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Welcome Prof. Tsukasa Yoshida, Yamagata University, Japan to be the Keynote Speaker!
Prof. Tsukasa Yoshida, Yamagata University, Japan
Speech Title: Electrochemical materials and systems towards realization of 100% renewable energy society
Abstract: For realization of truly sustainable happiness of all mankind, it is necessary to live our life powered 100% by renewable energy. Global climate change is not just about having slightly warmer weather. The most seriously worried consequence is its damage to agriculture, as the food shortage can result in war.
Many researchers including myself spent a lot of efforts for alternative, mainly organic, photovoltaic (PV) technologies over the last few decades, because nobody thought that Si based PV could become so cheap. Today, PV is the most economical method of electricity production, achieving less than 2 cents / kWh. However, because of its intermittency of generation, so much of PV electricity is wasted and it is already making difficult to integrate more of such highly fluctuating power plants into the existing grid. Same thing can be said for renewable electric power generators else than PVs, such as wind power.
We must welcome the rapid progress of renewable energy technologies and face it, rather than repeating the same old story to justify what we do for research. Aside from power management technologies by Smart Grids, hardware solutions to store gigantic electricity surplus on sunny days and use it later on days with bad weather are now urgently needed. In fact, new PV technologies else than the established Si are even not needed any more. If the cheap Si PV electricity can be stored in a large scale and at a low cost, that electricity can also be used for production of new Si panels. Traditional batteries such as Pb-acid or Li-ion are not suited for this purpose, as they consume too much materials and are short-lived. Redox flow batteries (RFBs) and even more advanced ideas of Solar Fuels (conversion of solar electricity into storable chemical fuels) will be ideally suited.
Having witnessed all these fast changes over the last years, our group in YU has almost stopped working on organic (typically dye-sensitized) solar cells but shifted to the storage technologies. Just like so it was in dye-sensitized solar cell research, electrode nanomaterials for redox and catalysis are important. Solution chemistry and electrodeposition are used as means to synthesize new materials. Although no great results have been obtained yet, some interesting new materials, methodologies with promising implications began to show. In this talk, the past, present and future of our efforts for realization of 100% renewable energy society will be presented and discussed.