FEAM And Solar Energy Systems

Sep 13, 2022 | ADVANCED ENERGY, MINING

FEAM (5E Advanced Materials) Collaborates with Boston College to Advance Solar Energy Systems Using Boron

5E Advanced Materials, Inc. (“5E”) (Nasdaq: FEAM)(ASX: 5EA) has signed a research agreement with Boston College to explore the creation of innovative solar energy systems to help make renewable energy more affordable and accessible. With this agreement, Boston College will conduct research to develop novel boron-based materials that have the potential to integrate solar energy capture, conversion, and storage into a single closed system.

FEAM and Solar Energy

FEAM and Solar Energy

Solar Energy Impact on Energy Supply

Solar energy continues to play a significant role as society focuses on a future of carbon-neutral energy sources. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that solar will make up 60% of the growth in global renewable capacity by 2022. In the United States, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) anticipates that solar energy could supply up to 45% of the country’s electricity by 2050.  For solar to meet this demand, the world needs scalable, efficient, and advanced technologies for absorbing, processing, and storing solar energy, and this is where boron-based solar energy systems come in.

Boron-based Solar Energy Systems

Solar energy is one of the most important renewable energy sources. Currently Boron is a key enabling material in transforming solar cells from sunlight into electricity and are fundamental for the photovoltaics (PV) systems currently in use.

Boron is introduced to photovoltaics to boost reflectivity, lowering damage from incidental sunlight that doesn’t transfer through or blend in. Boron atoms are included in the crystalline structure rather than just on the surface, which improves electrical conductivity and efficiency, establishing Boron as a key component in making solar power a more valuable and reliable energy source.

Answering the Global Call for Decarbonization

Solar energy is the most promising renewable energy source. It is abundant, sustainable, and emits no greenhouse gases when used to generate electricity. However, current solar technology is inefficient and expensive.

“There is an ever-increasing global call for a decarbonized future, and solar energy will be a major part of the solution. To achieve success, however, will require enhanced, scalable technologies for solar energy capture, conversion, and storage. We believe our research agreement with world renowned university, Boston College, has the potential to create such an efficient solar energy platform using boron advanced materials,” comments Dr. Dinakar Gnanamgari, COO & CTO, 5E Advanced Materials, Inc.

The new research agreement with Boston College addresses these challenges by developing new boron-based materials that offer great potential for solar energy capture and conversion due to their unique properties. Also, this will explore the potential of a more efficient and scalable solar energy platform.

Dr. Liu’s lab at Boston College is at the forefront of creating boron-based compounds for use in catalysis, biomedical research, and optoelectronic substances because Boron is a fascinating element with unique chemical and elemental characteristics.

“Boron is an extremely versatile element with fascinating elemental and chemical properties. We have been developing boron-based compounds for applications across biomedical research and catalysis to optoelectronic materials and are excited to focus on solar energy applications given decarbonization implications. This research has the potential to create boron advanced materials that capture the energy of sunlight and directly convert it into a storable high-energy fuel,” comments Dr. Shih-Yuan Liu, Professor of Chemistry, Boston College.

“We are pleased to work with 5E on this endeavor since their thought leadership and vertically integrated business allows for a smooth transition from basic research to prototype development and large-scale production.”

Solar Energy Market Analysis

The solar energy market is expected to reach US $368.63 billion by 2030, up from US $197.23 billion in 2021, according to a new report by Globe Newswire. The market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% between 2021 and 2030.

Technology Outlook

Globe Newswire has segmented the global solar energy market based by technology, application, and region:

  • Photovoltaic Systems (Thin film, Moni-Si, Multi-Si, and Others)
  • Concentrated Solar Energy Systems (Fresnel reflectors, Solar power tower, Parabolic trough, and Dish Stirling)

The solar energy market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years due to the rising acceptance of renewable energy sources and falling PV system prices. The Photovoltaic (PV) systems segment will lead the global market, gaining a market share of almost 70% in 2020 due to the rising demand for PV systems of all sizes, from portable and small residential applications to large industrial applications. In addition, government policies and incentives are playing a key role in promoting the use of solar power, which is expected to drive market growth further.

Applications Outlook

  • Electricity Generation
  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Charging

With more than 35% of the global demand for solar energy in 2020, the industrial sector is the biggest consumer. The demand for affordable and sustainable energy sources has fueled the sector’s recent rapid growth, leading to the potential for industrial solar power uses.

However, due to increased consumer knowledge of the health and environmental advantages of solar electricity, the residential sector is the one that is expanding at the fastest rate. This will probably encourage its market growth in the residential sector in the coming years.

Regional Outlook

  • Latin America
  • North America
  • Europe
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
  • Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region led the solar energy market in 2020, with a market share of over 30%. This results from the region’s enormous population, which offers a sizeable consumer base. In addition, China, Japan, and India are among the top nations in solar energy consumption. During the projection period, North America is anticipated to grow notably, with the United States having the region’s largest share of solar energy use.

About Boston College

Boston College is a private research institution in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The university has more than 9,000 undergraduate and approximately 5,000 graduate students. Founded in 1863 by the Jesuit Society to serve the educational needs of Boston’s largely Irish and Catholic immigrant population, Boston College is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.  Boston College is dedicated to giving its students a top-notch education rooted in the liberal arts tradition. The institution offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate programs that help students succeed in their chosen fields of study. The institution offers a variety of innovative programs to help students succeed in college and beyond.

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