President Obama recently gave a speech on the economy while he was visiting Northwestern University. Big deal, right? Well, it was to us, because he gave a special shout out to solar fuels research.

Northwestern is one of SOFI’s core members, and we were thrilled when President Obama mentioned the work being done by the researchers at Northwestern and within SOFI. There are many renewable and alternative energy technologies out there, but solar fuel rarely gets its day in the sun (pun intended). Even a small mention of this exciting research will help get the story out about this technology.

To paraphrase, President Obama says turning sunlight into liquid fuel sounds impossible, but if you need to get the impossible done, American universities are a good place to do it. We agree.

But make no mistake, this is global effort. Northwestern alone will not create a scalable, commercializable solar fuel. It will take partnerships and cooperation between universities, governments and companies across the globe. Just as the climate crisis itself will not be solved by one country or one company, nor will our global renewable energy portfolio develop from one nation or one academic lab.

We commend President Obama for recognizing the potential of solar fuels, and we commend all our partners – the universities, government labs, and companies all around the world working to make this new energy future a reality.