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Swedish researcher Wins Nordic Bioenergy Prize

Associate Professor Göran Berndes from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has been awarded the Nordic Council of Ministers' Bioenergy prize. The Bioenergy prize consists of DKK 50,000 and a diploma. He was awarded the prize by the Swedish Minister of the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, at the Swedish Energy Convention in Stockholm on Tuesday 16 March.

Göran Berndes. Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell

The prize goes to an individual or organization for an outstanding contribution to the promotion, use or production of bioenergy.

Göran Berndes does research into development of energy systems and of land use, and of interactions between these respective developments. 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. He is the third recipient of the Nordic Council of Ministers' Bioenergy prize and 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 Göran Berndes of the Department of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology.

The adjudication committee emphasis the Nordic bio energy perspectives, which has become more well-known internationally as a consequence of Berndes' work.
"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, Göran Berndes manages a broad international research network on the production of biomass for energy markets within IEA Bioenergy. The network, which presently involves 13 participating countries, including 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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