We may still be a few decades away from the United Federation of Planets, but a newly formed international organization dedicated to advancing renewable energy technology proves that at least some humans have accepted collaboration as the way of the future.

The Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes represents a partnership between three of the largest internationally renowned research institutions: the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL (USA), the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Germany) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology AIST (Japan).

By working together instead of in isolation, the Global Alliance hopes to accelerate progress toward shared solar research and development goals as well as to ensure sustainable long-term use of solar energy. To that end, two scientists from each institute will be stationed in residence at each of the other research centers for up to two years.

“NREL has been a solar energy pioneer since its inception as the Solar Energy Research Institute 35 years ago,” NREL Director Dan Arvizu said. “We are proud to join in this alliance with the leading institutions in Germany and Japan to enhance international solar energy research cooperation.”

In the past few years, both solar thermal and photovoltaic energy generation technologies have advanced rapidly. The countries involved feel that these technologies will form a key pillar of the future energy system that will be sustainable and carbon-free. The newly founded alliance hopes to give the research in this important field a global voice.

With Republican politicians vowing to prevent future Solyndra scandals by removing the DOE’s ability to provide crucial loans to fledgling solar companies, however, the U.S. could be on the losing end of this new information sharing agreement. If NREL is developing promising new technologies, but the government refuses funding for testing and commercialization, it may be Japan and Germany that ultimately benefit.

Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL

via Cleantechnica