June 17, 2005

Russian, German Win Energy-Related Prize

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Russian physicist and Nobel prize winner Zhores Alfyorov and German academic Klaus Riedle, who have won this year's Global Energy Prize, received the Russian award on Friday.

Alfyorov, 2000 Nobel Prize laureate in physics, was awarded for "fundamental research and a significant practical contribution" to the creation of semiconductor converters of the energy applied in the solar and electric power industry.

Riedle, who works for Siemens, was awarded for "development and creation" of powerful high-temperature gas turbines for steam-gas power installations.

"I am overwhelmed by the great honor to receive the prize from the country whose power, energy, science and people I admire," said Riedle.

"Personally I want to endeavor that this award helps to continue efforts for making energy safe and reliable," he said at the ceremony at the Konstantin Palace.

Alfyorov said developments in energy and science are important for the whole world and particularly for the Russian economy.

"The Russian economy should develop not at the expense of selling out its natural resources, but through development of information technologies," Alfyorov said.

The award, established in 2002, was an initiative of Alfyorov and is intended as Russia's answer to the Nobel prizes. It is given for "leading discoveries, developments and inventions in energy and energetics." This year it is worth about $1 million (euro820,000), which will be divided equally by the winners.

The prize criteria are tied loosely to energy-related development, with preference given to work that promotes ecologically clean energy production, boosts energy-conservation mechanisms or makes a breakthrough in research into renewable energy.

Past recipients of the prize include Ian Douglas Smith of the California-based Titan Corp. (TTN)'s Pulse Sciences Division and Gennady Mesyats of the Russian Academy of Sciences.