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 across all sectors has been placed at the forefront and the core of the national strategy and that, in the spirit of safeguarding the nation and its people, the leadership’s international collaborations are aimed at securing peace and prosperity for humankind.
His statements were made at the 2013 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony, held at the Emirates Palace today. Marking the fifth year of the Prize, the eight winners included Siemens, d.light design, Ceres, Dr. Jose Goldemberg, and four high schools representing various regions of the world.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony was attended by: His Excellency Mohammed Weld Abdul Aziz, President of Mauritania; Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo; His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland; Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan; His Royal Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa; a representative of the King of Bahrain; His Excellency Jejomar Binay, Vice President of the Philippines; senior government officials attending the World Future Energy Summit from both the United Arab Emirates and abroad; and renewable energy experts.
General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised that the Zayed Future Energy Prize underscores the UAE’s commitment to addressing the global energy challenge; adding: "We believe that investing in people is the future of our collective prosperity.
“Through the Prize, we are not only recognising tremendous achievement, but also providing support to help accelerate promising technologies and fund organisations, schools and individuals committed to impacting communities around the world."
Mohammen bin Zayed congratulated Masdar on successfully managing the prize and commended each of the winners, saying: "Through their innovative technologies and solutions, they are helping create a better future for all.
He added: "This is exactly what the Zayed Future Energy Prize set out to do through honouring a deep rooted legacy that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God rest his soul, instilled in us."
Speaking at the awards ceremony; His Excellency the President of the Republic of Iceland and Chairman of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said: Inspired by Sheikh Zayed, Abu Dhabi has become a centre for global dialogue on renewable energy and a sustainable future.
He added: "The winners tonight show that change is possible, that vision and innovative thinking hold great promise for us all through practical endeavours. These winner are indeed the true heirs to the legacy of Sheikh Zayed."
In his opening remarks, Dr Sultan Ahmed AL Jaber, Director Gneral of the Zayed Future Energy Prize welcomed His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan; thanking him for his direction and support which have been "instrumental and the leading force behind its success."
Dr Sultan said: "Our wise leadership established this Prize in honour of our late founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, who laid the foundations for sustainable development in the UAE, through his efforts in the development of the UAE infrastructure, its economy, and the conservation of our natural resources for future generations.
"Today," he added, "Under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the nation, may God protect him – the nation continues its drive for international collaboration – exerting every effort to address the world’s most impending challenges – from addressing energy, water and food security, health, women’s empowerment and as well as social, economic and environmental sustainability.
Dr Sultan emphasised that innovation is at the core of all efforts for addressing world challenges; emphasizing that the winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize have played an instrumental role, through their innovation and commitment, in achieving great successes for energy usage.
He said: "Our winners have collectively reduced the plight of 140,000 displaced persons, provided hundreds of thousands of jobs and provided clean water and electricity to over 8 million people in villages and rural parts of Africa and Asia."
In closing, Dr Sultan extended his gratitude to the evaluation committee and the jury of the Zayed Future Energy Prize; emphasising that the success of the Prize is a culmination of the legacy left behind by the founding father of the nation."
He said: We hope that through the prize, we demonstrate that we have listened, we have learned and we are inspired."
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is a US$ 4 million prize awarded annually to companies, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change.
The Prize was awarded in five distinct categories: Large Corporation, Life Achievement, Small and Medium Enterprise (SME), Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) and the newly-introduced Global High Schools Prize.
Siemens, the German multinational electronics and engineering company, was recognised in the Large Corporation category for its holistic and long-term approach to alternative energy and sustainability.
In the Small Medium Enterprise category, US-based d.light design was awarded $ 1.5 million for its pioneering solar-powered lighting solutions, which the company manufactures and distributes to the developing world.
Ceres, a US-based non-profit enterprise, was awarded $ 1.5 million as winner of the Non-Governmental Organisation prize category. The organization was honoured for its work on clean-energy advocacy and encouraging companies to reduce their carbon emissions.
Dr. Jose Goldemberg, professor of physics at the University of Sao Paulo and former Brazilian minister of environment, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, winning $ 500,000.
A profound voice and environmental leader, Dr. Goldemberg’s achievements include introducing the Brazilian Energy Initiative, which called for 10 percent renewable energy worldwide by 2010, and co-authoring one of the first papers on the energy life-cycle analysis of sugarcane ethanol. He also coined the idea of ‘technology leapfrogging’ in economic development.
This year also saw the introduction of the Global High School Prize category, launched to recognize and encourage young people to incorporate renewable energy and sustainability into their schools. Schools from four regions were honoured with US$100,000 each as funding for their proposed sustainability projects.
Representing the Americas region, Secundaria Tecnica 120 School from Cuernavaca, Mexico was selected for its project to upgrade the school’s water, power and heating supply to use renewable sources, including a biogas digester and solar panels.
From Europe, Okehampton College, in the United Kingdom, was honoured for its plan to become energy independent by installing two wind turbines and a biomass heating unit. From Tanzania, Africa, Kirya Secondary School was chosen for its project involving wind, solar and biogas plants and sustainable learning centres. Lastly, from the Asian region, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, was selected for its project to become carbon neutral through efficient cooling systems, solar panels and solar batteries.
The ceremony commenced with the welcoming remarks of Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, followed by an inspirational video tribute to the late founding father and former president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. It included testimonials from His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
2013 Winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize: -
Large Corporation category:
Leading technology provider Siemens was selected for its holistic and long-term approach to alternate energy and sustainability. Siemens has a global portfolio of renewable energy and clean technology solutions, including technologies related to wind and solar power, the smart grid, LED lighting, building controls, battery storage and advanced transportation.
