Advent of solar era
1839: A French physicist, Alexander Edmund Becquerel, discovered the photovoltaic effect forming the basis for many solar technologies which are being used today.
1873: The world’s first photoconductive solid, Selenium, was found by an English electrical engineer Willoughby Smith, which led to production of solar power without moving paraphernalia.
1883: very first working cells were made by an American electrical engineer Charles Fritts.
1950s: A proud moment for Australia when CSIRO led the world in research to use solar energy in heating up water and creating world’s first solar hot water systems.
1973: The Oil Crisis of 1973 caused solar water heaters to increase in use in Australian homes, thanks to the skyrocketing cost of energy.
1978: Solar PV panels were adapted from spacecraft for remote area telecommunications by Telecom Australia.
1989: UNSW develops the world’s first solar PV system with 20% efficiency.
2005: Australia is a global leader, being the fourth largest producer of solar energy worldwide.
2014: Australia surpasses four gigawatts of solar capacity, and estimates suggest more than 40% of Queenslanders and South Australians are using solar panels.