Solar Power for Developing CountriesNicole Kuepper, a 23 years old PhD student and lecturer in the school of photovoltaic and renewable energy engineering at the University of NSW, might have just found a way to make the world a better place. Her patented technology isn't quite as simple as the title of this post would lead you to believe, but it should nonetheless reduce the cost and technical requirements of making solar cells.
Electricity for the World's Poorest 2 Billion PeopleThe processes she developed for the iJET solar cell don't require the very expensive clean rooms and high-temperature ovens of traditional solar panel manufacturing plants, but rather pizza ovens, nail polish and inkjet printers, making them accessible to developing countries.
Australian Museum Eureka PrizesMs Kuepper's solar breakthrough won two Australian Museum Eureka Prizes, the most prestigious scientific prize in Australia. "The 23-year-old took out the people's choice award as well as the prize for young leader in environmental science and climate change."
While it could take five years to commercialise the patented technology, providing renewable energy to homes in some of the least developed countries would enable people to "read at night, keep informed about the world through radio and television and refrigerate life-saving vaccines". And it would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Ms Kuepper said that the solar cells should be of high enough quality to be used anywhere in the world, including Australia.
Thanks to Michael W. for the tip.
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