Shuji Nakamura and Jayant Baliga are the laureates of the Global Energy Prize

Shuji Nakamura and Jayant Baliga. Source:

Shuji Nakamura and Jayant Baliga. Source:

The Global Energy Prize was awarded on June 19, 2015 at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The 2015 laureates are Japanese-born University of California Professor Shuji Nakamura and Indian-born University of North Carolina Professor Jayant Baliga.

The international Global Energy Prize is awarded for outstanding scientific research and scientific-technological developments. The main prerequisite is that they must help increase the effectiveness and ecological security of the Earth's energy sources in the interests of humanity.

The 2015 laureates' revolutionary discoveries have changed modern energy and generated substantial commercial benefits. Professor Nakamura invented the blue LED source that helped develop energy-efficient white-LED illumination. For his development he was already awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014. Professor Baliga, who won the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2010, invented the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor. This is one of the most important developments in the field of managing and distributing electric energy and one of the founding elements of the Smart Grid, a device intended to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of electricity use.

"I always tell students and young scientists that the most important thing is their scientific idea," Nakamura told RBTH. "It cannot resemble any existing one. It has to be carefully thought out, both from the technological and commercial viewpoints, and it must be capable of efficiently solving the industry's concrete challenges."

Meanwhile, Baliga remarked that industrially developed countries must create maximally favorable market conditions for the mass development of renewable energy sources and the introduction of smart energy systems. He is convinced that mankind's voyage to green energy will take about 15 years.

Since 2003 a total of 33 scientists from 10 countries have received the Global Energy Prize. In 2015 the prize is worth 33 million rubles (about $558,000). The award was established in Russia with the support of Russia's leading energy companies: Gazprom, Surgutneftgaz and the Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System. The laureate selection process is carried out by the Global Energy International Award Committee, which is composed of 25 leading scientists from 13 countries. The nomination list this year consisted of more than 2,800 scientists from 60 counties.

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