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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 2015 Global Energy Prize laureates are announced in Moscow

Today one of the most important events of the year in the field of energy has happened: the Global Energy Prize laureates were announced during the official press conference in Moscow. This year this prestigious award recognizes Professor Jayant Baliga – for innovation in the field of energy control and distribution and Professor Shuji Nakamura -   for invention, commercialization and development of energy efficient white LED lightning technology. The laureates will be awarded by the President of Russia with golden medals and huge endowment sum - RUB 33 mln.

Stressing the importance and significance of the Prize, Andrey Murov, the Chairman of the Board of OJSC "FGC UES", has opened the press conference. He said: “FGC UES” is interested directly in growing potential of Russian science and application of scientific and research activities in the electric grid and industry as a whole. The company works closely with academic institutions and research platforms nowadays. Such cooperation has already made a number of breakthrough achievements. Cooperation of science, industry and infrastructure is mutually beneficial and forms the basis for the development of modern society”.

Deputy Director Engineer-in-Chief of OJSC “Surgutneftegaz” Daniil Oleynik has announced the audience the 2015 endowment sum, which is RUB 33 mln.

The 2015 laureates were chosen on April, 21 during the GEP International Award Committee meeting but were kept secretly till the last moment. For the first time in the history of the Global Energy Prize the GEP International Award Committee is chaired by the foreign scientist – the Nobel Prize winner Rodney John Allam from the UK. He announced the names of the short-list nominees. In 2015 it consists of 11 scientists: Segey Alekseenko (Russia), Kemal Hanjalic (Netherlands), Jayant Baliga (USA), Iurii Vasilev (Russia), Youmei Lu (China), Eicke Veber (Germany), Vasiliy Glukhikh (Russia), Russel Dupuis (USA), Shuji Nakamura (USA), Victor Orlov (Russia), Valentin Parmon (Russia).

The laureates found out about their victory during the press conference via phone call which was translated to the audience. American scientist of Indian origin Jayant Baliga is awarded with the Global Energy Prize for invention, development and commercialization of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor which is one of the most important innovations for the control and distribution of energy. In the last 20 years, IGBTs saved over 50,000 TWh of energy, over 1 trillion gas gallons, and decreased CO2 emissions by 75 trillion lbs. Today, IGBTs are the basic element of smart energy systems (smart grids for management and distribution of energy). The scientist’s invention is widely used around the globe, starting from robotics and up to medical equipment.  

Jayant Baliga said the following: "Thank you for this great honor. I started to work on this transistor in 1980 and did not assume what impact my invention could have on the world energy. It became really global. I will be very glad to come to Russia for the award ceremony.”

Invention of American scientist of Japanese origin Shuji Nakamura became a revolution in optoelectronics. The first and foremost advantage of the blue LED is that it opens new approaches to obtaining pure white color. And the efficiency of a white LED is 20 times the one of a traditional incandescent bulb. According to DOE reports, transition to LED-based lighting will allow 300 TW•h savings and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 210 million metric tons only in the USA.

Being awarded with the Global Energy Prize has become for Shuji Nakamura another recognition of his innovation at the top level. Last fall the scientist achieved the Nobel Prize in Physics. Unfortunately, Mr. Nakamura was unable to join the press conference by telephone, because at that moment he flew from Japan to Hong Kong. Laureate’s wife, Yuki Nakamura, was the first one to hear happy news: "This is a great surprise! Its night in Santa Barbara now but to wake up to hear this news is a great pleasure”, - she said – “I'm sure my husband will be happy to receive this award and I hope to go with him in June in St. Petersburg for awarding.”

Finishing the press conference the “Global Energy” Partnership’s President Igor Lobovsky has noted: “Being a Russian citizen, personally I am pity that there are no Russian scientist among the laureates. However, this result proves once again the objectivity and independence of the Global Energy Prize. 2015 laureates are not only outstanding, but really top-of-the-energy progress scientists; they are the elite of global science.”

The monetary part of the award will be divided equally between professor Baliga and professor Nakamura. As a recall, the solemn award ceremony of the Global Energy Prize will be held on June 19 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

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