Over 500 in race for Zayed Energy Prize
Abu Dhabi, September 4, 2013
The Zayed Future Energy Prize, a coveted prize for demonstrated renewable energy and sustainability solutions, closed its submissions for 2014 with 552 entries.
Launched in 2008, the $4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize has gained international recognition and built a strong reputation as the most influential distinctionin the renewable energy and sustainability community. In five years, the Prize has rewarded 21 innovators and impacted communities worldwide.
The submissions and nominations have come in from 88 countries worldwide including Southeast Asia, the Mena, Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania.
The Global High Schools category, which was introduced in 2012, has received a record number of submissions, up 49 per cent from last year, said the The Zayed Future Energy Prize panel.
The close of submissions follows an extensive outreach campaign to raise awareness on the award in key markets such as North America, South Africa, Asia (China, Japan, Korea and India), and Europe (United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden).
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: "Over the years, we have witnessed a steady growth in submissions from the emerging markets around the world. We believe we have come to a critical point – where encouraging, rewarding and awarding innovation in renewable energy through funding and investments is vital for the industry’s growth and success."
The Prize, he stated, plays a key role in complementing these efforts to catalyse the renewables industry.
“Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, our founding father and namesake of the Prize, left a legacy of collaboration that is woven into the fabric of our development. The Prize, launched by the visionary leadership of the UAE, takes this legacy forward,” he added.
Commenting on the increase in Global High Schools submissions, Dr Al Jaber said the schools category underscores the objective of the Prize to encourage and reward the next generation’s efforts in shaping a better future for all.
"It is encouraging to see that our fastest growing category is one that involves the active participation of high school students. They are taking the initiative – ensuring that the future is in their own hands," he noted.
There has been a nine per cent increase in submissions from emerging markets with a record 57 per cent jump from renewable energy powerhouse, China.
The Prize is awarded annually in five categories – large corporation, small and medium enterprise, non-governmental organization, lifetime achievement and high schools - to companies, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change.
Dr Al Jaber said candidates are evaluated by a stringent four-tier process by the jury, comprising heads of state, leading academics, energy experts and world renowned personalities with an interest in sustainability, discuss and select winners and runners up across the five categories by unanimous vote in the fourth and final round of the evaluation.
This year, the Prize welcomed two new members to the jury -Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and Ratan N Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony scheduled for January 20, as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.-TradeArabia News Service