Associate Professor Göran Berndes from Sweden has been awarded the Nordic Council of Ministers' Bioenergy prize. The Bioenergy prize consists of DKK 50,000 and a diploma. The prize goes to an individual or organisation for an outstanding contribution to the promotion, use or production of bioenergy.
Berndes was awarded the prize by the Swedish Minister of the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, at the Swedish Energy Convention in Stockholm on Tuesday 16 March.
Berndes does research into energy development, land use and the relationship between these and other factors. His focus is on how biomass can be used to reduce the energy system's carbon footprint and the impact of large-scale use of biomass for energy.
Berndes, the third recipient of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Bioenergy prize, was in New Zealand when he got the news that he had won the prize.
"I was sitting in my hotel room struggling with an IPCC report and also had to prepare a lecture. So the phone call was a great energy boost - I was very surprised and happy," said Berndes of the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology.
The adjudication committee emphasise the Nordic bioenergy aspect which Berndes has worked hard to market internationally.
"Berndes has had an extensive international commitment, both as a researcher and an adviser. In all contexts he has worked to show how the Nordic model of large-scale cost-effective bioenergy can be reconciled with the highest aspirations of both environmental and socio-economic objectives", the committee states.
Today, Berndes manages a broad international research network on the production of biofuel within IEA Bioenergy. The network, which covers the Nordic countries, will discuss challenging issues facing bioenergy development over a three-year period.
The Nordic Ministers for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Agriculture, Food and Forestry decided to establish a bioenergy price in 2006. In 2007 the prize went to Norwegian Erik Eid Hohle and to Dan Asplund from Finland in 2008.
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