Winners of the Global Energy Prize Announced

By Elena Zhuk, April 26, 2013

The International Award Committee for the Global Energy Prize has selected the 2013 Prize Winners – Professor Akira Yoshino (Japan) and Vladimir Fortov, RAS academician, Director of RAS United Institute for High Temperatures (OIVT), a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Skolkovo Fund.

Akira Yoshino has been chosen for the 2013 Global Energy Prize in recognition of his ground-breaking work in the development of the lithium-ion rechargeable battery for mobile electronic devices, electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. At the press conference, Professor Yoshino said he plans to continue to work on the use of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, adding that in the near future the battery recycling technology will be available to the automotive industry.

Academician Vladimir Fortov was awarded the Prize for research into thermodynamic, thermophysical, and high-power impulse energy equipment used in pulse generators, high-current limiters, simulators of lightning from high voltage power lines and high-efficiency energy converters.

The annual bonus pool of the Global Energy Prize is 33 million rubles (approximately $1.17m). Each winner will get half of this amount and a golden medal, which will be presented by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

The prize, awarded since 2003 to 27 scientists from nine countries (Great Britain, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, the United States, Ukraine, France and Japan) was instituted by Global Prize Non-Profit Partnership with the support of leading Russian energy companies – Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz and FGC UES. List of the scientists, who are entitled to be nominated for the prize, covers 2,700 scientists from 59 countries and it is constantly updated.

This year, the hydrocarbon segment got no prizes, but still received some attention. OGE asked the experts of the International Committee and the Supervisory Board about research projects – candidates for the 2013 Prize attracting most attention of oil&gas industry.

"The presence of large new natural gas deposits ensures energy production from hydrocarbon systems. Our goal is to use equipment to capture and store CO2 released during electricity generation from the hydrocarbons,” said the chairman of the International Prize Award Committee Rodney John Allam. "These technologies do exist but they should be improved for better efficiency and lower capital costs, to enable us to use the huge hydrocarbon resources of our planet instead of fusion energy," he added.

Nikolai Laverov, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Vice-president and RAS academician believes that the award is due for research projects on production technologies for shale hydrocarbons. "The United States for the first time in its history literally ensured domestic hydrocarbon supply for its highly developed economy. I believe that the solution to such a challenge deserves to be noticed our committee," he said. Also, the US power plants that previously worked on coal have now been switched to natural gas, which reduced CO2 emissions. In fact, CO2 emissions in the US dived 12% from 2005 to 2011, ranking the country first in the field, ahead of Europe (-8.6%).

This breakthrough ushered in the beginning of a