Arthur H. Rosenfeld, winner of this year's Tang Prize in sustainable development, has expressed his appreciation of the award's recognition of "actual, concrete aspects of complex, interdisciplinary work."
In a video played at the Tang Prize award ceremony in Taipei on Sunday, Rosenfeld apologized for not being able to travel to Taiwan to accept the award in person due to his health, and thanked the judges for the award, calling it a "great honor."
Accepting the award for Rosenfeld was Ashok Gadgil, a scientist and professor from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California.
"He (Rosenfeld) particularly appreciates the recognition conferred by this prize on actual, concrete aspects of complex, interdisciplinary work that is needed to bring societal transition toward sustainable development," Gadgil said at the ceremony after receiving the award.
The 90-year-old Rosenfeld, hailed as "The Godfather of Energy Efficiency," will receive a cash prize of NT$40 million (US$1.27 million) and a research grant of up to NT$10 million to be used within five years, as well as a medal and a certificate.
The Tang Prize was awarded to Rosenfeld "for his lifelong and pioneering innovations in energy efficiency resulting in immense reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions around the world," according to the Tang Prize citation.
"He has led a long and glowing list of innovations in energy efficiency policy, including efficiency standards for refrigerators, air conditioners and freezers, as well as the integration of energy efficiency into building codes," the citation read.
The biennial Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin to honor leading lights from around the world in four fields: sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, Sinology and rule of law.
The first Tang Prize award ceremony was held in 2014.
Rosenfeld is a renowned American physicist, energy expert and former commissioner of the California Energy Commission whose promotion of energy efficiency technologies, standards and initiatives since the 1970s has made California a leader in energy conservation.
He formed the Center for Building Science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and served as its director from 1986-1994.
The center developed groundbreaking energy efficiency technologies such as low emissivity "smart windows" and high-frequency electronic ballasts for compact fluorescent lighting.
A U.S. National Academy of Sciences study in 2001 showed that Rosenfeld's initiatives and innovations will have saved 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions and US$1.8 trillion in energy costs by 2030.
Rosenfeld went into public office in the 1990s, first serving as senior advisor to the U.S. Energy Department's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy from 1994-1999, and later as a California energy commissioner from 2000-2010.
In 2009, he helped California pass the United States' first energy efficiency standards for televisions -- standards that the state estimated at the time would save consumers US$8.1 billion in energy costs over the following 10 years.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel