The Global Energy Prize laureate 2015

This man is often called “the Power Broker”, that is not just a seller or mediator, but also a player who takes risks and acts in situations of uncertainty.

He is also known as “the guy with the biggest negative carbon footprint in the world!” It’s all because Dr. Baliga’s IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor), a semiconductor device able to switch energy hundreds of thousands of times per second depending on the voltage, has made it possible to save over 73000 TW of power and reduced CO2 emissions by 49.5 bln metric tons in the recent 25 years. Consumer saving amounted to $23.7 trn! Before the invention of Dr. Jayant Baliga, Indian-American engineer and researcher, the majority of engines had been asynchronous, and their speed was regulated by the frequency of the power line. Therefore, when a machine needed less power, its work could not be slowed down and then again accelerate, when the voltage grew up. No wonder that the electric devices of the past were immensely inefficient. The motors of the that time operated on full power all the time and knew only one button: “on” or “off”. Dr. Jayant Baliga taught motors to turn on and off independently. Dr. Jayant Baliga taught motors to turn on and off independently, reduce or increase the amperage automatically depending on the need of the device in electricity in the voltage range from hundreds of Volts up to 10 KV. Today, IGBT is widely used in consumer, industrial, lighting units, transportation and medical devices, renewable energy sources and other industries, and the efficiency of the whole digital equipment and computers has grown up tremendously. When Jayant Baliga was already recognized, famous and even a little great and was accepted in National Inventors Hall of Fame, and his name was next to Edison, Tesla, Paster, Daimler and Right brothers, he was asked many times why he had chosen science and research. And Dr. Baliga would always answer: “When I went to the United Stated, I was only 21. I remember myself writing in my postgraduate entrance papers that I wanted to do something useful for the society. People might think that this is too naive and idealistic, but I have really achieved this and it means I was not as naive as that! For me, it has always been important not just to create something new, but to create something beneficial for other people!” entrepreneur. Holder of over a hundred of patents, in 1999-2000 he established three venture companies for licensing and commercializing of its developments: Giant Semiconductor Corporation, Micro-Ohm Corporation, Silicone Wireless Corporation (later renamed in Silicon Semiconductor Corporation). “My mission was to benefit the society by my inventions, since it makes no sense to keep them at home on paper”, he noted. Once Baliga was asked what he feels when he understands that ordinary people know nothing about is magic inventions, he replied open-heartedly: “I was lucky to become useful, it’s exactly what I dreamt about in my younger years. That’s what matters to me, regardless of people knowing or not knowing about my inventions”. 

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