Small businesses and individuals who are leading the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy can now enter the Zayed Future Energy Prize competition, which recognizes innovation, leadership, long-term vision and impact in renewable energy and sustainability.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize was developed to honour and recognize the very best solutions in renewable energy and sustainability. A detailed, transparent and consistent evaluation process was developed in order to give each submission the consideration and due diligence that it deserves. The 2012 competition, which is now open to entries, features two new categories: the SME/NGO category for small organizations and the lifetime achievement award, which will recognize one outstanding individual for "spreading awareness or developing a policy supporting renewable energy or sustainability."
The Zayed Future Energy Prize represents the vision of the late founding father and President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who championed environmental stewardship. Under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi government, this annual award celebrates achievements that reflect innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. Managed by the renewable energy company Masdar on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government, the annual award this year offers a total of $4 million in prize money . "There is no greater challenge today than to address climate change, sustainable development and the need for cleaner sources of energy," said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and CEO of Masdar. "By offering the world's largest future energy prize, our goal is to serve as a catalyst in identifying the most innovative solutions in this arena around the world."
The Zayed Future Energy Prize has an annual prize fund of US$2.2 million open to companies, NGOs and individuals who have made a significant impact on our energy future. The winner will receive $1.5 million, and the global honour and recognition that come with winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize. In addition to the winner, there could be up to two finalists who receive US$ 350,000 each, to accelerate the development of their ideas. In the new SME/NGOs category, three prizes will be offered: $1.5 million to the winner, $1 million to the first-runner up, and $500,000 to the second runner-up. The category will focus on organizations making a clear impact through technology development or disseminating a solution in this sector, furthering knowledge, awareness, or policy development. Candidates can be self-nominated. In the large corporations category, the winner will receive a Recognition Award for having made a significant impact in current markets, coupled with a clear vision for the long-term future, and a coherent, sustainable strategy for its own role in this future. Candidates can be self-nominated. In the lifetime achievement award, one individual will receive $500,000 for his or her leadership in supporting renewable energy or sustainability. Candidates can be from a variety of disciplines: academia, politics, technology, and/or business. Candidates for this category cannot be self-nominated and must be nominated by a third party. The Zayed Future Energy Prize will also add a fourth category next year: a high school award of $500,000. Throughout the entire process, all entrants will be scored on the same three criteria: long term vision, innovation and leadership. This process allows the detailed analysis that is necessary to ensure that the eventual winner exemplifies the goals of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Nominations for the 2012 awards are being accepted from now until September 19. These nominations will be short listed to the best 40 by the review committee, from which the selection committee will determine the top six to be presented to the jury as finalists.