, Volume 41, Supplement 2, pp 103–107 | Cite as

Overview: Capturing the Sun for Energy Production

  • Leif Hammarström


Solar energy has potential to provide a major part of our energy for our future, as heat, electricity, and fuels. Most solar technologies are still at the research and development stage, however. There is therefore a need for bold and enduring efforts in research, development and commercialization, including strategic legislative measures and infrastructure investments. This overview article serves as an introduction to the present Special Report, briefly outlining the potential, principles and possibilities as well as some of the challenges of solar energy conversion.


Solar energy Photovoltaics Solar fuels Solar thermal energy 


  1. Cook, R.C., D.K. Dogutan, S.Y. Reece, Y. Surendranath, T.S. Teets, and D.G. Nocera. 2010. Solar energy supply and storage for the nonlegacy worlds. Chemical Reviews 110: 6474–6502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Edoff, M. 2012. Thin film solar cells—research in an industrial perspective. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0265-6.
  3. European Photovoltaic Industry Association. 2012. Market report. Accessed 10 Feb 2012.
  4. Fukui, T., M. Yoshimura, E. Nakai, and K. Tomioka. 2012. Position-controlled III–V compound semiconductor nanowire solar cells by selective-area metal-organic vapor phase epitaxy. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0266-5.
  5. Hagfeldt, A. 2012. Brief overview of dye-sensitized solar cells. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0272-7.
  6. Hammarström, L., and S. Hammes-Schiffer, eds. 2009. Artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels. Accounts of Chemical Research (Special issue) 42(12): 1859–2029.Google Scholar
  7. Inganäs, O., F. Zhang, and M.R. Andersson. 2012. Alternating copolymers and alternative device geometries for organic photovoltaics. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0276-3.
  8. International Energy Agency. 2010. Key world energy statistics. Accessed 10 Feb 2012.
  9. Ito, S., H. Ohkita, H. Benten, and S. Honda. 2012. Spectroscopic analysis of NIR-dye sensitization in bulk heterojunction polymer solar sells. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0268-3.
  10. Katoh, R. 2012. Quantitative evaluation of electron injection efficiency in dye-sensitized TiO2 films. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0270-9.
  11. Lee, L.-T., S. Ito, H. Benten, H. Ohkita, and D. Mori. 2012. Current mode atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) study for local electrical characterization of conjugated polymer blends. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0269-2.
  12. Lindblad, P., P. Lindberg, P. Oliveira, K. Stensjö, and T. Heidorn. 2012. Design, engineering and construction of photosynthetic microbial cell factories for renewable solar fuel production. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0274-5.
  13. Masukawa, H., M. Kitashima, K. Inoue, H. Sakurai, and R.P. Hausinger. 2012. Genetic engineering of cyanobacteria to enhance biohydrogen production from sunlight and water. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0275-4.
  14. Nakano Y. 2012. Ultra-high efficiency photovoltaic cells for large scale solar power generation. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0267-4.
  15. Ozawa, H., H. Kawaguchi, Y. Okuyama, and H. Arakawa. 2012. Characterization of photovoltaic performance of the dye-sensitized solar cell with a novel Ruthenium complex having a bisdemethoxycurcumin as a ligand. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0271-8.
  16. Roeb, M., M. Neises, N. Monnerie, C. Sattler, and R. Pitz-Paal. 2011. Technologies and trends in solar power and fuels. Energy & Environmental Science 4: 2503–2511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. RSAS Energy Committee. 2010. Energy resources and their utilization in a 40-year perspective up to 2050. Accessed 10 Feb 2012.
  18. Styring, S. 2012. Solar fuels: Visions and concepts. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0273-6.
  19. Swedish Energy Agency. 2009. Energy indicators. Accessed 10 Feb 2012.
  20. Tamaura, Y. 2012 Conversion of concentrated solar thermal energy into chemical energy. AMBIO. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0264-7.
  21. US Energy Information Administration. 2011. International energy outlook. Accessed 10 Feb 2012.

Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Photochemistry and Molecular Science, Department of Chemistry—Ångström LaboratoryUppsala universityUppsalaSweden

Personalised recommendations