General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, reaffirmed, 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 on Janiary 20.
Marking the sixth year, the Zayed Future Energy Prize honoured nine winners 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.
General Sheikh Mohamad bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised that the Zayed Future Energy Prize underscores the UAE’s commitment to address the global energy and climate challenges; adding "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."
He added: "This is exactly what the Zayed Future Energy Prize set out to do through honouring the legacy that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, God rest his soul, instilled in us."
The annual US$4 million prize, established by the United Arab Emirates government, recognises companies, organisations, 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 Organisation (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 General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; thanking him for his direction and support which have 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.
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, 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."
The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, the late 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.
Earlier, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the official opening ceremony of the 7th edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (Adnec), as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The summit, held under the theme: "Powering the Future of Energy Innovation", saw the participation of a number of heads of states and governments, representatives of international organisations, international companies and experts.
Before the opening ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed met with heads of state, ministers and industry leaders attending the summit. He valued their attendance to share and discuss sustainable solutions to tackle present and future energy challenges and secure energy to present and future generations.
In his remarks on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan attaches paramount importance to concerted efforts aimed at securing safe, clean and sustainable energy as the a mainstay for stability and growth in various parts of the world.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed high-profile delegates including heads of state, energy leaders and experts, who gathered in Abu Dhabi to address wide-ranging agenda including energy and water security and supply and best ways to enable future generations live in a sustainable environment.
He noted that Africa has huge potentials that need deployment of sustainable development to preserve its vital resources but only for Africans but also for the whole world.
“Energy is the backbone of all development activities and its importance is increasing in arid regions for the need to power water desalination stations. We cannot speak about sustainable development away from security of basic resource: water and energy,” Sheikh Mohammed asserted.
The UAE, he added, was making tremendous efforts in planning for the future and drawing policies that seek to secure vital resources. ''The UAE will remain adhere to this civilisational approach to unite the international efforts for addressing this challenges.''
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi also credited Masdar, organisers of the summit, for positioning the UAE on the world renewable energy map and for its initiatives in energy and sustainable development. Efforts, he affirmed, will continue to ensure security of energy through diversification of resources and support of promising renewable energy technology.
The opening ceremony was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region, Sheikh Saif bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister,
Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, and a number of members of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, senior officials, CEOs and delegates.
Mohammed bin Zayed receives participating delegations at WFES and IRENA
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has received at the Emirates Palace a number of minister, officials and heads of the participating delegations at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and the fourth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), being held in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Mohammed received separately, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi, Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), US energy secretary, Ernest Moniz and Mauritania's Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines Mohamed Ould Khouna.
Present at the meetings was Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.
The meetings discussed the bilateral cooperation relations between the UAE, Japan, US, Mauritania and FAO.
During the meetings, the parties exchanged cordial talks on researches and ideas which have been tackled in the Summit, in addition to its predictable role to secure renewable energy, as well as the importance of the concerted international efforts with international organisations, institutions and private and government bodies among them to take serious and valued steps in order to ensure sustainable and renewable energy resources in the future and safeguard them for the needy countries and peoples.
The international ministers and officials praised the UAE's efforts to hold this international summit, well-organisation and preparedness and supporting the renewable energy sector, in addition to the Emirati effective contributions to establishing programmes and projects in a number of countries around the world in this regard, as well as its keenness on the preservation of the environment and protection of natural resources.