Science Research Public Lecture given by Daniel Nocera, Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy, Harvard University.

The capture and storage of solar energy at the individual level—personalized solar energy—drives inextricably towards the heart of this energy challenge by addressing the triumvirate of secure, carbon neutral and plentiful energy. Because energy use scales with wealth, point-of-use solar energy will put individuals, in the smallest village in the non-legacy world and in the largest city of the legacy world, on a more level playing field.

Moreover, personalized energy (PE) is secure because it is highly distributed and the individual controls the energy on which she/he lives. Finally, the doubling of global energy need by mid-century and tripling by 2100 is driven by three billion low-energy users in the non-legacy world and by three billion people yet to inhabit the planet over the next half century. By developing an inexpensive 24/7 solar energy system for the individual, a carbon-neutral energy supply for 1 × 6 billion becomes available.