Fiacre Rougieux | The solar energy future is already here…
Today, wind and solar energy are the cheapest energy in the history of humankind. If solar is so cheap, why are we still working on it?
The transition to zero carbon will be one of the biggest shifts in the history of humankind. Transitioning to renewables means immense opportunities for jobs, security, equity and common resilience. Right now, renewable energy in the form of solar and wind is the cheapest it has ever been, and with it comes immense opportunities in employment, economic growth and equality. So what are the technological breakthroughs we need to tackle climate change today? Australia could be a global leader in renewable innovation, we already have the tools and technology required, so what’s stopping us from investing in our future? Fiacre Rougieux is one of renewable energy’s biggest supporters, with solutions on how to facilitate this shift.
A UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee and footage filmed at the EPICentre – a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus. Videos filmed and edited by Paper Moose, and podcast editing and music composition by Bryce Halliday.
Fiacre Rougieux is a senior lecturer in the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW Sydney, and has a PhD from the Australian National University in the field of photovoltaics and semiconductor materials. His work focuses on engineering the materials and devices required to accelerate our transition to a decarbonised and circular economy. Fiacre’s notable achievements include the development of high-efficiency and low-cost solar cell concepts (including efficiency records for solar cells made with upgraded metallurgical grade silicon) and unravelling the physics of defects limiting high efficiency devices. He has also published and co-authored more than 80 papers. Fiacre has won numerous awards and fellowships including a UNSW Vice-Chancellor fellowship, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) and an Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Postdoctoral Fellowship.