Highlighting 60 Years of ISES History

In the 1950s a group of forward thinkers recognised the need to create an organisation to promote the development and application of solar energy. A detailed account of the creation and the first 50 years of our history are documented in the ISES history book published in 2004. 60 years later, it is worth highlighting, the motivation for creating the Association for Applied Solar Energy, which later became ISES, namely to promote the development and application of solar energy. The Associations objectives as defined in the incorporating by-laws, were: to foster and encourage the research, development, application and education in the fields related to solar and other energies.

The dream of our ISES founders of a global solar energy industry has become a reality. As reported in the REN 21 2015 Global Status Report, global new investment in renewable energy exceeded USD 270 billion; the total installed capacity of solar PV reached 177 GW and an estimated 7.7 million people worldwide are working directly or indirectly in the renewable energy sectors. The growing markets are the result of breakthroughs in research and development, which have led to major achievements in improving solar energy technologies, and thus drive down costs.

Yet, the ISES goals to promote the development and application of solar energy technologies globally are more relevant than ever. The challenges Farrington Daniels, Henry Sargent and others recognized 60 years ago are more urgent today and are expounded further by the growing risk of climate change. ISES is looking forward to lead the energy transformation to a 100% renewable energy world during this century.

Here is a brief time-line of some of the milestones throughout ISES history.

1954

ISES has its origin in Phoenix / Arizona, USA. A group of industrial, financial and agricultural leaders establishes the Association for Applied Solar Energy (AFASE) as a non-profit organisation.

1955

The first two important meetings are held in Tucson and Phoenix, USA attractting more than 1000 scientists, engineers and government officials from 36 different countries.

1956

The association establishes its first scientific publication "the sun at work".

1957

The first issue of "The Journal of Solar Energy, Science and Engineering" is published.

1963

Dedicated solar scientists decide that radical changes are required for the operation and goals of the Society. Through the reorganisation within the framework of its original concept the name is changed to "The Solar Energy Society". The Society is accredited by the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC).

1964

The name of the journal is changed to "Solar Energy, The Journal of Solar Energy Science and Technology".
Prof. Farrington Daniels is elected President and in his honour the "Farrington Daniels Award" is established in 1975

1970

Relocation of the international Headquarters office to Melbourne, Australia. 
First international conference outside the USA is held in Melbourne, Australia.

1971

The name of the Society is changed to "International Solar Energy Society".

1976

The first issue of the ISES magazine "SunWorld" is published.

1979

ISES celebrates its Silver Jubilee at the Solar World Congress in Atlanta, USA.

1983

The"Achievement through Action Award" in memory of Christopher A. Weeks is created.

1989

ISES introduces the "Section Sponsorship Programme" in which individuals and sections have the opportunity to sponsor sections in developing countries.

1992

ISES is accepted by the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with consultative status and actively participates in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1994

ISES participates the second meeting of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in New York to discuss issues of sustainable development and the interlinkages to renewable energy technologies. 

1995

The Headquarters office moves from Melbourne, Australia to Freiburg, Germany and becomes a focal point for international projects.

2002

The first woman elected as President. Prof. Anne Grete Hestnes takes office on 01.01.2002. ISES participates in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa.

2003

ISES releases the first White Paper "Transitioning to a Renewable Energy World" by Dr. Donald Aitken, outlining the rationale for effective governmental renewable energy policies world-wide.

2004

Together with the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA), ISES founds the International Renewable Energy Alliance (Ren Alliance). Further partners join in 2007 (World Geothermal Association) and 2009 (World Bioenergy Assocation). The goals of the Alliance is to advance policies that favour the increased deployment and use of renewable energy.

2005



ISES Society celebrates its Golden Jubilee at the Solar World Congress in Orlando/Florida, USA in August 2005. The ISES publication "The Fifty-Year History of the International Solar Energy Society and its National Sections" is released at the Congress.

ISES launches the Pocket Reference Books with the release of the first book "Solar Energy Pocket Reference".

ISES releases the second White Paper "Rapid Transition to a Renewable Energy World", by Prof. Dieter Holm presenting a rationale for effective policies to advance renewable energies in the developing world. 

2006

ISES participates in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) 14th session and hosts a side-event focusing on renewable energy in developing countries.

2007



ISES inaugurates the Solar Carport at the Headquarters Office, Villa Tannheim in Freiburg. 

ISES hosts a side-event focusing on 100% renewable energy in Asia and Africa at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) 15 session.

2008



The gas heating system is replaced with a wood pellet heater at the ISES Headquarters - another step towards making the ISES offices CO2 neutral. 

The second pocket reference books "Wind Energy Pocket Reference" is released.

2009



The ISES Solar World Congress is held in Johannesburg, South Africa (only the second time the SWC is held on the African continent).

The pocket reference book "Passive Solar Architecture" is published.

2011

ISES hosts a side-event at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 17th Annual Meeting in Durban, South Africa together with the partners of the REN Alliance. This is the third side-event ISES has organised at the international Climate Change Conferences (in 2008 & 2010).

2014

ISES initiates the ISES webinar series, providing high-quality, sound renewable energy education and outreach to online participants all over the world. The webinar series continues and is free and accessible to all.

The ISES EuroSun 2016 was held in Aix-Les-Bains, France (16 - 19 September 2014).
 
ISES International Experts Network (IEN) launched - join.ises.org/ien

2015

ISES celebrates 20 years of ISES headquarters in Freiburg with an open-house event with special guest Prof. Joachim Luther. 

The ISES Solar World Congress 2015 is held in Daegu, Korea and attracts over 600 scientists and engineers from all over the world. 

The 2015 ISES Awards are given to:

  • Farrington Daniels Award ‐  Prof. Richard Perez, USA
  • Achievement through Action Award – Prof. Klaus Vajen and his research group at the
  • Department of Solar and System Engineering, the Institute of Thermal Energy Engineering, University of Kassel, Germany  
  • Global Leadership Award in Advancing Solar Energy Policy – Prof. Shi Dinghuan, China

Together with the REN Alliance, ISES holds a side-event at the COP21 in Paris titled "Renewables Working Together- Case Studies".

ISES Conference Proceedings database launched - proceedings.ises.org (open-access)

2016

ISES EuroSun 2016 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain (11-14 October 2016)

ISES organizes side-event at COP22 in Marrackech, Morocco: "Renewables Working Together" with the REN Alliance

Solar Energy journal increases to 18 issues per year (up from 12 per year) and introduces Subject Area Editors.  Prof. Yogi Goswami (Editor-in-Chief of Solar Energy) is awarded the Karl W. Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit. 

2017

ISES will hold the ISES Solar World Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi (29 Oct - 02 Nov 2017).

The first ever Renewable Transformation Challenge is launched by Elseiver and ISES.