The Zayed Future Energy Prize recognises individuals and organisations which have contributed to the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. Secondary schools, for example, can win a grant for project proposals that will promote renewable energy and sustainability to students. The prize is now seeking submissions in the UK by the 22 June deadline across the following categories: large corporations, SMEs, NPOs, high schools and lifetime achievement.
Launched by the UAE Government in 2008 and managed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has awarded more than US$22 million to 39 recipients over the last seven years. Two UK organisations have won the prize to date: CDP, an international not-for-profit organisation providing the world’s only global environmental disclosure system, and Okehampton College, which won the global high schools category of the prize in 2013. Last year’s global winners include: Al Gore, Panasonic, M-KOPA Solar, Liter of Light and Petru Rares National College.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize’s selection committee includes members of the World Energy Council, the United Nations Foundation, Forum for the Future, Columbia University, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the International Renewable Energy Agency and others. Once entries are shortlisted, the winners are selected by a jury of former world leaders, academic and corporate presidents and entrepreneurs including: the president of Iceland, HE Olafur Ragnar Grimsson; founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson; the chairman of Tata Trusts, Ratan N Tata; the former prime minister of Korea, Dr Han Seung-soo; the president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy Calvin and others.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, director of sustainability at Masdar and director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “The future of energy will look very different to the industry as it stands today. Creating access to secure, sustainable sources of energy requires new ways of doing things. By recognising and rewarding innovations and outstanding achievements in renewable energy and sustainability, the Zayed Future Energy Prize is helping to address this challenge.”
Jonathon Porritt, Zayed Future Energy Prize selection committee member and co-founder of Forum for the Future, said: “I have been on the selection committee of the Zayed Future Energy Prize since 2008, and am as enthusiastic about it now as I was right at the start. Given the primacy of sustainable energy and the need for ever-greater sources of funding, initiatives like this prize are an extremely welcome source of additional funding for organisations seeking to make a difference.”
Frances Way, co-chief operating officer of CDP, said: ‘Through our global disclosure platform, CDP collects vital environmental information from companies and cities and provides it to the market. Winning the prize was a significant contribution towards the operation and expansion of this work, as we progress towards an economic system that is sustainable and prevents dangerous climate change.’
Keith Webber, community energy coordinator at Okehampton College, said: “The Zayed Future Energy Prize helped our school to achieve its dream of shifting the balance of our energy consumption to renewables. The prize money helped us to buy a state-of-the-art wind turbine, which, along with other clean tech methods, is now a primary source of power generation for our environmentally sustainable school”.