Swansea University has launched a new solar energy research centre designed to deliver world-leading scientific research and to support the growth of solar in Wales.

The solar research centre brings together researchers from Imperial College London, including eminent solar energy researcher Professor James Durrant, alongside those from Bangor University and the Welsh School of Architecture.  

The solar centre at Swansea University is the result of a £6 million grant from the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru programme. The ‘Sêr Cymru Solar team’ will utilise a pilot line facility to scale up research ideas to develop commercial solar applications. The programme hopes that the collaboration between academia, industry, research and students will facilitate the progress from ‘laboratory bench to factory floor’, paving the way for rapid commercialisation and the creation of a major UK industry.  

Ser Cymru launch Professor Durrant commented: “Solar energy is already big business, with over US$140 billion invested globally last year. This investment by the Welsh government offers a fantastic opportunity to accelerate the pipeline from materials discovery through to commercial manufacture, and thus put Wales, and the UK, at the heart of the growing solar revolution.”

Edwina Hart, minister for economy, science and transport in Wales, added: “I am very pleased to welcome Professor Durrant to Wales and Swansea University, where his experience and knowledge will help create a world class research team in the field of solar energy.

“The Ser Cymru programme is helping us deliver our commitment to developing science and innovation in Wales, which as 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.”