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RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN ENERGY

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.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy have awarded the winners of «The Energy of Youth»

On November 19th members of the Board of Trustees of the “Global Energy”, Non-profit partnership,  Deputy Prime Minister Arcady Dvorkovich and Minister of Energy of Russia Alexander Novak  awarded the winners of the XII All-Russian contest of Youth scientific projects «The Energy of Youth». Research teams from Korolev, Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg received 1 million rubles each for the continuation of their research. Their technologies will solve the issue of new biofuel production and remote power supply of the aircrafts, as well as will bring Russian geological exploration to a new level.

The award ceremony was attended by the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, and Chairman of the Board of PJSC "Sberbank of Russia" Herman Gref.

Active and generating new ideas young scientists are the future of the domestic energy industry. The “Global Energy”, Non-profit Partnership supports them through the All-Russian contest of Youth scientific projects «The Energy of Youth». Every year young scientists under the age of 35 are competing for the grant. The winners are determined by the independent experts from The Commission of Experts of the Global Energy Prize. The necessary conditions for the victory are the practical application of the technology and possibility for its commercialization.

That is, in particular, what Alexander Novak was interested in during his communication with the 2015 winners. Congratulating them, he emphasized the importance of their research to the development of Russian energy sector and wished them further success in their projects.

Projects of the winners solve important energy problems and prove that the technology of the future are already developed now. The first young scientist who received a grant was Ivan Matsak from Korolev. The research team under his leadership is working on a remote power supply of the aircrafts and robotic devices with the infrared light on the ground and in the space. Today the unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, are already used everywhere: starting from the delivery of goods from online stores to the filming industry, movies, stories, and even restaurant delivery service. According to the Court of Auditors of the USA, the use of drones all around the world can bring over 82.1 billion dollars income. These prospects also require some improvements in the device itself: it is necessary to increase the time of its flight, which now lasts from 15 to 40 minutes. Ivan Matsak’s team actually solves the problem of power supply. Young scientists mounted a small solar battery to a drone which is charged with a laser beam directed to it from some remote point. This technology can enlarge the flight time of drones up to 24 hours without landing.   «The Increased range and flight time, plus an improved carrying capacity through the use of our technology is a new step for the drones. They will be able to solve even larger range of tasks and become even more widespread” - says Ivan Matsak. - "We are preparing an experiment on wireless transmission of energy that is a different class of applications for satellites. Well, in the long term plans it may also be used to transmit energy from space to earth. "

The second 2015 winner  is Alexey Bychkov from Novosibirsk. His team was able to significantly improve the efficiency of widely known bioethanol. Traditionally, biofuels are produced from agricultural and wood industries waste products: sawdust, straw and even rice husks. Derived material consists of two components: carbohydrates and lignin. The greater the percentage of the latter, the higher the combustion temperature. Bychkov’s team was able to increase the proportion of lignin by crushing the raw material; this allows it to enter into chemical reactions easier and to get rid of the “unnecessarily” carbohydrates. The percentage of lignin in the obtained substance is 3.5 times higher than the average market results and accounts for 70%. “A combustion heat of the simple raw material is about 20 MJ / kg. This is an average number. With the use of our technology, we can reach a value of 26 MJ / kg. This figure is typical for a brown coal "- says Alexey Bychkov.-" Moreover, our biofuel is completely safe for the environment and its energy intensity is much higher than that of other "green" energy sources such as wind, sun and waves." Another important advantage of the technology is that it solves the problem of waste disposal. Today Russia annually produces more than 340 million tons of waste in crop production and in the wood processing industry. And no more than 1 million from this number is actually being used. The rest of the waste is being burned or left to rot in the open air. For comparison, the United States use biomass to produce up to 70 billion kilowatt-hours of energy, Germany - more than 40 billion. Other countries are also speeding up in using this technology. Bychkov team’s project may help to eliminate the backlog in the field of biotechnology.

The third grant this year was awarded to Sergei Koshcheev from St. Petersburg. His research team knows how to detect oil and gas with a super powerful “laser pointer”. Moreover, this method can be applied at a significant distance. "A cloud of hydrocarbon molecules accumulates over any area, either land or sea. They can be caught with the help of our laser analyzer "-, says Sergey Kashcheev. -"Laser sensing will not only help to determine the presence of energy resources, but also will allow forecasting of oil and gas fields’ potential and selection of the best point for deep drilling." The device facilitates considerably the exploration of hard-to-reach deposits. By increasing the accuracy of detection of raw materials, it also saves time and money spent on the exploration. On top of that, its effectiveness does not depend on the weather, moreover, the device is able to process the received information by itself and then send it to the center. This research method is three times more effective than its counterparts: Kashcheev’s “laser pointer” will need less than a day to analyze 1 square kilometer of territory. According to the scientist, the main “consumers” of this technology will become Russia's largest energy companies. Thus, they will be able to solve the problem of field research in difficult context, e.g.  Arctic shelf. Prospective foreign markets are Saudi Arabia, the United States, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

As a recall, the All-Russian contest of Youth scientific projects the “Energy of Youth” has been held annually since 2004. Over the last 11 years, 191 young scientists from 43 research centers have received the grant. The total amount of allocated funds is RUB 35.5 million.

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