Abu Dhabi-UAE: 26 June, 2013 – Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, the 2013 winner of the Zayed Future Energy Prize’s Global High Schools category for the Asia region has marked a milestone in its award-winning sustainability project with the installation of rooftop solar systems. The 11.52 KW grid-type smart photovoltaic system will aim to supply 30 percent of the school’s energy needs, mainly for lighting and cooling.
To mark the occasion, an inauguration ceremony was held at the Abu Dhabi-based school in the presence of officials including His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and Chief Executive of Masdar and Her Excellency Razan Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize said: “Our founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan believed that the real asset of any advanced nation is its educated people. Taking this legacy forward, the UAE leadership has ensured that the Zayed Future Energy Prize answers to that legacy and places focus on the education of future generations through the Global High Schools category.
“We believe that education can power renewable energy. We commend Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School for the successful completion of the first phase of their award-winning project. The installation of the solar systems not only marks an important milestone for the school, but it will also serve as an inspiration to like-minded institutions in the UAE and abroad,” continued Dr Al Jaber.
“I would also like to commend the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Education Council for the progress on their Sustainable Schools Initiative which has contributed tremendously to promoting environmental sustainability among schools in Abu Dhabi. The initiative has helped schools understand and address their own environmental footprint and created a tangible change in behaviour of the school community and beyond,” added Dr Al Jaber.
The Global High Schools prize awards US$100,000 to one school from each of the five geographic regions - the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School is the first UAE-based entity to receive the Zayed Future Energy Prize and the first school to win in the Global High School category for the Asia region. Its prize-winning proposal outlines the school’s ambition to become carbon neutral through efficient cooling systems, grid-type smart photo-voltaic systems and solar batteries. The project also aims to achieve improved cooling throughout the school by integrating traditional Arab building methods.
To date, the school has implemented several sustainability measures including the installation of energy saving light bulbs. The effort has helped cut the school’s electricity consumption by 15 per cent and win an award from the UAE-based Sustainable Schools Initiative.
Mir Anisul Hasan, Principal of the Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, said: “As a school with roots in the UAE, the home of our beloved founding father, our selection as winner for the Prize is an exceptional honor. The Global High Schools category reaches out to schools and students with the simple but powerful message that every student holds the capacity to make a difference. The Prize’s underlying philosophy will serve as a source of inspiration to students worldwide.”
The Global High Schools prize category was introduced by the Prize in 2012 as part of the UAE’s commitment to the UN Secretary General’s ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative, which seeks to double renewable energy, enhance energy efficiency and ensure universal clean energy access by 2030.
Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s preeminent award for excellence in renewable energy and sustainability, is a US$4 million prize awarded annually to organizations, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change. In five years, the Prize has awarded 21 innovators and impacted communities across the world.
Submissions for the sixth edition of the Prize will close on 5 August, 2013. Winners will be announced at the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony scheduled to be held on 20 January, 2014, as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.