Meet the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize winners

The Zayd Future Energy Prize winners were announced on Monday during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

The Zayed Future Energy Prize winners were announced on Monday during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

The winners included five schools who were chosen from a shortlist of 15.

There were 1,678 entries to the award this year, and in total there were 10,000 submissions and nominations made over the nine editions of the award since it kicked off in 2008.

Li Junfeng — Winner Lifetime Achievement Award

Li Junfeng is the Director General of the National Center of Climate Change Strategy Research — National Development and Reform Commission. He has helped implement China’s programme for wind and solar PV for the country’s 10th five-year plan, and was one of the chief authors of the Chinese Renewable Energy Law. An outspoken opponent of coal and supporter of renewable energy, Li’s policies have enabled China to become the world’s largest renewable energy investor in 2015.

Watch the video here: Zayed Future Energy Prize award winner at forefront of China's renewable revolution

General Electric (GE) — Winner Large Corporation category

General Electric is a globally diversified technology and financial services company. The company’s wind division has 41.3 gigawatts (GW) of power in total and has installed more than 30,000 wind turbines, making it the second largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world. GE also runs an ‘Ecomagination’ programme, with an aim to tackle energy efficiency and sustainability in its products and services. The company has a target to reduce its overall greenhouse emissions 20 per cent by 2020, from 2011 levels. To date, GE has reduced the emissions from its operations by 12 per cent.

Sonnen, Germany — Winner Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) category

The Bavaria based smart energy home and commercial energy storage system manufacturer integrates rooftop solar and small-scale wind with home storage batteries and energy management systems. Sonnen’s systems manage domestic demand to fit the generation profile of the integrated rooftop solar or wind devices, for example, wireless plugs can activate electrical appliances during periods of high generation but low demand, even if the homeowners are out. So far, the company has installed around 12,000 units with solar panels and small- scale wind solutions, with customers producing more than 41 gigawatt hours (GWh) of clean energy over the course of one year.

Practical Action, United Kingdom — Winner Non-Profit Organisation category (NPO)

A non-profit with over 40 years’ experience, Practical Action works to alleviate poverty in Africa, Latin America and Southern Asia through the deployment of relevant technologies and building local capabilities to manage these systems. The organisation currently has over 100 projects in development, is engaged in consulting and actively advocates for sustainable energy access in countries including Peru, Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Senegal, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.

Global High Schools category winners:

Winner in Africa: Starehe Girls' Center, Kenya

Starehe Girls Centre and School is a national boarding school founded in 2005 to educate girls from underprivileged families. The students and school are supported entirely through charitable donations, with operating costs running over due to high utilities bills. Through the school’s planned off-grid PV rooftop system, operational cost savings in electricity and water will enable the school to enrol an additional 10 girls in the upcoming school year.

Green School Bali (Indonesia) — Winner Asia region

Green School Bali is a private, international school focused on ecology and sustainability. The school proposes the installation of a 10kW solar PV system and a battery-bank from used mobile phone and notebook batteries with a capacity of 32 kWh. The school’s proposed project would lower their carbon emissions by 22 tonnes per year, with an added benefit of lowering the school’s utilities costs. The long- term engagement plan will also include close input from students, who will work on different aspects of the system including power production, storage and distribution, battery technologies, and project management.

Winner in the Americas: Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazón 4, Bolivia

Founded in 1963, Unidad Educativa Sagrado Corazón 4 is a coeducational school in Bolivia. It is located in the town of San Juan, which has a population of 10,000 and was itself established in 1956. Funding from Zayed Future Energy Prize will enable the school to self-supply its electricity with one-hundred PV panels of 25kW (at peak demand). Savings on electricity will help strengthen a proposed educational programme on renewable energy, which will be integrated with theoretical and practical teaching methods in physics, chemistry, mathematics and agriculture.

Winner in Europe: Belvedere College, Ireland

Belvedere College, established in 1832, is an all-boys school in Dublin. The school’s proposed project is a “grow lab” which produces food in an urban setting, which will give students the opportunity to get hands- on training inn water and energy sustainability along with related in-class curriculum. Food will be produced using an aquaponics system that is watered with harvested rainwater, powered by an off-grid 6.24kW (peak) PV system, illuminated with high-efficiency horticultural-grade LED lighting, and pollinated by bees in on-site hives.

Winner in Oceania region: Huonville High School, Australia

Huonville High School is a 465 student-strong educational institution located in the agricultural region of Tasmania. Funding from the Zayed Future Energy Prize will be used to raise the renewable energy capacity of the school to 60 per cent, up from its current levels of 2.5 per cent. The school also plans to develop a the a Zayed Energy Hub, which will function as a laboratory, run on 100 per cent renewable energy and showcase how solar, battery storage, insulation models, pellet heating, LED lighting, and data management.