Originally published on Sustainnovate.
(Note: the videos are HD, so if you don’t have a fast internet connection, you may need to let them load for a second to focus.)
As I’ve stated several times before, the Zayed Future Energy Prize is like the Academy Awards of cleantech. Each year, a large team of experts go through the numerous applications for these awards (over 1000) and narrow them down into finalists in multiple categories (large corporations, small & medium enterprises, nonprofits, and high schools of various regions), and then another tier of global cleantech leaders come together to choose the winners. This is an authentic process in which the merits and accomplishments of the finalists are genuinely debated by some of the leading thinkers in the realm of clean energy and sustainability.
Winners receive a healthy financial boost… except in the case of the large corporation winner, which the Masdar team surmises has enough cash already to do what it needs to do (of course it does).
A lifetime achievement award is also presented to an individual who has done outstanding work progressing sustainability in some way, or as the case of is, in multiple ways. The winner is again narrowed down from many nominations (not applications in this case, but simply nominations). The lifetime achievement award winner does win half a million dollars, but that is typically then given to a cause of the winner’s choice.
With that background out the way, this year’s finalists were:
* Green Energy & Biofuels
* Greenlight Planet Inc.
* Off Grid Electric
* Rural Services Foundation
* SNV Netherlands Development Organization
High Schools (Asia)
* Mahindra United World College of India
* Royal College
* Korea Science Academy of KAIST
High Schools (Oceania)
* Lume Rural Training Center
* Cashmere High School
* Huonville High School
High Schools (Europe)
* Schuelerforschungszentrum Suedwuerttemberg
* Belvedere College
High Schools (Africa)
* Mfantsipim School
* SOS HG Sheikh Secondary School
* Abaarso School of Science and Technology
High Schools (The Americas)
* Institución Educativa Gabriel Plazas
* Manuel Picasuti School
* Conalep Juanacatián
Their wonderful stories are presented in the video above, which also includes a bit about the history of the UAE, the Zayed Future Energy Prize itself, the clean energy market, recent climate policy advances, and more.
Now, though, on to the 2016 winners! Have a watch to find out who won this year (if you didn’t already hit play on the video at the top):