x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Abu Dhabi to double green-energy prize money

Organisers have added new categories and bolstered the award money for the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

ABU DHABI // The emirate will almost double its annual green-energy prize to $4 million, organisers have announced.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize, which commemorates Sheikh Zayed, the founding president of the UAE, awards international leaders in clean-energy innovation.

The top prize remains $1.5 million (Dh5.5m), while the award for the first runner-up was boosted to $1m and second runner-up to $500,000. Both were previously $350,000.

Prize administrators also created a category for large corporations, separating them from small and medium-sized ventures and non-government organisations.

Adjudicators will be looking to recognise organisations that have made a clear impact in the field through disseminating a clean energy solution or through research, educational activities or influencing policy.

The panel is chaired by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, who is also the chairman of the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

For the first time individual politicians, scientists and business leaders will be eligible for a lifetime achievement award in their field, for which there is a $500,000 prize. The organisers also announced an international competition for high schools.

"The Zayed Future Energy Prize is the largest energy prize of its kind to reward groundbreaking solutions to the impending threats of climate change and energy security," said Dr Sultan al Jaber, the director general of the prize.

"By honouring global innovators who are solving our greatest energy challenges, we aspire to educate and inspire future leaders and innovators while ensuring clean, sustainable energy for future generations.

"For the 2012 competition, we have substantially increased the prize purse and expanded the opportunities for global participation to further inspire the most creative minds worldwide to bring to market their brilliant ideas in the fields of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Dr al Jaber is also the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and the chief executive of Abu Dhabi's clean energy company, Masdar.

The deadline for nominations for next year's prize is August 22, while submissions will be accepted until September 19. The winners will be announced next January.

Last year's winner was Vestas, a Danish maker of wind turbines.

The runners-up were E+Co, a company that invests in small clean-energy enterprises in developing countries, and Amory Lovins, the chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, known for his work on energy-efficient buildings, vehicles and factories.