Integration of energy resources. The Global Energy Prize laureates explained how to build an environmentally sustainable world
On October 1st the first official press conference of the 2019 Global Energy Prize laureates Khalil Amine (USA) and Frede Blaabjerg (Denmark) was held. Scientists discussed their innovative projects and scientific developments they were awarded for. The Global Energy Prize Award Ceremony will take place within the Russian Energy Week International Forum on October 3rd at 11.30 (Plenary conference hall).
Rae Kwon Chung, the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee Chairman, UN Secretary-General’s High-level Expert and Leaders Panel (HELP) on water and disasters, Adviser to the Chair, Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, opened the press conference. The expert noted that the developments of the laureates in the field of energy conservation and integration would not only solve the infrastructural industry problems but also contribute to the electrification of remote regions of the world and serve sustainable development goals. “The UN Agenda 2030 is crucial. $ 2.2 trillion in annual investment is needed to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy sources,”- Rae Kwon Chung cited the details of the report ‘Energy in the New Technological Cycle’. The report was based on the results of the VIII Global Energy Prize Summit. «As long as manufactures keep their investment decisions in traditional fossil fuel assets, and are not ready to shift subsidies towards green energy, the necessary changes for the industry can be provided by new structural technologies for energy storage and transfer. These innovations will contribute to the further decarbonization of the global energy system and will help the transition to the new technological cycle, which is designed to provide a better quality of life for everyone living on the planet”, - the expert summarized.
Dr. Khalil Amine (USA) was the first to present his developments. He won in the nomination of ‘New Ways of Energy Application’. The Global Energy Prize is awarded to him for ‘outstanding contribution into the development of the efficient electrical energy storage technology’. The scientist is a world champion in publications about accumulator batteries. His research is associated to the inventions of new cathodes and anodes for lithium-ion batteries, used in the development of new liquid-polymer electrolyte systems, lithium-oxygen, lithium-sulfur, sodium-ion batteries. The battery cells developed by Dr. Amine are used in many corporations such as BASF, Envia, LG Chemical, Microvast, Samsung Chemical, TODA, and Umicore. At the press conference, he shared the main stages of his scientific career. He pointed out that his major accomplishment is NMC cathode. At present, it is widely used in household electric appliances and in electric vehicles such as Chevy Volt, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Fiat Chrysler, BMW I3 and I8, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai. The battery technology proposed by Khalil Amine is used in many fields, including storage for electricity generated from renewable sources, which in turn can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of air on the planet. «The increasing climate crisis was my biggest motivation to start looking at new ways to develop materials that would accumulate more energy and would be used in automotive and smart electricity grids», said the expert. Not so long ago, the scientist developed a new superoxide battery system capable to yield up to five times more energy than lithium-ion batteries. This discovery gave impetus to a new round of research aimed at increasing the energy density of batteries and reducing costs on expanding the electrification of vehicles. Also, Khalil Amine took part in the invention of an innovative electrolyte, which led to creation of the first microstimulator Bion. The device can be implanted into the human body to restore the functions of its part, paralyzed after a heart attack.
Danish professor Frede Blaaberg, an expert in the field of power electronics, won in the nomination ‘Non-Traditional Energy’. He became the Global Energy Prize laureate ‘for outstanding technical contributions to the design of power management systems enabling the integration of renewable power’. The scientist made a number of inventions in the field of variable speed drive technology, and today they are regularly applied in wind turbines, and allow for rational generation of electricity, saving tens of millions of dollars a year. Frede Blaabjerg also provided important solutions for integrating the photovoltaic plants and wind turbines in the power grids. These technologies are required for reliable and sustainable functioning of the energy systems in general. Today the installed capacity of these plants exceeds 1000 GW. Among other things, the Professor is working on the new conceptual methods to ensure the reliability of power electronics for renewable energy sources in order to reduce the cost of energy converters while increasing their stability. During his speech Professor Blaabjerg pointed out that he began his career in the field of power electronics around 30 years ago. At that time, he had already noticed a large number of areas of its potential application, including renewable generation, large-scale high power transmission, adjustable speed drives for robotics, electric vehicles, electric ships, and etc. According to the scientist, the current boom of the vehicles electrification is just the top of the technological iceberg. «And this is just the beginning of an era where electrical power conversion will make a big difference in the societies – both in terms of better performance and very efficient power conversion. Electrical power conversion and processing by means of power electronics is a key technology for a modern and more sustainable world», - the expert concluded.