With annual global energy consumption expected to increase by as much as 30 TW-yr by 2050 and mounting concerns over oil reserve depletion, energy security, and global warming, meeting world energy demand will be one of the grand challenges of the 21st century.

Estimates based on historical trends give several decades before many renewable technologies become competitive. Therefore, transformative technological innovation is the key to accelerating this timeline. Fundamental advances in materials science will spearhead this process.  The Center is fast becoming a key national and international resource for a broad spectrum of renewable energy research and education.  The strategies of the Center are (1) to conduct cutting edge fundamental research, (2) to maintain effective partnerships with key national laboratories (mainly NREL) and industries (mainly the companies associated with the Center for Revolutionary Solar Photoconversion, CRSP), (3) to integrate research and education at all levels, (4) to assure first-rate personnel through innovative recruitment practices with an emphasis on diversity, and (5) to explore novel funding sources that complement and enhance the NSF support.