Australian scientist, Professor Martin Green, who is known as the ''father of photovoltaics'' has won the 2010 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Eureka Prize of Leadership in Science, which has come as apt justification of his appellation.
The prize, which names him as the Global Leader in Solar Cell Technology, has been awarded in recognition of his revolutionary contribution to advancing the limits of photovoltaic cell capacity and solar energy efficiency.
According to Frank Howarth, director of the Australian Museum, while many innovations in alternative energy production remain experimental, Green's work has had a real impact by taking the technology from the laboratory and into the factory.
With the mounting concerns over the effects of carbon emission-induced global warming, solar cell technology has come to be recognised as one of the most effective forms of renewable energy available, due largely to the work of Green and others who have taken his work forward.
Green is founder of the ARC Photovoltaics Centre of Excellence at the University of New South Wales in Australia and holds the world record for solar cell efficiency – 25 per cent, a level previously thought to be impossible to attain.
Gren's team is considered to be well ahead of the international competition which has many scientists who started out in the field from Green's centre.
Though Australia trails in other countries in the field of photovoltaic manufacture and export many of the world's leading solar photovoltaic cell entrepreneurs studied under professor Green, among them Dr Zhengrong Shi. Shi is known as the Sun King, and has commercialised solar cell technology in China on an unprecedented scale through his company Suntech.