President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome to St Petersburg the prominent representatives of the scientific and business communities and our esteemed foreign guests here on the stage and in the audience.
The Global Energy Prize award ceremony is taking place for the fifth time now. Over these years it has become not just a traditional annual event but has taken on increasing significance.
Energy development is more and more becoming the guarantee of stability and progress in the world. Reliable energy supplies directly determine countries’ economic success and the quality of life for millions of people around the world.
This is why we made energy one of the main items on the agenda at the G8 summit in St Petersburg last year. The German presidency of the G8 ensured that discussions on this vital issue continued at the summit in Heiligendamm this year.
Russia will continue to support research into innovative energy technology, environmental safety, energy efficiency and energy conservation. Overall, we will help to strengthen the energy sector’s scientific potential. Our efforts to address the problems in the energy sector will be crucial for resolving the paramount issue facing all of humanity today – that of preserving our environment.
We will work on encouraging innovative developments from the best scientific and international schools. The Global Energy Prize is part of these efforts and I would like to express my sincere congratulations to this year’s laureates.
They are: Academician Vladimir Yeliferyevich Nakoryakov, from Novosibirsk, and his colleague Jeffrey Hewitt from the United Kingdom. They have achieved outstanding results in developing thermal energy technology.
And I also offer my warmest congratulations to our other laureate, Professor Thorstein Sigfusson of Iceland. The jury had high praise for his research into the use of hydrogen energy.
I note that 150 different works were nominated for the prize this year, and that we are seeing increasingly active participation from young scientists, researchers and engineers.
The Foundation’s youth programme has got off to a successful start and more than 200 higher education establishments and scientific centres in the Russian Federation are now involved in this national competition.
I hope that the jury will continue to give serious attention to this area because young scientists represent our hopes for the future.
In conclusion, I once again congratulate this year’s laureates on their deserved achievement and I wish you and everyone working in the energy sector new discoveries and great new results.
Thank you very much for your attention.