Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment will address these questions and more during his presentation, titled “Making the most of the Sun,” at the March ScholarSip event on March 17, 2014 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Sky View Room.

In a scenario where total worldwide consumption rises fastest, solar has the most potential for growth, accounting for up to a third of total annual production within our lifetimes. Most of this increase will be in serving exploding urbanized populations in the rapidly industrializing underdeveloped world where cheap energy is sought, pitting higher-cost renewables like solar against cheap conventional fossils. Following a brief primer on solar energy conversion, Dr. Spanier will discuss how challenges to commonly-held assumptions and "critical materials" issues motivate new approaches that "make the most of the sun" using new families of materials inspired by Nature.

Dr. Spanier is internationally known for his research and expertise in how light interacts with matter, in new environmentally friendly and earth-abundant oxide materials, and in new thin film science and technology, with applications in energy and electronics.

ScholarSip is an informal event for Drexel faculty and professional staff from across campus to gather and join in cross-disciplinary conversations while celebrating the end of classes for the term. Each event offers a brief presentation to serve as a spark for interdisciplinary conversations and connections.

For more information about ScholarSip, or to suggest a future topic for discussion, please contact libraries@drexel.edu.

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