Record entries for Zayed Future Energy Prize
The Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s premier award for innovative contributions to the future of energy and sustainable development, has received a record number of entries for the 2016 awards.
A total of 1,437 submissions were received when the entries came to a close on June 30, which was way ahead of the nominations in the eight-year history of the awards.
Entries were received from 97 countries and a total of 888 submissions were for the Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation and Global High Schools categories. Another 549 nominations were for the Lifetime Achievement award. Emerging market nations provided the largest share of submissions.
Led by India (67) and China (41), submissions from the Asia region rose 50 per cent over last year to 186. In Africa, 102 submissions mark a 100 per cent increase. Submissions from Latin American nations increased 103 per cent to 241, with Mexico and Colombia responsible for 83 and 54 respectively.
The global distribution of 2016 prize entries thus reflects rising investment in renewable energy in developing economies.
In 2014, China increased its share of $270.2 billion global renewable energy investment to 31 per cent. India saw a 14 per cent annual rise in investment to $7.4 billion, while Brazil increased its share from 2 to 3 per cent.
Over the past seven years, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has recognised 39 innovators and positively affected over 150 million lives in communities across the world. The winners of the 2016 Zayed Future Energy Prize will be announced at the annual awards ceremony in the capital on January 18, 2016, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
“The extraordinarily large number of submissions from all over the world demonstrates how the prize is now firmly established as the leading international honour for those who are shaping the energy landscape of our times and building a new foundation for the future of energy,” said Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of the Republic of Iceland and chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury.
“The legacy of Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan combined with the important financial and prestigious dimensions of the Award gives the world of innovators and pioneers the inspiration to achieve a new level of excellence in the evolution of renewable energy and environmental sustainability; thus improving the lives of people everywhere in the world,” Grimsson said.
Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and director-general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, also shared the sentiments of Grimsson.
“Named in honour of the UAE’s Founding Father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the prize is contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future and has already touched the lives of more than 150 million people. This year’s record number of entries and the steady growth over the last eight years demonstrates that the Zayed Future Energy Prize can help innovators in renewable energy and sustainability bring even more positive change to people’s lives around the world,” Al Jaber said.