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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENERGY

The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

From the "Graetzel cells" to the perovskites: the laureate’s tour of the Global Energy Prize 2017 ended in Italy in June

The laureate of Global Energy Prize 2017 - doctor Michael Graetzel spoke at the 21st International Conference on Solid State Ionics in Padua, Italy. The scientist told his colleagues about technologies, which can become essential for solar energy generation, and why perovskite solar cells are the biggest breakthrough in photovoltaics, while the material itself is the most researched in the world. It should be noted that the speech of Michael Graetzel at this conference was final in June 2017 in the framework of the laureate’s tour. In total, he spoke in three countries: South Korea (Seoul), China (Hangzhou and Beijing) and Italy (Padua).

At the International Conference on Solid State Ionics, Michael Graetzel shared the results of his work on increasing the efficiency of photocells, named in his honor - Graetzel cells. His discovery - solar cells based on mesoscopic oxide semiconductor particles with a wide forbidden zone, covered with an organic dye, he made in 1991. Since then, researchers headed by Greatzel have continued to improve this technology. In 2009, they managed to make a breakthrough and switch from an organic dye within the cells to hybrid organo-inorganic perovskite materials and in 2012 - replace the liquid electrolyte with a solid organic semiconductor. At the same time a new class of devices appeared - perovskite solar cells. According to Michael Graetzel, "for the current reality, this technology has become much more significant, because today it does not depend on subsidies". Another advantage of the development is the indicators of its effectiveness.

"The efficiency of photovoltaic cells from perovskite exceeds 22%, which is more than that of silicon analogues, perovskites are also more profitable in terms of energy efficiency," the expert says. "As you know, it takes about two years for solar panels of silicon to return the energy spent on mining and cleaning the mineral, the production and installation of batteries. Panels from perovskite pay for themselves in two or three months. Thus, we now have, in fact, at least two technologies that can become key for solar energy generation "- summed up the scientist.

Recall that the laureate’s tour of the Global Energy Prize is a thematic series of speeches by world-famous scientists, in which they talk about their developments marked by Global Energy Prize. Visiting the leading international platforms in the field of energy and delivering scientific reports around the world, the laureates also present the Prize to the professional community and thus contribute to broadening the boundaries of international scientific cooperation.

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