The Zayed Future Energy Prize has closed submissions for its 10th cycle with a record of 2,296 entries – a 37 percent increase compared to 2016. Nominations for the Large Corporation and Lifetime Achievement categories yielded 1,113 entries, while the remaining 1,183 submissions were for Small & Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation, and Global High Schools categories.
With more renewable energy capacity installed globally in 2016 than ever before, it comes as no surprise that entries were submitted from all corners of the world. Submissions arrived from 112 countries, up from 103 in 2016, representing the broadest geographic reach achieved by the Prize to date. The top-five countries by number of entries are India, Mexico, USA, Brazil and China. An increase in entries has also been seen from Russia and the Nordic region, namely Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
“It is heartening to see the continuing growth of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, as well as its ability to reach people and organisations of all levels globally. Its role in giving due recognition and reward to innovators and advocates of renewable energy and sustainability serves as a catalyst for driving the sector forward. Year on year, we see the impact of the Zayed Future Energy Prize on the lives of people around the world, be it in remote regions or cosmopolitan cities,” said His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former president of the Republic of Iceland and Chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury.
This year saw a doubling in Global High Schools category submissions from the UAE, which climbed to be among the top five participating countries. To date, the achievements of winners of the Global High Schools category have resulted in the reduction of 1,685 tonnes of carbon emissions and the generation of 2.1 million kWh of renewable energy, making a difference to the lives of around 340,000 people in communities around the world.
“The impact of the Zayed Future Energy Prize is a testament of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s inspired vision. It serves to, not only create a mindset of sustainability amongst the youth, but to also mould future generations committed to innovating sustainable solutions for our world. Ultimately, the prize aims to deliver a positive impact to the livelihood of people globally. To date, we are proud to say that it has created a positive change for the lives of 289 million people across the world,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
The Large Corporation and Lifetime Achievement categories of the Zayed Future Energy Prize saw an increase in nominations of 101 percent, indicating the growing number of people and organizations championing the cause of sustainability. Of the 1,113 nominations, 421 were for large corporations and 692 were made for individuals. Submissions from Small and Medium Enterprises also increased by 11 percent to 643 entries, while Non-Profit Organisations provided 256 entries.
With the exception of Global High Schools category submissions, all entries received will undergo a four-stage evaluation process, starting with due diligence through research and analysis before a shortlist is formed by the Review Committee. From the reduced shortlist, entries are examined by the Selection Committee, where a list of finalists is agreed upon. The process culminates in a meeting of the prize jury to select a winning entry in each category. Submissions in the Global High Schools category are considered by the Global High Schools committee following due diligence, before proceeding directly to the Jury. All winners will be announced at an awards ceremony during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2018.
International experts from the energy sector, including the government, policy makers, business and academia are involved at every stage. The jury counts former heads of state, global leaders and world-renowned personalities among its past and present members.