Professor Andrés Cuevas has been awarded the 2015 Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics.
The award recognises his scientific merits in the development and characterisation of silicon solar cells, the most common type of solar cell technology.
"There are many people doing excellent work and some have already been recognised but when it happens to you it makes you feel honoured and humbled," Professor Cuevas said.
"In my career I've been lucky to have excellent PhD students and collaborate with many people both in Australia and internationally."
Professor Cuevas is one of the pioneers in the development of bifacial silicon solar cells and he contributed significantly to the development of high-efficiency silicon solar cells.
When he started in the field 40 years ago, Professor Cuevas said solar cells were so expensive people thought it was a technology that would never become mainstream.
His drive to work in this field has always been the dream to provide energy to the world.
"I have tried to contribute to the field in a direct way that industry can use, that the whole of the research community can learn from," he said.
"Having access to this technology could change life so significantly for those 1.3 billion people around the world who have no electricity."
Professor Cuevas will accept the award in Germany on September 14.