Atilla Naga writes in Gizmodo (27/4/14):
"Sixty years ago, scientists at Bell Labs in New Jersey announced that the world finally had an efficient way to turn sunlight into electricity. On April 25, 1954, Daryl Chapin, electrical engineer, Gerald Pearson, physicist, and chemist Calvin Fuller demonstrated their invention, the first practical solar cell. It was made of silicon — which, by the way, would later become the prime ingredient in computer chips."
See the following link for a "collection of images shows the wide variety of amazing, sometimes weird, and even funny usage of solar cells — whether from inside your pocket or in Earth’s orbit." http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/04/60-years-ago-today-bell-labs-unveiled-the-solar-cell/
In Australia, photovoltaic panels started to become commercially available towards the end of the 1970s - about the time Going Solar started (in 1978).
Telecom did a lot of work developing photovoltaics and battery storage to power communications across Australia. It could be argued that thanks to solar power in remote areas we have a sophisticated communications system and thanks to communications we have had significant advances in solar power.
The photos show a progression of development in solar panel technology – and in the wide variety of applications. But I predict that rapid developments in the near future will be even more exciting and spectacular.
Stephen Ingrouille, Going Solar