The Global Energy Prize laureate Valentin Parmon evaluates perspectives and challenges Russia faces in energy field
The first stage of the XV nomination cycle – application period for the Global Energy Prize – is closing today, on December 20. The energy world’s best experts have been offering candidates for the Global Energy Prize 2017 in the course of almost three months. The names of the Prize laureates will be announced in April, 2017.
In 2016 research advisor at the Institute of Catalysis under the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences academician Valentin Parmon was awarded the Global Energy Prize. Being a world-renowned expert in catalytical methods of sun energy transformation, the scientist became the Prize laureate for a breakthrough development of new catalysts in the area of petroleum refining and the renewable sources of energy.
The laureate is convinced that the future of the world energy will be influenced by several main factors: steady growth of the world population, more active implementation of new technologies and lack of availability of fossil fuel. Russia, according to the scientist, faces a number of various challenges. “There are three types of challenges that Russia faces nowadays – short-term or tactical, medium-term and strategic”, - notes Valentin Parmon.
Short-term (tactical) challenges imply the more responsible attitude to the resources distribution. In Russia, according to the scientist, there are such types of materials that are extracted in large amounts, but they are not used properly. “More than 30 mln tones of associated petroleum gas are just being burnt each year and it is the task of Russian chemists to learn how to work with it. Or speaking about coal – I’m convinced that coal power stations and heating stations, which use coal, have future if we manage to master the technologies, which allow us to burn this type of fuel in an absolutely clean way”, - says the scientist.
It is worth mentioning that Russia has achieved a certain progress in this respect: in Siberia there are boiler stations based on the implementation of the technology developed under the scientist’s supervision. This technology implies catalytic combustion of drossy coal. The fuel consumption in such boiler stations is cut by half, whereas biofuel can be used in these stations as well (wood chips, food industry waste).
Medium-term challenges Valentin Parmon sees in the rational use of hydrocarbons, while strategic issues he relates to the implementation of innovative technologies and effective use of inexhaustible source of energy – the sun. “The sun energy comes to the Earth in amounts, which many times exceed perspective demand of humanity. We must develop technologies that allow to transfer this energy into a chemical fuel and use plants’ biomass (I would like to note that the wood production in Russia is comparable by volume to oil extraction with half of wood being just thrown away today)”, - said Valentin Parmon.
What, according to the scientist, will move the Russian energy industry forward in the future? Valentin Parmon believes that the current stress situation in energy presents this kind of impulse. In particular, we should fight the obviously low level of innovative technologies’ financing. “This misfortune must be overcome, otherwise we will have no breakthroughs and will not be able to address any challenges. The current stress situation, nevertheless, can turn to be useful for us – making it possible to step from the concept of “slow pace development” to the true scientific research”, - the laureate is convinced.