Welcome to the first issue of APL Energy!
We are the witnesses of a great global energy transformation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its sixth assessment report, released on March 20, 2023, by the United Nations (UN), found that there is a 50% possibility that the global temperature will reach or surpass the 1.5 ◦C mark by 2040.1 Under this scenario, we need to not only eliminate the use of fossil fuels but also cut emissions from power generation, industry, and buildings (which contribute 80% of global emissions) and increase power energy efficiency.2, Figure 1 shows the ten key solutions presented by the IPCC to mitigate climate change.2 To reach these goals on time, a significant contribution from renewable energies is mandatory. This contribution needs to be scaled up by at least six-times faster than current trends. This is, in principle, only possible if the implementation of green energy can be intensive, fast, and profound.3
Technological innovation has always been a key player in the progress of renewable energy. Efforts to innovate are now required more than ever and should encompass fundamental and innovative research based on new approaches to convert, generate, store, and harvest energy. We should also integrate different energy technologies to surpass the theoretical efficiencies of single energy systems. This knowledge should also translate into innovative products with high applicability and impact in the industrial energy sector for the benefit of our society.
APL Energy aims to be a part of this profound transformation in energy by bridging the gap between fundamental research and technological innovation. APL Energy features research related to energy and the integration of different energy technologies. It covers different areas of energy research and applications, from materials for energy and energy sources, applications of energy conversion and generation, storage and harvesting, including renewable energy and sustainability. The journal also welcomes energy research that addresses circular economy, machine learning, and the environmental impacts of energy technologies as depicted in Fig. 2. APL Energy invites research that is the result of fundamental groundbreaking ideas that can revolutionize the way we think, utilize, and apply energy. We are eager to publish high quality research works that inspire and are a result of that “eureka” moment, that foster innovation, and that promote the vision of our green energy future in a unique approach.
In addition, APL Energy recognizes the benefits of gender dimension in energy and climate change research. Access to modern energy in rural areas contributes to the economic growth of our society as already demonstrated by several studies.4 This access to energy enables economic advancement by eliminating poverty and financial instability, stimulating the empowerment of women by more equitable access to electricity.5 Even the replacement of classical energy sources for cooking by renewable energy technologies, e.g., electric energy from photovoltaics, can reduce the amount of indoor air pollution, which affects women to a greater extent than men (over 4.3 million reported deaths in a single year have been due to indoor air pollution from the use of unclean energy sources, such as fuelwood and charcoal, 60% of them being women6). Understanding and effectively addressing the gendered dimensions of climate change and energy is key for achieving sustainable development. APL Energy encourages research that takes into account gender dimension, emphasizing the importance of considering these factors in the pursuit of scientific advancement for the benefit of our society.
APL Energy is also about inclusiveness. The benefits of the inclusion of women have been demonstrated:7,8 companies that have women on the board outperformed those without any female board representation by 26%;9 women in top management positions have been associated with an increase of millions of dollars in firm value and greater financial gains.10 A similar enhanced financial performance has been found upon analyzing racial diversity and innovation in companies,11 as well as higher numbers of citations in scientific papers.12 APL Energy will work tirelessly to ensure equal representation of researchers from diverse identities in all our ventures, which includes our authors, reviewers, Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) members, and Associate Editors (AEs).
We invite you to follow the first issue of APL Energy, which includes pioneering research works from energy harvesting (photovoltaics13–15), storage (batteries16), conversion and generation (piezocatalysts17), and materials for energy (2D perovskites18 and superconductors19), among others. Among these publications, Ren et al. (University of Houston) introduce us to an innovative research approach for the application of superconductors and liquefied H2 that can transport people and goods and demonstrates energy transmission and storage in a single system.19 Berry et al. (National Renewable Energy Lab) encourage us to think about the use of Pb in applications such as perovskite solar cells and batteries and makes the case for its use.15 Loo et al. (Princeton University) present an interesting perspective about the lifetime of inorganic perovskite solar cells,14 and Yabu et al. (Tohoku University) show the application of novel electrocatalysts in acid/alkaline tandem aqueous electrolyte cells.16
APL Energy is supported by an outstanding team of AEs (https://pubs.aip.org/aip/ape/pages/editorial_board), experts in a wide range of energy research areas and technologies. The AEs are internationally recognized scientists in their field of research, and together, the editors represent three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia. To expand our geographical coverage, knowledge, and expertise in applied energy, our EAB (https://pubs.aip.org/aip/ape/pages/advisory) will include members from three different profiles: fundamental research scientists from academia, innovators, and researchers from industry. These renowned members of the EAB will also include early career researchers with outstanding scientific activity.
I want to thank the authors for submitting their research to APL Energy, the reviewers and advisory board members for their support to the journal, and the AEs for their continuous efforts in making APL Energy a top world class scientific journal. We, together with an extraordinary team of experts within AIP Publishing, welcome you who trust the high quality of our work, and look forward to receiving your pioneering research!
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