Scientia Professor Martin Green of the UNSW Sydney, Australia, received the 2022 Millennium Technology Prize for his innovation that has transformed the production of solar energy. Since its development in 1983, Green’s Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) has gone on to become the most commercially viable and efficient silicon solar cell technology for use in solar panels and for large-scale electricity production, accounting for almost 90% of the global solar cell market.
The innovation has greatly reduced the costs of using solar panels, making solar energy more affordable than fossil-based alternatives. PERCs can also provide an energy supply to homes without them needing to be connected to a grid, ensuring a reliable power supply for remote communities.
Green and his team are currently working on combined cell technologies to reach 40% solar cell efficiency by exploring options such as stacking cells on top of each other.