At the beginning of the 19th century, first worries arose regarding the out of control consumption of energy, worrying the day the industry would not have any more available resources to face its surprisingly ascend.


Edmond Becquerel (1820-1891)

In the first half of the 19th century, a young student, Edmond Becquerel, discovers the photovoltaic effect during some experiments, establishing a first approach to this innovative technology.

In the next few years some English scientists chance upon the photovoltaic system, by observing a particle of selenium directly converting the solar radiation into energy.

After this episode, in 1889, Fritts built the first photovoltaic cell with about a 1% production.

Starting 1950 the first usage of silicon was made in the structure of the cells, thanks to the physicist Gerald Pearson.

Afterwards thanks to two of his laboratory colleagues, the application of silicon was refined and praised by the New York Times.

From this moment on, the use of silicon, as a solar energy into electricity converter, finds different applications.

In 1955, the USA experimented silicon in the spatial field and in 1970 the oil industry becomes the first solar cells buyer.

In Italy this technique appears in 1961 during a meeting about renewable sources.

After the ascend of photovoltaic plant in the ’90s, a significant slowdown occurs mainly due to the lack of incentives.

Charles Fritts (1850 - 1903)

Charles Fritts (1850 – 1903)