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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.

The cost of using renewable energy sources was reduced by 80%

Within the framework of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, world-renowned scientists evaluated modern energy trends and gave forecasts of the industry development. The main trend was the increasing role of renewable energy sources. According to experts, in 15 years the gradual reduction of the use of coal and oil will begin, and in 50 years renewable energy sources will take a prominent place among the resources.

According to the Director General, IRENA, a member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Adnan Amin, many countries are currently reviewing their plans for the development of renewable energy production. "Now there are more opportunities for a wider application of renewable energy than there were a few years ago," Mr. Amin said.

According to him, the cost of generating energy from renewable sources has decreased by 80% since 2010. Last year, about 170 gigawatts were produced in this way. This became possible due to significant investments in the industry that were committed. One of the main trends is an increase in the share of solar energy in total production. A few years ago, this type of RES was accounted for only a few percent, but by 2035, this figure will reach 7.4%, and by 2100 will exceed 25%. Such forecasts are contained in the study of the Global Energy Prize Association for the development of international research and projects in the field of energy, which was presented at the SPIEF.

"In the future, renewable sources, nuclear and hydropower will provide up to 50% of the total production. There is no doubt that hydrocarbons will be used less and less,"said Rodney John Allam, chairman of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

High-Level Expert and Leaders Panel (Help) on water and disasters, Advisor to the Chair, Former Principal Advisor on climate change to the Secretary-General of the UN, Contributor to the reports of the IPCC, Rae Kwon Chung believes that the climate changes that are taking place on the planet no longer leave a choice. "Now it seems to great many people that renewable energy is a burden that requires significant additional costs and only in the long term it makes sense. However, this is not quite true. This issue is extremely relevant already today, "he stated.

Adnan Amin stressed that the current situation is a signal not only for scientists but also for the governments of the countries of the world who should fully realize the importance of measures to support the production of energy from renewable energy sources. "Only with joint efforts will it be possible to ensure the sustainable development of this direction," he said.

According to Rae Kwon Chung, an ambitious project to create a super grid for the export of renewable energy sources from Asia can be considered an example of this. "This is not just an idea, but an initiative that does not cause doubts in the implementation. In particular, this is confirmed by the consent of Japanese banks to provide funding, "- he says.

The president of the Global Energy Association, Igor Lobovsky, believes that acknowledgment of the growing attention of the world community to renewable energy sources is also the fact that this year the Global Energy Prize was first awarded for research in the field of renewable energy sources.

This year's laureate is Professor of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the world-famous scientist Michael Graetzel is one of the undisputed leaders in the field of renewable energy, in particular solar energetics. He was recognized as the best «for transcendent merits in development of low cost and efficient solar cells, known as “Graetzel cells”, aimed to creation of cost-efficient, large-scale engineering solutions for power generation». They operate on the principles of photosynthesis– the process similar to biochemical one and used by plants for light energy conversion. "Michael Graetzel's research has made a significant contribution to the development of renewable energy sources. Thanks to his developments, it was possible to significantly expand the range of solar energy applications, "Igor Lobovsky emphasizes.

According to Rae Kwon Chung, Professor Graetzel's research can completely change the rules of the game and finally debunk all doubts about the effectiveness of widespread use of solar energy.

"Photosynthesis is the most important chemical reaction in the world, without which life on the planet would be impossible. Our technology allows us to use this process to generate electricity. On its basis, a whole range of products can be produced: from building materials to innovative portable energy sources. This opens up new markets for the use of renewable energy sources, "says Michael Graetzel.

Michael Graetzel is confident that the awarding of the Global Energy Prize, which is funded by the largest Russian energy companies - PJSC Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz and PJSC FGC UES - will strengthen the introduction worldwide of a commercial deployment of innovative technology that resulted from its Research.

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