The Cambridge University Energy Network

Conference 2009


Solar Power: Lighting the way towards a sustainable future


Addressing the linked challenges posed by Global warming and meeting rapidly growing global energy demand require the development of large capacities of renewable energy by 2020. Solar power has the technical potential to play a major role. Every day, the Earth is receiving many times the energy demands of the global human population in the form of solar energy. Harnessing this energy and converting it into electrical energy could be the key for moving humanity towards a sustainable future, and as such, solar energy has become the fastest growing form of renewable energy. Almost any scale of implementation is, at least in theory, feasible; from a photovoltaic panel on the roof of a house to a country-sized installation in the desert. Yet what are the political and economical barriers which hinder solar power reaching its full technical potential and how can they be overcome? What are the relative advantages of the various forms of solar photovoltaic (PV) and the emerging Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies? How and where can they best be implemented? Perhaps most importantly, what work is being carried out, both in academic and industrial settings, to explore and realise the full potential of solar power as an electricity generator?

CUEN believes that today's energy challenge needs a comprehensive approach, and therefore convenes students, academics and leading figures involved in the technological, financial and policy aspects of sustainable energy. At the 2009 Cambridge Annual Energy Conference, today's leaders and experts will talk about the current scenario on solar power, giving insights on developments that will revolutionise the sector within the next few years. Inspired generations of students from a variety of backgrounds will be the driving force of a solar revolution.


The aims of the 2009 Annual CUEN Symposium are hence:

  • Highlight the groundbreaking research being carried out in Cambridge and other academic institutions, creating lasting partnerships between academia and the world of industry, policy-makers and financial institutions.
  • Tie together the technological, political and financial aspects of solar power, and underline how they must be combined for the faster, more successful implementation of solar power technologies.
  • Help develop realistic and united targets for the short- and long-term future development and application of widespread solar power technology, emphasising the need for worldwide co-operation.
  • Provide a networking platform between the brightest and most enthusiastic students and businesses and industries urgently looking for the required skills to enable and provide a sustainable future.


Renowned people ranging from think tanks, major corporations and academic institutions will be present to shed light upon the latest issues and challenges associated with solar technologies.


The 2009 Cambridge Annual Energy Conference will be a one-day event, including speaker sessions and discussion panels on the three sectors of technology, policy and finance. Furthermore, within technology, the exciting developments within both CSP and PV will be considered in two separate sub-sections. A buffet lunch, coffee breaks and a wine reception will be included.

When & Where?

The 2009 conference will be held on Monday 22nd June within the University of Cambridge. This year, the venue is the Faculty of Law, West Road, Cambridge.