As more than 400 international experts gather at the University of Southampton today, Monday 23 August, for one of the largest optics and photonics conference in Europe, Photon10, the latest developments in 'green photonics' will be shared.
A survey of green photonic technologies undertaken by the United States' Optoelectronics Development Association (OIDA) suggests that the portion of optoelectronic technologies that will help reduce CO2-creating energy consumption will grow rapidly over the next decade.
From technology that affords more efficient electrical energy conversion from renewable sources to advances in consumer technology for energy-efficient home lighting and television screens, it is thought that green photonics will be generating $243 billion by 2021, five times the $46.6 billion generated in 2008.
President of OIDA, Fred Quan from Washington DC, will be opening the Institute of Physics' (IOP) conference Photon10 this morning with a talk about the twin threats of rising carbon dioxide content in our atmosphere and the rising cost of energy, reflecting on the latest advances in the field to help the world address these threats.
Research into photovoltaics, aka solar power, is seen by many as key to addressing both of these challenges and it is research in optics and photonics that will increase the efficiency of conversion rates from the light of the sun into grid-ready electricity, making solar power an affordable and practical substitute for fossil fuels.
Before the conference, President Quan has commented, "Photonic technologies will continue to drive energy efficiencies, enable cost effective applications, improve our healthcare, and help ensure our technological lifestyle continues. The "green" philosophy will be led by LED lighting, displays, and photovoltaics."
Allan Boardman, Chair of Photon10 and Professor of Applied Physics from the University of Salford, said, "Researchers gathering today at Photon10 in Southampton share the vision of a world not forced into technological regression by the threats of rising carbon dioxide levels and reduced energy security; rather a world improved by the need to address these challenges through the optimisation of world-changing technology."