The Global Energy Prize awarded in St. Petersburg
The official Global Energy Prize award ceremony took place today on the 19th of June in St. Petersburg /Russia/ during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. This year’s prize was awarded to Shuji Nakamura -professor of the University of California /USA/ and B. Jayant Baliga - Professor of North Carolina University /USA/. The revolutionary inventions of two scientists changed the modern energy sphere and brought enormous commercial effect.
“The Global Energy Prize - as repeatedly emphasized by the President of Russia – is a prize of the new millennium. It is awarded for exceptional scientific achievement in the field of energy. For scientific ideas that are not just theory, but have practical implementation and serve people”, - said Igor Sechin, president of OJSC Rosneft, head of the Presidential Commission for the Strategic Development of the Energy Sector who awarded the laureates on behalf of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Professor Shuji Nakamura has invented the blue LED which allowed energy-efficient white lighting technology. He was already awarded for his invention with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014.
"As a child I liked to read comic books. My favorite one was the "Mighty atom". Mighty atom was a robot invented by Professor Ochanomizu that fought with the "bad guys". Over the time I desired to invent my own robot that could fight the "bad guys". This is how I’ve started my journey to becoming a scientist", - Shuji Nakamura shared with the audience.
Professor B. Jayant Baliga, who has already been awarded by the President of the United States with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (the highest engineering award), invented the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor which is one of the most important innovations for the control and distribution of energy. His technology forms the basis for famous smart grids. In the last 25 years, IGBTs saved over 73,000 TWh of energy, over 6 trillion gas liters, and decreased CO2 emissions by 49.5 billion metric tons. “The customer's savings exceeded $23.7 trillion”, - declared Prof. Baliga, adding that he aims to continue development of research in this filed.
"I am happy to be awarded with the Global Energy Prize this year. For me personally it is a great honor. But more important is that this award attracts the world's attention to my invention – the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor – and its implication for billions of people around the globe. In 1969 when I came to the United States from India, my dream was to create a technology that would benefit the whole humankind", - B. Jayant Baliga said.
"Inventions of the scientists - are real global ideas, because they apply to everyone in every country. And they really change the world, fully complying with the concept of the "Global Energy", - Igor Sechin concluded.
Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Russia Takehito Harada read the greetings from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pointed that this is the third time when scientist from Japan is honored by the award. "Japan and Russia have established the diplomatic relations 160 years ago in 1855; the two countries have gone through various affairs, but keep on maintaining and developing the bilateral relations. Following the strategic and long-term perspective, I would like to further develop our cooperation in various spheres and raise the Japanese-Russian relations to a higher level. The mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of energy and innovations is an important element of the Japanese-Russian relations that has great potential and new opportunities "- he said.
The Global Energy Prize is an independent award for outstanding scientific research and technological development in energy, which contribute to efficiency and environmentally friendly energy sources for the benefit of humanity. Since 2003, The Global Energy Prize has been awarded to 33 Laureates from 10 countries: the UK, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, USA, Ukraine, France, Sweden and Japan. The final choice of Laureates is decided by The Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, which consists of 25 respected scientists from 13 countries. The nominating pool of the Global Energy Prize is represented by 2800 scientists from 83 countries of the world.
The award was established in Russia with the support of leading Russian energy corporations Gazprom, Surgutneftegas and the Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System.