Solar cells win Millennium Technology Prize Laureate

President of the Republic of Finland, Tarja Halonen handed over the €800,000 Grand Prize and trophy at the Grand Award Ceremony held at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki, Finland.

Cited as the world’s largest technology award, the Millennium Technology Prize celebrates innovations that can provide answers to the challenges of our time, promoting both the quality of human life and sustainable development.

An International Selection Committee awarded the prize to Professor Grätzel for his invention and development of dye-sensitized solar cells, known as ‘Grätzel cells’.

Commenting on the award, the committee said: “The excellent price/performance ratio of these novel devices gives them major potential as significant contributor to the diverse portfolio of future energy technologies. Graetzel cells are likely to have an important role in lowcost, large-scale solutions for renewable energy."

President and CEO of Technology Academy Finland, Dr Ainomaija Haarla, added:"The constraint of solar energy has traditionally been its price. ‘Grätzel cells’ provide a more affordable way of harnessing solar energy. Grätzel’s innovation is likely to have an important role in low-cost, large-scale solutions for renewable energy."

Besides photovoltaics, the concepts of Grätzel cells can also be applied in batteries and hydrogen production.