Candidates for Zayed Future Energy Prize 2014 shortlisted

Winners of this year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize included Professor Jose Goldemberg, whose studies into the use of sugar cane ethanol as fuel helped propel biofuels in his native Brazil and beyond.

Dr Nawal al Hosany, director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, speaking at the dedication of solar panels installed at the Sheikh Khalifa Bangladesh Islamia School in Abu Dhabi. The awards are part of a larger initiative by the Government to catalyse innovation in renewable energy and sustainability. Sammy Dallal / The National
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DUBAI // Forty candidates have been short-listed for next year’s Zayed Future Energy Prize.

This week the review committee of technical experts spent two days whittling down 552 entries from all over the world.

The short-listed organisations will again be competing in four categories – large corporation, small and medium enterprise, non-government organisation and high schools.

There is also a lifetime achievement award for people who have contributed to clean and efficient energy.

“As energy demand has nearly doubled over the past 25 years, the world has increasingly looked towards the renewable energy industry to provide the solutions and technologies it needs to harness clean energy and optimise energy efficiency,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, director general of the prize and chief executive of Abu Dhabi’s clean-energy company Masdar.

“Improvements in energy efficiency have saved the world almost twice the total global primary energy use in 2007 alone.

“Identifying the solutions that define this emerging and critical industry is a challenging task.”

The two-day meeting followed an initial assessment by international research and analysis company Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which scored candidates on innovation, impact, leadership and long-term vision.

On October 27 and 28, the short-listed entries will be evaluated by the prize’s selection committee, who will decide on the finalists.

They will be put forward to the prize’s jury panel, comprising world leaders and influential personalities, on November 17 when the final selection of winners in each category will be decided.

Winners of the sixth edition of the competition will be announced at an awards ceremony to take place on January 20 as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Launched in 2008, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has so far rewarded 21 innovators and leading organisations.

This year’s winners included Prof Jose Goldemberg, whose studies into the use of sugar cane ethanol as fuel helped to promote biofuels in his native Brazil and beyond.

Other winners included German technology giant Siemens, d.light Design, an American for-profit social enterprise, and Ceres, a US group that uses investor influence to pressure companies, industries and regulators to reduce carbon emissions.

The award’s total budget is US$4 million (Dh14.6m).