Winners of the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize Announced
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20 January 2014 Share article Abu Dhabi-UAE: 20 January, 2014: His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, reaffirmed today, that under the leadership of the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sustainable development has been placed at the core of the national strategy. In the spirit of safeguarding the nation and its people, the government’s international collaborations are aimed at securing peace and prosperity for all humankind.

His remarks were made at the 2014 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony, held at the Emirates Palace today. Marking the sixth year, the Zayed Future Energy Prize honored nine winners today for their outstanding achievements and excellence in advancing renewable energy and sustainability worldwide. The winners, across five categories, are ABB, Abellon CleanEnergy, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, battery pioneer Wang Chuanfu and five high schools from around the world.

His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised that the Zayed Future Energy Prize underscores the UAE’s commitment to address the global energy and climate challenges. Commenting on the awards, His Highness said: “Through the Prize, we are not only recognising tremendous achievement in renewable energy and sustainability, but also funding the organisations, schools and individuals committed to sustainable development among communities around the world.”

“This is exactly what the Zayed Future Energy Prize set out to do through honouring the legacy that His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God rest his soul, instilled in us,” stated His Highness.
The annual US$4 million prize, established by the United Arab Emirates government, recognizes companies, organizations, schools and individuals across the world that have made significant contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability.

The Prize is awarded in five distinct categories: Large Corporation, Lifetime Achievement, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and the Global High Schools Prize.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, welcomed His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan and thanked him for his direction and support which has been “instrumental and the leading force behind its success.”

“More than ever, the world needs innovators, technologies and initiatives that can address our pressing energy challenges,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. “The Zayed Future Energy Prize recognises individuals, organizations and schools who are committed to creating a cleaner, sustainable future.

“Our wise leadership established this Prize in honour of our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul. Now in its sixth year, the Prize has created a strong group of alumni who continue to champion breakthrough ideas, technologies and programs,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “The collective efforts of our winners and finalists are positively impacting communities around the world. Today, alumni of the Prize are delivering access to energy and water to millions, championing the deployment of renewable energy and are creating job and education opportunities.”

The Global High Schools Prize category – in its second year – was launched to recognize and encourage young people to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their schools. Five schools from five regions were each awarded US$100,000 for their proposed sustainability projects. The five winners are New York-based Bronx Design & Construction Academy from the Americas region; Gheorghe Rosca Codreanu National College in Romania representing Europe; Nkhata Bay School Authority in Malawi for Africa; Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya in India for the Asia region; and Tonga High School representing Oceania.

“This year, we saw a record number of Global High School submissions. It is inspiring to see the youth of today participate in such large numbers. It is a strong indication of their demand for a more sustainable future,” continued Dr. Al Jaber. 

His Excellency Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of the Republic of Iceland and Chairman of the Zayed Future Energy Prize said, “The Prize carries the challenging vision that there is indeed an alternative way, that following the vision of Sheikh Zayed, we can together make the future safe for our cities, our nations, our children.

“Although the Prize is still young, it has already galvanized a broad community of innovators and entrepreneurs, farmers and industrialists, visionaries and activists, scientists and students, corporations and idealists, rich and poor, young and old,” added President Grímsson.

About the Zayed Future Energy Prize

The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in pioneering sustainable development in the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.

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ABB, a120-year old Swiss multinational power and automation company, won recognition in the Large Corporation category for its legacy of commitment to the advancement renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

In the SME category, Abellon CleanEnergy was awarded US$1.5 million for its advancements in biomass pellets – made from agricultural and saw mill residues – that are helping meet global energy and heat demands. The company is also instrumental in driving economic growth in the Indian state of Gujarat by supporting rural farmers dramatically improve their crop yields.

In the NGO category, the German-based non-profit Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems was awarded US$1.5 million for its groundbreaking work in photovoltaics (PV), solar thermal, renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. Fraunhofer is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe, and one of the largest in the world. Fraunhofer is credited with developing high-efficiency ‘concentrating’ PV systems and solar thermal electrical generation (STEG) prototypes.

Wang Chuanfu, founder and chairman of BYD Co Ltd, the Chinese auto and battery maker, received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award winning US$500,000. Wang founded BYD when he was 29, steering the company’s growth into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rechargeable batteries, The company is the market leader in electric buses and its grid-scale energy storage systems account for 23 percent of globally commissioned installed capacity.

Global High Schools

 The Americas: New York-based Bronx Design & Construction Academy was selected for its Energy Environment Research Center – an initiative to generate on-site renewable energy from wind and solar power.
Europe: Gheorghe Rosca Codreanu National College in Romania was selected for its proposal to reduce the school’s electricity demand 100 by percent using LED lighting and solar panels, as well as conduct sustainability seminars for the local community.
Africa: In Malawi, the Nkhata Bay School Authority, was rewarded for its proposal to create a Solar Demonstration and Training Center – a program that will promote the use of solar power in one of the least electrified countries in Southern Africa.
Asia: Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya – based in the southern Indian state of Karnataka – was selected for its student-led project to incorporate energy efficiency, solar technology and bio-gas, as well as other energy programs, to electrify the homes of deserving, underprivileged students.
Oceania: The Tonga High School was selected for its project to install solar panels and energy-efficiency measures that will power up to 100 percent of the school’s electricity requirements.

Quotes from the 2014 winners

Chairman Wang Chuanfu:

“It is a great honor for me to be recognized by the Zayed Future Energy Prize. The award will continue to motivate all of us at BYD to continue to develop the innovative technologies this world so urgently needs. I want to stress that the award is not only for me, but also for the 180,000 BYD employees, as well as for all the people committed to making our world more sustainable. What I am, is merely a symbol of the award.”

 “In addressing the challenges of energy generation, energy storage and the deployment of energy efficient environmentally-friendly solutions, BYD has developed solar farms, energy storage stations and various kinds of hybrid electric-powered vehicles. All of these products come together to form a zero emission, non-polluting ‘Green City Total Solution.”

Ulrich Spiesshofer, chief executive officer of ABB:

“At the end of the day, we are what we do and our core purpose is ‘power and productivity for a better world.’ Winning the Prize is a key enabler to help reinforce our efforts to pioneer, introduce and rapidly advance best-in-class technology solutions in renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology areas. The Prize will help accelerate momentum and cascade a positive impact on customers, governments and major stakeholders in shaping a sustainable energy future.”

Aditya Handa, chief executive officer and founder of Abellon CleanEnergy:
“We are honored to be chosen by the Zayed Future Energy Prize this year. We accept this recognition on behalf of all at Abellon, and everyone working within the bio energy industry to create a self-reliant and sustainable future. We would like to thank the Prize’s management for inspiring us to continue our mission, to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, and to help leave behind a more sustainable world for our children.”

Professor Eicke Weber, director of Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems :
“Sustainability is the key to survival of our species on this beautiful planet. We will have to learn to live in a sustainable way in all aspects, from the use of land and water to our mineral resources and energy. The demand for sustainability is at its most urgent, as we have to handle the imminent danger of catastrophic changes in our climate system. We should use our valuable resources, including oil and gas wisely. The sun can provide us with all the energy we humans need - and together with wind, water, biomass and geothermal energy, today’s technology allows us to build a stable and sustainable energy supply.”

“All members of our Institute work towards this energy transformation. We will use the prize money to promote sustainability and solar energy all over the world, especially for the 1.4 billion people currently without access to electricity.”

Nathaniel Wight, Science Teacher and Green Roof Director, Bronx Design & Construction Academy

We are deeply honored, grateful, and excited to be a recipient of the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize!  We’re equally thrilled to move forward with our plans to build our Energy Environment Research Center (E2RC) in front of Bronx Design & Construction Academy, and can’t wait to get started!  Our students will build and maintain E2RC, and ensure this showcase of cutting-edge renewable energy systems is accessible at street-level for students, community members, and all of New York City to learn from.  E2RC will help our future energy leaders of tomorrow identify and implement holistic, sustainable solutions to address local, national, and global environmental issues.

Nicoleta Croitoru, Head of the Foreign Languages Department, Gheorghe Rosca Codreanu National College in Romania
“It is a great honour and responsibility to receive such a prestigious award and we would also like to express our gratitude and appreciation for allowing us to be part of an inspiring vision and commitment to implementing solutions that will keep our world safe and clean.”

Elsen Kisty Mwase, zone education advisor at Nkhata Bay School Authority, Malawi:
“We are very grateful for the award. In honor of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates and the namesake of the Prize, we would like to establish the ‘Zayed Energy and Ecology Learning Centre’ that will benefit the entire community by providing access to electricity as well as create awareness and training on various aspects of living sustainability.”

Arun Bellary, president of the managing committee of Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya:
“I would like to commend the Zayed Future Energy Prize team for instituting the Global High Schools category as this award not only funds schools seeking to integrate energy efficient and environmentally sustainable projects, but also inspires the future generation towards a more sustainable way of life.”

Amelia Folaumahina, school principal of Tonga High School:

“This is an honor for Tonga High School and for all of Tonga. We have some of the brightest, most committed students and the future of our archipelago depends very much on the initiative and work of these students. Our dream of a cleaner environment by using solar panels to generate electricity can now come true, thanks to the Prize.

“The trend towards utilizing renewable energy is a global movement, driven by the Abu Dhabi based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) of which the Kingdom of Tonga is a founding member and member of council. With the support of the Prize fund, Tonga High School can join the international community in ensuring a clean and secure environment for future generations across the world.”