Home 2. TOPIC What next in solar PV technology? Professor Martin Green, “father of photovoltaics”

What next in solar PV technology? Professor Martin Green, “father of photovoltaics”


In our Exclusive interview in partnership with EU PVSEC 2016, we speak to Professor Martin Green, “father of photovoltaics” about the future of solar PV technology and the role of the European research & industry in shaping this future.

During next days we will publish our exclusive interview with Professor Green for our new series “Solar Pioneers in Private”!

Martin Andrew Green AM ForMemRS (born 20 July 1948) is an Australian professor at the University of New South Wales who works on solar energy. He is editor-in-chief of the academic journal Progress in Photovoltaics.

Martin Green was born in Brisbane and was educated at the selective Brisbane State High School, graduated from University of Queensland and completed his PhD on a Commonwealth Scholarship atMcMaster 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%.

Prof. Green has published several books on solar cells both for popular science and deep research. The “buried contact solar cell” was developed at UNSW in 1984.[10] Green also serves on the Board of the Sydney-based Pacific Solar Pty Ltd. (now known as CSG Solar), as Research Director. Green’s portrait was painted with fellow scientist, Ross Garnaut for the Archibald Prize 2010. The painting was a finalist, losing to a portrait of Tim Minchin.

Awards and honours

Green has received several awards including:

  • 1982 Pawsey Medal (Australian Academy)
  • 1988 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Energy Research
  • 1990 IEEE Cherry Award
  • 1992 CSIRO External Medal
  • 1995 IEEE Ebers Award
  • 1999 Australia Prize
  • 2000 Gold Medal from the Spanish Engineering Academy
  • 2000 Medal of Engineering Excellence for Distinguished Achievement in the Service of Humanity from the World Engineering Federation (Hannover, 2000),
  • 2000 Millennium Award from the World Renewable Congress
  • 2002 Right Livelihood Award
  • 2003 Karl Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit Award from the University of Delaware
  • 2006 Finalist, European Inventor of the Year (together with Stuart Wenham)
  • 2008 Winner, 2008 Scientist of the Year Award
  • 2009 Zayed Future Energy Prize finalist, recognized at the award ceremony for his ground breaking research in photovoltaic (PV) technology that will result in increased efficiencies, bringing solar energy closer to grid parity.
  • 2013 Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)of London

His nomination for the Royal Society reads:

Professor Green is cited for his extensive and distinguished contributions to photovoltaic science and technology. These include identifying the fundamental limits upon silicon solar cell performance and then leading his team to demonstrate experimental devices approaching this limit, with 25% cell efficiency now demonstrated. This is over 50% relatively higher in performance than at the beginning of his work. He has also developed innovative commercial versions of these high performance devices and pioneered the field of “third generation” photovoltaics, investigating advanced photovoltaic device concepts targeting Carnot-like solar conversion efficiencies.[3]