Abu Dhabi: The Zayed Future Energy Prize will announce the winners of its ninth cycle at an award ceremony, which will follow the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on January 16.
To date, the prize has recognised 48 winners for their continued commitment to delivering a sustainable future, positively influencing more than 289 million lives. This includes providing over 25 million people in Africa and Asia with access to modern, clean energy, offsetting over one billion tonnes of carbon emissions, and ensuring 17 million children of school age can study at night using innovative solar-powered utilities.
Dr Nawal Al Hosani, Director of the Prize, said: “The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the growing global momentum behind efforts to achieve accessible, secure and sustainable energy. Our ninth cycle entrants represent the diversity of organisations and people that are taking leadership in this field and providing a strong benchmark for future applicants to follow.”
She said the prize received a record 1,676 entries from 103 countries in 2016 and achieved another important milestone — a total of more than 10,000 submissions and nominations since inception.
The finalists in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) category are silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies and energy storage firms Sonnen and 24M. These three companies represent two intertwined and growing markets: solar photovoltaics and battery storage technology.
In the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) category, We Care Solar, Practical Action and Solar Sister, organisations that aim to alleviate energy poverty and empower women in developing countries, are vying for the award.
The prize will also reward five of 15 school finalists from across five world-regions (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania) in the Global High Schools category. The prize will also announce the recipients in the Large Corporation category and of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last year’s winners
Last year, 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. The Large Corporation category award was presented to Chinese electric vehicles manufacturer BYD. Tanzanian energy access business, Off-Grid Electric, was the winner in the SME category, while Indonesian non-profit organisation Kopernik was the winner in the NPO category. Joining them were five schools spanning five regions of the globe, who were the winners in the Global High Schools category.
On January 17, delegates from two of last year’s Global High Schools category winners will represent the prize at the second Student Exclusive, a unique youth-oriented event to inspire students’ involvement in renewable energy advancement.
Later that day, the Zayed Future Energy Prize will host the annual Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) conference in partnership with Masdar. The half-day session will see leaders from across government, business and academia discuss methods for maximising women’s roles in pushing the boundaries of innovation.
The following day, the prize will host a round-table discussion on ‘The role of social enterprises and NPOs in delivering a sustainable future for all.’