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Zayed Future Energy Prize to crown winners
BY A STAFF REPORTER January 13, 2017
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ABU DHABI: The Zayed Future Energy Prize will announce the winners of its ninth cycle during the awards ceremony, which follows the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) on Jan.16.

To date, 48 winners have been recognised by the Zayed Future Energy Prize 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, off-setting over 1 billion tons of carbon emissions, and ensuring 17 million children of school age can study at night using innovative solar-powered utilities.

Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Dr Nawal Al-Hosany 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.”

Al-Hosany continued: “2016 was a truly exceptional year for the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Not only did we receive a record 1,676 entries from across 103 countries, but we passed another important milestone – a lifetime total of more than 10,000 submissions and nominations.”

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. In the remaining two categories the prize will announce the recipients of the Large Corporation category and the Lifetime Achievement awards.

Last year 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. 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 announced as 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 Jan.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.

On Jan.18, the prize will host a roundtable discussion entitled ‘The role of social enterprises and NPOs in delivering a sustainable future for all.’ Jonathon Porritt, Founder of Forum for the Future, will moderate the event which will involve representatives from former Zayed Future Energy Prize winners Off-Grid Electric and Kopernik, and current finalist We Care Solar, amongst others. At the same time, the visiting finalists of the Global High Schools category will participate in workshops hosted by the Petroleum Institute, as part of their week-long programme of activities in the UAE.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize activities during ADSW will conclude with the participation of two former Global High Schools category winners in “The Festival at Masdar City”. Hosted at Masdar City, the festival is the last event of ADSW 2017. Students from the 2016 award-winning schools will discuss the progress of their Zayed Future Energy Prize-funded sustainability projects.

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