French physicist Alexandre-Edmond Becquerel discovered the
“photovoltaic effect”, the basic principle of the solar cell.
Bell Laboratories, USA invented a p-n junction crystalline
silicon solar cell.
Due to the first oil crisis, expectations for new and renewable
energy, as an energy source other than oil for energy conversion increased.
Agency of Industrial Science and Technology of the Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MITI) (current National Institute of Advanced
Industrial Science and Technology, (AIST)) started the “New Sunshine Project (R&D
project on new and renewable energy technologies)”.
Due to the second oil crisis, a sense of crisis over stable
energy supply and the necessity to respond to environmental issues increased once again.
The New Energy Development Organization (current New Energy and
Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)) was established as a pioneer of
new and renewable energy development triggered by the two oil crises in the 1970s.