Solar Pioneer Professor Martin Green Honoured On Australia Day

Professor Martin Green’s efforts in solar photovoltaics has been recognised on Australia Day, with the professor being made a Member of the Order of Australia.
   
Professor Green is currently executive research director of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of NSW. His involvement with solar power stretches back over 30 years.
   
In 1974, Professor Green kicked-off the Solar Photovoltaics Group at the University of New South Wales, which commenced working on the development of silicon solar cells. 
   
In 2009, a team of researchers from the University of New South Wales led by Professor Green played a key role in attaining the highest conversion efficiency at the time for solar power.
  
Professor Green is the author of several books on solar cells geared to various audiences – from popular science buffs to those engaged in deep research.
    
Hailed by some as the “father of photovoltaics”,  Professor Martin Green has received over a dozen awards. Among them was the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science in 2010. In 2009, he was a Zayed Future Energy Prize finalist. In 2001, Professor Green received the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science in photovoltaics.
     
In an interview with ABC’s Anna Salleh published today, Professor Green said Australia needs to look to Germany to achieve its full solar potential. “Germany has been the only country that’s had a sensible long-term program in place to promote the use of renewables,” he said, referring to Germany’s approach to solar feed in tariffs.
   
Even in the face of sometimes unfavourable policies, misinformation campaigns and Australia’s ongoing love affair with fossil fuels, in a recent article published on the UNSW web site, Professor Green stated rooftop solar panels in Australia were able to compete favourably against peak-priced electricity from coal fired power stations for the first time in 2011 – without factoring in market distorting subsidies.
 
Addressing the negative press over the commercialisation of Australian solar technology in China and elsewhere, Professor pointed out the installation of solar panels in Australia, regardless of where they are manufactured, promotes growth and employment in our own local solar power industry.
 
“I am more interested in getting the real solar story out; that solar panels are a proven, reliable, ever cheaper source of electricity which can play a major role in powering the world. If Australians don’t understand that reality we’ll be left scrapping on the global sidelines long after China, Germany and the rest, have run off with the renewables ball.”
   
Order of Australia recognises outstanding achievement and service in our nation. Nominations to the Order of Australia come directly from the community, which are then considered by the 19-member Council for the Order of Australia.