Towards Global Artificial Photosynthesis (Global Solar Fuels): Energy, Nanochemistry and Governance
Australian Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 65, pp. 557-563, 2012
7 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2012
Date Written: June 21, 2012
This special open access edition of the Australian Journal of Chemistry represents a collection of papers from the first international conference dedicated to creating a Global Artificial Photosynthesis (GAP) or Global Solar Fuels (GSF) project, held at Lord Howe Island on 14–18 August 2011. Conceived and coordinated by the author of this article, the conference had endorsement from theUNESCONatural Science Sector and was an official event of the UNESCO 2011 International Year of Chemistry. The Australian federal Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research (DIISR, as it was then called) contributed to the funding, as did the Australian National University (ANU) College of Medicine, Biology and the Environment and ANU College of Law. Speakers included over 50 national and international experts in various aspects of artificial photosynthesis, as well as related areas including photovoltaics, hydrogen fuel cells, quantum coherence in electron transfer, and international governance systems.
The GAP conference uniquely focused on the governance as well as the scientific challenges for global artificial photosynthesis.The vision of a world powered by solar fuel is likely to involve much more than large coastal plants splitting seawater using sunlight captured in desert areas to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen-based fuels and fresh water. If rolled out globally as a cheap consumer and development aid for ‘off-grid’ local and domestic energy, fertilizer and food product, global artificial photosynthesis could replace policy models of corporate globalization and ever-increasing economic growth predicated on preparation for war and use of non-renewable and polluting energy sources.
Keywords: artificial photosynthesis, sustainocene, solar fuels, solar power, renewable energy, energy policy, climate change policy
JEL Classification: D63, I12, I18, K32, L94, Q28, Q42, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation