Abu Dhabi-UAE: 21 May 2013 – As part of its outreach campaign to increase the number and quality of submissions from the African continent, the Zayed Future Energy Prize participated at the Clean Power Africa conference within the African Utility Week in Cape Town, South Africa, from 14 - 15 May 2013.
Submissions to this year’s edition are open till 5 August for all five categories of the Prize including large corporations, small and medium enterprises (SME), non-governmental organizations (NGO), individual lifetime achievement and global high schools.
Last year, the Prize received 54 submissions from Africa. The Kirya Secondary School in Tanzania emerged as winners of the US$100,000 Global High Schools Prize for the Africa region.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said: “Africa represents large growth potential in the renewable energy sector, and is consequently a key outreach market for the Prize. The continent’s estimated population is expected to double by 2050. This would make it imperative for total energy production to grow exponentially in order to meet escalating demand. Renewable energy offers a cost-effective solution especially in remote, off-grid areas and can also be efficiently utilized for extending electrification grids.
“The growth of renewable energy technology can also play a major role in the economic and social advancement of Africa. Through the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we are keen to encourage and reward organizations, schools and individuals seeking renewable energy solutions across the continent. Accelerating sustainable development across the world will enable us to honour the legacy of our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the namesake of the Prize, who prioritized sustainable living across all spheres of life.”
Represented by its Director, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, the Zayed Future Energy Prize engagement included a brief address to the conference attendees. Dr Al-Hosany explained the Prize’s mandate and objectives – emphasizing that the Prize is part of a larger initiative toward diversifying the energy mix by the UAE government. She also chaired a panel discussion titled ‘Addressing Africa’s energy and water needs – where do we begin.’ During the visit, Prize officials also visited the Jiyana Secondary School l in Johannesburg and hosted a discussion at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria with industry and government officials, to raise awareness on the Prize.
Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company that manages the Zayed Future Energy Prize recently inaugurated a 15-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Nouakchott, the largest solar power installation in Africa. The project is the first utility-scale solar power installation in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania’s grid capacity. The facility produces 25,409 MWh of clean electricity annually, displacing approximately 21,225 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The African Utility Week, which includes a power & water exhibition and the Clean Power Africa conference, brought together over 5,000 experts from the power and water utilities industry as well as senior policy makers and government officials, including Her Excellency Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy for South Africa and member of the Prize jury.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize boasts industry experts, academics, world and thought leaders as part of its Review and Selection Committees, and Jury. In five years, the Prize has rewarded 21 organizations, schools and individuals that have impacted communities across the world. Winners of the sixth edition of the Prize will be announced at the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony scheduled for 20 January, 2014 as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.