Energy Prize

Mohammed bin Rashid, Mohamed bin Zayed honour winners of Zayed Future Energy Prize

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have attended the awards ceremony of the 8th Zayed Future Energy Prize in the presence of a number of world leaders and heads of delegations participating in Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, an energetic blend of stateswoman, physician, manager, politician, and international activist, due to her role in leading the world on issues of global significance. The former Prime Minister of Norway Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland received the Lifetime Achievement award for her long-term and steadfast commitment to sustainability and sustainable development. Today, Dr. Brundtland is the Vice Chair of the UN Foundation and Deputy Chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights.

After receiving the award, Dr. Brundtland paid a rich tributes to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for his work in the field of sustainable development and renewable energy.

The Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, handed out the awards to other recipients.

In the Global High Schools category, there were five winners who were each awarded US$100,000. For Oceania, the winners were the Cashmere High School, New Zealand, in the Asia region, the winners were the Korea Science Academy, in the Africa region, the SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School, Somaliland, in Europe, The Student Research Centre, South Baden-W?rttemberg, Germany, and in the Americas, the Institucion Educativa Gabriel Plazas in Columbia.

In the category of non-profit organisation, NGO, Kopernik of Indonesia won this year's award, valued at US$1.5m, while Off Grid Electric, OGE, won the US$1.5m prize in the Small and Medium Enterprises category.

BYD Company Ltd. of China won the Recognition Award (No monetary value) in the Large Corporation category.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed underlined that the UAE will continue to be a leader in driving sustainable innovations across the globe: "At this critical time in the global dialogue around sustainability and clean energy, the UAE has shown farsighted leadership in ensuring innovation plays a central role in addressing the world’s common concerns. Because of this, Abu Dhabi is a focal point for action that carries us along the path of sustainable development. This is a journey that we began under the farsighted vision of our founding father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose legacy defines the UAE’s past and will continue to define its future."

His Highness continued: "Through the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we are recognising the pioneers that dare to push the boundaries of what is achievable through clean energy innovation. These pioneers are the individuals and organisations at the forefront of the transition to a more secure and sustainable world."

For the latest edition of the prize, a record 1,437 entries were received from 97 countries. The US$4 million prize, that empowers and rewards innovators in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, has now recognised 48 pioneers since its inception in 2008. In the 8 years since, the prize has seen unprecedented growth and a total of 8,502 entries submitted.

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland and Chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, said: "This has been another outstanding year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The record number of submissions is a testament to the leadership shown by the UAE in this field. This is made all the more impressive because of the sheer length and breadth of those that apply to be part of this global community. Those whose innovations are shaping their community today right through to those young people who are the next generation of leaders, innovators, and individuals willing to make a difference to the world around them."

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize: "The prize was established in recognition of the farsighted and persistent belief of our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, that sustainability should underpin the future development of the nation. Today, this principle forms the foundation of the prizes influence across the globe."

From ensuring access to modern energy in rural African villages to empowering Bangladeshi women with careers as solar technicians, more than 202 million people around the world have experienced the sustainable actions of the Zayed Future Energy Prize winners. Through progressive achievements recognised by the awards, water security is now a reality for millions of families across Bangladesh, India, Ghana and the Philippines, Renewable energy sources supply electricity to a population the size of Italy and enough carbon emissions have been avoided to off-set the price of global deforestation for a year.

Dr Al Jaber, highlighted how the prize is a beacon for those innovating in sustainability: "The prize is empowering ideas and knowledge-exchange that are on the frontline of ushering in a more sustainable future. It is only through the ability to recognise and foster these ideas that we are able to support those who are truly re-shaping communities across the globe. It is this that ensures the UAE is playing a predominant role in delivering what are fundamental human rights for all – the right to water, energy and a sustainable future."

Today the prize recognises pioneers of renewable energy and sustainability across five categories: Large Corporation, SME, NPO, Lifetime Achievement and the most recent addition, Global High Schools. Each year, the prize evaluates entries in each category based on their impact, innovation, leadership and long-term vision. It is at the end of this stringent evaluation process that the esteemed members of the Jury decide upon the winners. An increasingly difficult challenge due to the continuing rise in calibre of entries.

In 2012, the Global High Schools category was launched as part of the UAE leadership’s commitment to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and educating future generations about sustainability. Now in its fourth year, the prize has empowered 19 schools to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their schools and curricula.