Carsten Streb, FRSC, is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany. Carsten’s research vision is to overcome global challenges in energy conversion, energy storage and public health by developing technologically important multifunctional materials. His research group work at the interface between molecules, nanostructures and solid-state materials to design materials for water purification, energy storage or solar fuels generation. His research approach is based on the principles of technological, economic, and ecological viability. Carsten is lead researcher in several collaborative energy technology endeavours. His research has been recognized by many awards including the Gutenberg Fellowship (2021), the ERC Consolidator Grant (2020) and the CAS President’s International Fellowship (2018). Making solar energy use independent of diurnal and seasonal cycles could be the next big breakthrough in global energy technologies. We have developed molecules which can absorb sunlight and store the solar energy for prolonged periods, essentially forming a liquid fuel. Dark solar hydrogen can be released from the system at any time, on demand. This technology decouples hydrogen production from solar energy flow and overcomes a major bottleneck in energy conversion and energy storage.