The choice of the region of Tatarstan to hold the ceremony was no mere coincidence.
The Republic of Tatarstan is well known in Russia and beyond as a major centre of both traditional technologies of oil production and the petrochemical industry and alternative energy ideas.
The procedure for selecting the Global Energy Prize laureates takes place traditionally at a closed session of the International Award Committee, made up of some 20 leading academics, energy experts from 13 countries.
In 2021, a total of 106 nominations were received in conjunction with the prize.
In the first stage, the long list consisted of scientists from 36 countries – precisely three times the number received in 2020 (12 countries) and nearly double the number in 2019 (20 countries).
For the first time this year, nominations were received from Eastern Europe – Hungary and Latvia – and from Africa – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria, Togo and Zimbabwe – and Latin America – Mexico and Uruguay. For the first time, women were among the candidates – from India, Kazakhstan and the United States.
In the second stage, after an assessment by independent experts, a short list of 15 names was established for consideration (five in each category). These are prominent scientists from China, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The short list of nominees for the Global Energy Prize 2021:
Sunil Kokal (Saudi Arabia) Principal scientist, EXPEC Advanced Research Center Saudi Aramco: For research experience in sustainability and enhanced oil recovery.
Amit Goyal (United States) Founding Director, RENEW Institute, University of New York at Buffalo: For ground-breaking research that had a major and transformational impact on the field of high-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials.
Zinfer Ismagilov (Russia) Institute of Coal Chemistry and Material Science, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences: For his contribution to the field of carbon chemistry, chemistry of carbon materials and heterogeneous catalysis.
Leo Lorenz (Germany) Executive Technology Advisor, Infineon Technologies AG: For introducing advanced energy-efficient technology based on power electronics to achieve sustainable reductions in C02 emissions to limit global warming.
Zhijun Jin (China) Dean of the Institute of Energy, Peking University: For fundamental research and exploration with focus on the hydrocarbon accumulation mechanism, hybrid hydrocarbon generation from organic-inorganic interaction, the evaluation method of oil and gas resources, deep marine carbonate sequence of oil and gas, marine shale gas and the China-Russia crude oil pipeline.
Suleyman Alakhverdiev (Russia) – Head of the Controlled Photosynthesis Laboratory, L.A. Timirzayev Institute of Plant Physiology: For an outstanding contribution to the development of alternative energy, phenomenal scientific achievements of artificial systems for alternative energy, a cycle of scientific works in the field of bioenergy and hydrogen energy, for the promotion of the efficiency and environmental safety of energy sources.
Arthur Ragauskas (United States) – Governor’s Chair for Biorefining, University of Tennessee, Knoxville: For his educational excellence that resulted in technical leaders who are implementing the change to renewable energies based on non-food biomass.
Turhan Veziroglu (United States) – Founder, International Association for the Hydrogen Economy (IAHE): For an outstanding contribution to the research and development of the concept of hydrogen energy, which contributed to the development of this industry in many countries.
Zong Lin Wang (United States) – Director, Centre for Nanostructure Chartacterization, Georgia Institute of Technology: For the invention of triboelectric nanogenerators, for self-powered sensors, Internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence and large-scale blue energy harvesting.
Ib Chorkendorff (Denmark) – Director VILLUM Centre for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals: For setting out the fundamental aspects of catalytic processes, including steam reforming, methanol synthesis and ammonia synthesis.
New ways of energy application
Yi Cui (United States) – Director, Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University: For exceptional contributions in nanomaterials design, synthesis and characterization for energy and the environment, particularly for transformational innovations in battery science and technology.
Ruzhu Wang (China) – Director, Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University: For innovation, application and commercialisation of high efficiency heat pumps and rational use of low-grade thermal energy for heating and cooling.
Mikhail Predtechensky (Russia) – Member of the academic board, C.C. Kutateladze Institute of Thermal Physics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences: For the development of the scientific basis of single-walled nanotubes, industrial implementation in various materials, including applications in electrochemical power sources, increasing the energy efficiency of many materials and reducing their effect on climate.
Reinhardt Radermacher (United States) – Director, Centre for Environmental Energy Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park: For his leadership in innovation of vapour compression systems to improve energy efficiency and sustainability, his work on alternative refrigerants and non-vapour compression cooling technologies and design of cooling, heating and power systems for buildings.
Omar Yaghi (United States) – Founding director, Berkeley Global Science Institute, University of California, Berkeley: For his pioneering work on ultra-high hydrogen and methane storage, carbon dioxide capture and conversion.