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Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth: more than 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously, over 10,000 times the world’s total power use. In a rapidly changing climate, it is more important than ever to harness this vast source of renewable, carbon-free energy. But it’s not enough to deploy more of the same solar panels — the entire energy economy must be transformed. At the Clean Energy Institute, researchers are: discovering new materials and methods to increase solar efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs; modernizing the electrical grid with sophisticated information technology to accommodate new sources of power; and designing new batteries that can safely store enough power for buildings and all forms of transportation.

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CEI researchers are working to upgrade existing solar panels, designing new energy conversion materials down to the molecule, and developing high-throughput manufacturing techniques.
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CEI researchers are exploring energy storage technologies to make buildings, industrial processes, cars, and airplanes more efficient and less carbon-intense.
Power Lines
CEI researchers are innovating in software and hardware to integrate advances in solar energy and electrical energy storage with systems and the grid.

CEI supports world-class faculty and Graduate Fellows working across the scales of clean energy. Our researchers are leading the charge in fields like printable perovskite solar cells, polymer-based batteries, and automatic software controls to reduce power grids’ reliance on thermal power plants for backup.

CEI helps interdisciplinary UW teams establish and operate nationally-recognized centers for clean energy research.