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Berkeley Lab Distinguished Scientist Art Rosenfeld Wins Global Energy Prize

April 21, 2011
Julie Chao (510)486-6491
News Release

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Distinguished Scientist Art Rosenfeld has been awarded the Global Energy International Prize for his contributions to the field of energy efficiency.

The Global Energy International Prize was established by Russian scientists in 2002 “for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of energy which have proved of benefit to the entire human race.”

In announcing the prize, the organization said: “Arthur Rosenfeld is known for his innovation and technological research in the field of construction of energy-efficient buildings. Arthur Rosenfeld has been honored by fellow scientists by giving his name to a unit of energy savings equaling three billion kilowatt-hours.”

The Prize was announced Wednesday by Nikolay Laverov, Vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and was also awarded to Russian academician Philipp Rutberg for developing energy plasma technologies. The Prize fund of 33 million rubles (USD 1.18 million) will be divided equally between the two laureates. The awards ceremony will be held in June in St. Petersburg.

(Image courtesy California Energy Commission)

(Courtesy California Energy Commission)

The “Rosenfeld” unit was proposed last year as a unit of electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year, the amount needed to replace the annual generation of a 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant.

With a decades-long career in energy analysis and standards, Rosenfeld is often credited with being personally responsible for billions of dollars in energy savings and is viewed by many as “the godfather of energy efficiency.” He started his career at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab in the 1950s as a physicist in the Nobel Prize-winning particle physics group of Luis Alvarez. However, in 1974, he decided to switch his focus to energy and the environment. He founded the Center for Building Science at Berkeley Lab in 1975, where a broad range of energy efficiency standards and technologies were developed over the next 20 years.

Last year he completed two five-year terms on the California Energy Commission and then returned to Berkeley Lab to continue championing scientific solutions for society’s most urgent environmental problems. Rosenfeld was also chosen last year by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to serve on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 12 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit

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