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Solar specialist appointed to Welsh research programme

The Welsh government has appointed a world renowned solar energy research scientist as the second appointment under its £50 million Sêr Cymru programme, which is designed to improve research capability in Wales by attracting world leading scholars to the country.

Professor James Durrant from Imperial College London has been appointed as the Sêr Cymru solar energy research chair at Swansea University and will lead a new Solar Futures laboratory there.

Researchers from Imperial College, including leading solar energy researcher Professor Jenny Nelson, will join with Welsh researchers to form the research centre, which will be led by Swansea University and includes Bangor University and the Welsh School of Architecture.

The overall aim of the Sêr Cymru Solar team is to create a solar energy research centre to deliver world leading scientific research and to support the growth of new solar industry in Wales.

‎“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,” said Edwina Hart, minister for economy, science and transport. “The Sêr 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.”

 “Solar energy is already big business, with over US$140billion invested globally last year,” said Professor Durrant. “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.”

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