DTU e-conference saves the atmosphere large amounts of CO2

Tuesday 13 Sep 16

Read more about eGOPV

eGOPV 2016 is organized by Prof. Frederik C. Krebs, Prof. Hongzheng Chen, Prof. Xiaowei Zhan, Birgit Oksbjerg, and Eva Bundgaard.

Read more about eGOPV at http://plasticphotovoltaics.org/egopv.html and try out SAS’s CO2-calculator at (http://www.sasems.port.se/EmissionCalc.cfm)

Researchers can save the atmosphere huge amounts of CO2 and lots of resources and money on top if they start participating in electronic conferences instead of travelling across the world

The human interaction in the global science community leads to invaluable sharing of knowledge, but it comes with an environmental price tag. As an example Danish researcher travelling by plane to a Chinese conference contributes more than 1200 kg CO2 to the atmosphere.

The Section for Organic Energy Materials under DTU Energy at Technical University of Denmark has taken a simple but very effective step to reduce the CO2-footprint of global science sharing by introducing the electronic conference eGOPV, where everything takes place online.

eGOPV is an extension of three Global Organic Photovoltaic (GOPV) -conferences in China in 2011, 2012 and 2014 which were held as part of a Danish-Chinese Center for Organic based Photovoltaic Cells with Morphology Control (DCOPV), consisting of researchers from DTU, Aalborg University, Zhejiang University and Peking University. The 2016-version is the first purely online conference.

 “We changed the format but not the forum. GOPV is still an international conference with focus on organic solar cells, but this time all presentations are given as video contributions and everybody can join the conference and watch the videos in their own pace at home. You may not meet in person, but you have the opportunity to ask questions just like at normal conferences. At the e-conference you just send an e-mail instead of trying to find the presenter at the reception afterwards, and not only are we reaching our researchers in the project, we reach others who may have interest in our research, but who didn’t have the time or possibility to join a conference in China”, explains senior researcher and head of section Eva Bundgaard, DTU Energy.

"We changed the format but not the forum. GOPV is still an international conference with focus on organic solar cells, but this time all presentations are given as video contributions and everybody can join the conference and watch the videos in their own pace at home"
Senior researcher Eva Bundgaard, DTU Energy

The e-conference is the direct result of DTU Energy having good experiences with e-learning. A series of online courses on research on organic solar cells using the Coursera platform had approx. 40,000 participants from all over the world. The lessons learned here are used to facilitate eGOPV.

“We find this to be an ideal way to present your newest research findings and get in touch with you fellow researchers at the lowest cost and lowest environmentally impact. Instead of the researchers travelling half way around the globe for a three-day conference in China, the researchers are invited to share their knowledge online, and it works," says Eva Bundgaard.

At each GOPV-conference dozens of European and American researchers travelled to China as the Chinese counterparts had no opportunity to come to Denmark or the US. The e-conference puts an end to that as effective online knowledge sharing using videos not only makes the travels avoidable but unnecessary, saving everybody time, money and tons of CO2-emissions.

The e-conference consists of 18 videos with on different speakers presenting all the latest research in their field of expertise and the goal of eGOPV was 100 or more viewers per video, as the normal conferences seldom have more than 100 participants. With 900+ online-participants watching the first video within the first week, that goal seems to be not only reached but surpassed.