The Solar World Congress at 50

December 2020 to October 2021

Virtual Conference including: Online Display, Renewable Energy Pioneer Nomination, Commemorative Booklet

Contact: swc50 [at] ises [dot] org


In 1970 solar research pioneers met at the first International Solar Energy Society (ISES) Conference in Melbourne Australia. ISES is commemorating this conference with a special 50th Anniversary Virtual Conference, called the Solar World Congress at 50 (SWC50).


The SWC50 highlights the transformation in the global energy sector that has taken place since the first ISES Solar World Congress in 1970 and looks forward to the next 50 years when renewable energy will be the major cornerstone of the global energy system. This special event will be about the people: researchers, industry players, policymakers, and leaders from NGOs and non-profits who have all contributed to make renewable energy the fastest-growing contributor to our global energy supply.


The SWC50 will comprise of:

  • A series of eight 90 -minute virtual conferences in December 2020, with invited speakers and panellists who will:
    • Look back over the past 50 years of solar energy development – technical and policy;
    • Show the link between the scientists/research and industry; and
    • Based on this progress and experience, look forward to what is required within the next 50 years to move towards a global 100% Renewable Energy (RE) target.
  • An online display focusing on the stories of solar from the past 50+ years and visions for the next 50 years through the eyes of:
    • Institutions (research laboratories and universities);
    • NGOs and Non-profit organizations:
    • Industry; and
    • Governments.
  • Individuals being recognised in online display through the Renewable Energy Pioneers display;
  • Monthly Newsletters during 2020 and 2021
  • Development of a Commemorative Booklet called The Century of Solar- Stories and Visions for the Future of Renewable Energy.
  • A solar time-line display which will be launched at the 2020 Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference (APSRC20) (Nov 30th-Dec 2nd 2020) in Melbourne and will be available to be displayed at future ISES and ISES partner events. (Note: At this stage, the Australia PV Institute (APVI) still plans to hold the regional conference the same week in Melbourne)
  • A historical display at APSRC20.
  • A 50-year celebratory dinner at APSRC20

Institutes, Governments and Industry will be invited to be partners where they can provide their story to the online display and booklet. Individuals will be invited to nominate themselves or others as “renewable energy pioneers”. To celebrate the fact that the first SWC was held in Melbourne, the SWC50 will have a session and celebratory dinner during APSRC20. A historic timeline will be displayed at SWC50 and Platinum, Gold and Silver partners will be listed on banners at the APSRC20

Stay up to date at the event's homepage and subscribe to our SWC50 mailing list by sending an email to public [dot] relations [at] ises [dot] org.

Call for Renewable Energy Pionners

The organizers of SWC50 are pleased to launch this call for individuals to either self-nominate or to nominate others as Renewable Energy Pioneers.

Without the efforts of individual researchers, system designers, system installers, business leaders, policy makers and those within the donor community, the renewable energy industry would not have grown from watts to Gigawatts in the last 50 years. Thus, ISES is issuing a call for developing a compilation of Renewable Energy Pioneers to be listed in the celebratory booklet. This will be ISES’ way of acknowledging the many people who have made this industry what it is today.

ISES is calling for submissions of the names of individuals covering the following two categories:

·         Research Pioneers: Individuals who started their research in 1995 or earlier

·         Industry Pioneers: Individuals who actively started working in or with the industry in 1995 or earlier


Why 1995 as a cut-off date?

We have arbitrarily chosen 1995 since this was 25 years after the first Congress and 25 years before SWC50. Much of the renewable energy industry growth has occurred since 1995. The number of people working in the industry has grown significantly on the last 25 years and those working in the industry or undertaking research prior to 1995 were the pioneers of this industry.

ISES appreciates that there have been other significant individuals who have contributed greatly to the growth of this industry since 1995, their contribution will be acknowledged in the booklet.


How to nominate a Renewable Energy Pioneer?

Names and information can only be submitted online in the relevant form. Individuals can submit on behalf of themselves or in behalf of someone else, particular those who might have passed away.


How will they be recognised?

All of the pioneers and researchers submitted will have their name, relevant information, photo and description in the booklet: The Century of Solar- Stories and Visions for the Future of Renewable Energy. Future monthly newsletters will feature short articles on the very early pioneers—those before 1980.

Nominate a Renewable Energy Pioneer here!

Event Newsletter

A special event newsletter will keep you updated on all the latest news for this special event - you can subscribe to the newsletter by sending an email to public [dot] relations [at] ises [dot] org.