Recent developments in solar cells and role in climate change mitigation
Solar cell costs have dropped dramatically over the last decade. According to the International Energy Agency, "solar is now the cheapest source of electricity in most countries” and “now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen”, with their installed capacity “set to triple before 2030 under current and proposed policies with the potential to grow much faster”. This talk will describe how the cells work, why the costs have fallen so quickly, how much further cost reduction is likely and the role solar can play in displacing fossil fuel use, decreasing carbon dioxide emissions on a timeline consistent with constraining global temperature rise to manageable levels.
Green was born in Brisbane on 20 July 1948, and was educated at the selective Brisbane State High School, graduated from University of Queensland and completed his PhD on a Commonwealth Scholarship at McMaster University in Canada, where he specialised in solar energy. In 1974, at the University of New South Wales, he initiated the Solar Photovoltaics Group which soon worked on the development of silicon solar cells. The group had their success in the early 80s through producing a 20% efficient silicon cell, which now has been improved to 25%.