"Whether we are confronting the challenges of climate change or the problems posed by the growing scarcity of commodities, such as carbon fuels and metals, Siemens is constantly striving to answer the world’s toughest and most pressing questions. For us as a company, it is finding these answers and ensuring that we’re leading the innovation of technology that will safeguard the sustainability of our future," said Peter Loescher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG. "Our founder, Werner von Siemens once said: ‘I will not sell the future for short-term profit’. We still stand by this today."
US-based d.light design was awarded $1.5 million for the pioneering solar-powered lighting solutions that it manufactures and distributes to the developing world, especially Africa. The company’s small-scale, distributed renewable energy solutions provide households and small businesses and enterprises in Africa with reliable, affordable and safe access to off-grid light and power.
d.light design Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Donn Tice, said: "d.light was established so that families would have an alternate source of lighting instead of using dangerous kerosene lamps. The Prize has opened our eyes to the environmental legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and winning will help us change more lives. Everyone deserves access to energy; we will leverage the entire prize money to take our life-changing technologies to the greatest number of people possible."
Ceres, a US based non-profit organisation, was declared the winner for its work on clean energy advocacy and awarded $1.5 million. In 2003, Ceres founded the Investor Network on Climate Risk through which it mobilises investors and business leaders to foster a clean energy economy. Ceres uses investor influence to pressure companies, industries and regulators to reduce carbon emissions and expand clean energy.
Ceres’s CEO, Mindy Lubber said: "The Prize’s trust will help us to build on the impact of previous prize recipients and accelerate our progress toward a sustainable energy future – a future that will one day be Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s legacy to mankind."
"We will use the Prize to expand international investor collaboration and leadership on renewable energy through a new global investor coalition on climate change representing US$20 trillion in assets. We will work with companies to integrate sustainability into their operations, adopt business practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and source renewable energy. We will expand our coalitions of investors and companies that are advocating for bold climate and energy policies," she added.
Lifetime Achievement category:
Dr. Jose Goldemberg, professor of physics at the University of Sao Paulo and former Brazilian minister of environment, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, winning $500,000. Among Dr. Goldemberg’s many achievements are his pivotal work organizing the UN conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro; introducing the Brazilian Energy Initiative, which called for 10% renewable energy worldwide by 2010; co-authoring the first energy life cycle analysis of sugarcane ethanol and a book titled ‘Energy for a Sustainable World’, and coining the idea of ‘technology leapfrogging’ in economic development.
"When I started working with renewables they were not much more than a scientific and technological curiosity. Today, they represent approximately 10%, and in all likelihood, will represent 30-50% of all energy consumption by 2050," said Dr. Goldemberg. I am delighted to accept the Zayed Future Energy Prize Lifetime Achievement award. The Prize and its reach is a visible recognition of the importance of the increased role of renewable energies in the world’s energy matrix, which I have tried, through my work, to promote all of my life"
Global High Schools category:
Americas: Secundaria Tecnica 120, located in the small town of Cuernavaca, Mexico, has been selected for its comprehensive plan to upgrade the school’s power, water and heating supply to use renewable energy sources through the installation of a biogas digester, solar panels and energy efficient bulbs. The school currently has 300 students and is overseen by the Mexican Ministry of Education.
Manuel Salgado Cuevas, Director General at Secundaria Tecnica 120 said: "It is our conviction that school communities are well-placed to stimulate change. Students replicate the experiences they learn in the classroom and pass on their knowledge to parents and other family members. Winning this award will change the way of life for hundreds of families. When students initiate renewable energy projects as well as demonstrate success and apply their learning at their homes, it creates a domino effect among families and the communities at large, committing more people to work for their environment."
Europe: Okehampton College, based in Devon in the United Kingdom, has reduced its energy bills by half from over US$1,500 per day through energy efficiency and the adoption of renewable energy. The school aims to be energy self-sufficient, and part of its award-winning project includes the installation of two wind turbines and a biomass heating unit.
Mr Daryll Chapman, Principal, Okehampton College, said: "Energy security, climate change and the price of energy are really important matters that we all need to engage with. Schools are one of the obvious places to make a start on this. Winning the prize not only provides us with financial support to install two wind turbines and a biomass heating unit in the school, it will also help us raise our profile and create links with an even wider range of schools and other organisations."
Africa: Kirya Secondary School is part of Tanzania’s first green school network. The school has already implemented a number of successful projects including agro-forestry and hydro-electric power.
Jocktan Yoeli Ngailo, Geography teacher at Kirya Secondary School, said: "The potential for using high schools as nodes of innovation in the Tanzanian context is great. The Prize is a major stepping stone that will allow us to engage in ‘proof of concept’ at the district, regional and national scale."
Asia: Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, located in Abu Dhabi, aims to make its campus carbon-neutral via a plan to install solar panels and improve cooling in the school, possibly through traditional Arab building methods. The school has already cut its electricity consumption by 15% by installing energy saving light bulbs and won an award from the UAE-based Sustainable Schools Initiative.
Mir Anisul Hasan, Principal of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bangladesh Islamia School, said: "As a school in the UAE, the home of the beloved founding father and namesake of the Prize, this is an exceptional honour. The Global High Schools category reaches out to schools and students with the simple but powerful message that every student has the power to make a difference. It is a source of inspiration to students all over the world."