Finnish professor receives Nordic bio-energy award

By Timothy Charles Holmseth
Web exclusive posted July 11, 2008 at 2:55 p.m. CST

Professor Dan Asplund of Finland was awarded the 2008 Nordic Council of Minister's Bio-Energy Prize during a June 25-27 meeting of Nordic ministers.

Swedish Minister of Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson also presented a check for DKK 50,000 ($10,500 American) to Asplund.

Asplund, a 30 year veteran of the bio-energy field, was recognized for his promotion of renewable energy sources and bio-energy technology in both public and private sectors. "I feel privileged to receive the Nordic Council of Minister's Bio-energy Prize," he said. "It has been extremely interesting to have taken part in the development process in bio-energy."

Asplund added, that although many developments have been seen "there is still a great deal of un-tapped potential in the Nordic region."

Asplund has served as manager and professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, was director of the Jyvaskyla Science Park and led Finland's National Bio-energy Technology Program, which was the country's biggest investment ever in biofuels. He has also been active in promoting the Nordic Bio-energy conferences and has co-coordinated the International Energy Organization. Asplund has also served as president of the European Biomass Organization, as well as written hundreds of scientific publications and articles about bio-energy.

The annual award was created to recognize individuals or organizations that exhibit industry dedication and work toward the promotion, use, and production of bio-energy.

This is the second year the award has been presented. Last year Erik Eid Hohle, a Hadeland, Norway, energy farmer received the award.