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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Engineering a sustainable society with power semiconductor devices

The 2015 Global Energy Prize laureate, Jayant Baliga, gave a presentation to the IEEE Electron Device Society. He presented his idea of engineering a sustainable society with power semiconductor devices.

Via special webinar engineers from all over the globe (the IEEE has over 400 000 members world-wide and also the portion of those affiliated with Electron Device Society) were able to communicate with the prominent scientist.

Professor Baliga was reviewing the evolution of the IGBT concept and provided examples of its application in various sectors of the economy. Energy savings and carbon emission reduction enabled by IGBT were quantified: improved efficiency derived from IGBT-based automotive electronic ignition systems has reduced gasoline consumption by 1.5 Trillion gallons over the last 25 years. During this time span, adjustable speed motor drives and compact fluorescent lamps have reduced electricity consumption by 73000 TWhrs. The social impact includes consumer cost savings of more than $ 23 Trillion and carbon dioxide emission reduction by over 100 Trillion pounds.

Talking about the embedded character of semiconductor devices technology – since it is hidden from the eyes of society - Jayant Baliga emphasized the special role of the Global Energy Prize in this concern. Thus, he said: “Recently my stream of honors was crowned with the Global Energy Prize. I was really pleased to receive it. The Prize serves the unique role in highlighting technologies that impact energy generation, energy distribution, energy management and energy efficiency.”

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