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Physics Powering the Green Economy

Physics Powering the Green Economy is our flagship impact project for 2023. We are shaping the debate with our membership and community by highlighting how physics has enabled the green economy of today, and setting out how physics can enable the green economy of tomorrow. We hope and expect this community-led evidence will provide an important starting point for impact through a stronger voice for the physics community in relevant national strategies. 

About the report

This report sets out the central role that physics innovation and physicists have played in realising the green economy of today, and the equally key part they will need to play in scaling up a sustainable, internationally competitive green economy in the UK and Ireland for the future – in particular as a ‘systems challenge’ how the skills that physicists have, and their way of thinking, is important in solving such a problem.

Targeted support for physics R&D, and business innovation, as part of a long-term systems approach to leadership, coordination and delivery to unlock more of the contribution physics can make, is vital to realising a thriving green economy in the UK and Ireland.  

The IOP and the physics community are a partner in this grand challenge. We stand ready to lend our knowledge and skills to drive change. Now is a moment for action. 

Download the report

Physics Powering the Green Economy

Download the full report (PDF, 17MB)

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Interactive dashboards

Here we provide a set of interactive dashboards that give access to data included in the physics powering the green economy report, and further relevant data sets.

Physics Powering the Green Economy dashboards

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Physics and the making of the green economy 

Physics has been fundamental to the development of key technologies in the green economy. Fundamental discoveries have been developed by generations of physicists and engineers to shape today’s energy system.

Physics provides the theoretical and practical basis of our scientific understanding of energy and many of the innovations on which the energy system rests originated in physics discoveries. The history of physics is replete with examples of where fundamental discovery and theoretical underpinning has led to technologies that are currently exploited.  

Here, as examples, are three accounts of how crucial areas of understanding and knowledge have advanced through discoveries in physics.  

Physics and the making of the green economy

Download the supporting document (PDF, 1MB)

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IOP at COP28

The IOP hosted a day of activity at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28. The event brought the 'Physics Powering the Green Economy' report to a global audience and amplified the voices of the 500+ IOP members who contributed to this work.

The following video is a recording of the presentations and discussions at the event, which touched on a range of issues around the energy transition, highlighting the key role of physics in addressing some of the most pressing challenges we face. International experts detailed the latest research and practice around energy mix, sustainable cities and transportation, exploring the challenges faced by different sectors, and addressing common misconceptions.

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