INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Tom Fontaine Tells Us How Greatcell Energy is Generating Power Wherever there is Light Using Perovskite Technology
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tom Fontaine: Not bad. I have 6 kids, and they’ve all done well. We are lucky in Perth. After a serious lockdown and hard borders, businesses have been open now for a while.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Greatcell Energy.
Tom Fontaine: I’m an engineer with 30 years’ experience in starting and building companies. The company Greatcell Energy was listed on the Australian stock exchange, with a Market Cap of $67M, but it went bankrupt in Dec 2018. A group of us rescued the company, as it has a great 3rd generation solar technology that has the potential to disrupt the renewable energy industry.
How does Greatcell Energy innovate?
Tom Fontaine: We are world leaders in making solar cells from perovskite materials. It has the potential to provide solar power at a fraction of the cost of current solar technologies.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Tom Fontaine: We had to stop production and operations for 6 months. Some of our operations are in Italy. We are now slowly getting back to the lab and setting up a production facility in New South Wales.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Tom Fontaine: Yes. Learned to work much more effectively remotely.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Tom Fontaine: Meditation. Going for walks.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tom Fontaine: Oxford PV. Saule Technologies. This technology area is such a new field that there are very few commercial products.
We are working towards developing some of the first commercial perovskite-based products.
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