Image Credit: Zayed Future Energy Prize

2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards & Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Opening Ceremony

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The 2017 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is now officially launching. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) includes the 2017 World Future Energy Summit, the 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony, WISER (Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy), Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, the 2017 International Water Summit, and more. Technically, it also includes the IRENA General Assembly, which I attended on Saturday and where I was inspired to write about the totally insane carbon bubble and tremendous cost-competitive renewable energy potential (790 GW) in South East Europe (more articles to come from the IRENA event).

The opening ceremony (including the inspiring 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony) is now being live-streamed and you can watch it via the video above. The opening ceremony (including the inspiring 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony) is now over, but you can watch the majority of the ZFEP awards ceremony via the video above.

Live Blog of Opening Ceremony & 2017 Zayed Future Energy Prize Awards

11:00 am (Abu Dhabi time): The royalty has arrived and we are now streaming…

11:01 am: And technical details arrived almost immediately afterward, killing Masdar’s live stream. Stay tuned.

As a reminder, the 2017 ZFEP finalists are:

Small & Medium Enterprises

  • 1366 Technologies
  • 24M
  • Sonnen


  • Practical Action
  • Solar Sister
  • We Care Solar

Large Corporation finalists and Lifetime Achievement finalists are not announced this year, but the winners will be announced shortly.

11:40 am: And the stream is back up!

12:00 pm: And the winners are…

Lifetime Achievement Award: Li Junfeng

Large Corporation: GE

Small & Medium Enterprise: Sonnen

Nonprofit: Practical Action

More videos and information on the winners and the finalists will be coming in a separate article. However, here’s a summary on Li Junfeng’s tremendous work, via the ZFEP site:

Li has been an independent voice on energy policy in China, repeatedly calling for a reduction in the reliance on coal and to strengthen its renewable power targets. He has dedicated his 30-year career to energy economy and energy environment studies.

Li Junfeng joined the Energy Research Institute of the National Development and Reform Commission (ERI NDRC) as a senior research fellow in 1982, where his research focused on climate, energy, the economy and policy. He then spent two years as an economist at the World Bank in Washington before returning as deputy director of ERI NDRC in 1994, where he was appointed Director General in 2011.

Li drafted many key documents in China, including the Renewable Energy Law, which was passed in 2005, and facilitated the country’s boom in renewable energy development.

He has held a number of important external roles—for instance, serving as vice-chairman of Global Wind Energy Council and REN21. He has engaged in renewable energy project development for Global Environmental Facility, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.

Li is currently director general of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation – National Development and Reform Commission, President of the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA), and a member of China’s National Energy Advisory Council, the Expert Committee of the National High-tech R&D Program, an academic committee for China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, and an expert committee on low carbon development for Beijing, Shanghai and Shanxi.”

Renewable Energy Mega Event

This is an amazing week in the renewable energy world, with ~38,000 attendees from 175 countries, 5 heads of state, more than 80 government ministers, and 880 exhibiting companies from 40 countries.

The intersections of policy & business that take place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week are tremendous. The productive links in policy ideas, business ventures, and corporate cooperation are being connected almost continuously — maybe continuously.

As host Masdar* itself summarizes, “Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar, is a global platform addressing the interconnected challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, renewable energy and water security. Held every January under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the event is based on the key pillars of Policy, Leadership, Business, Academic Research, and Community Awareness.”

This opening ceremony includes the 9th edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which I have long called “the Academy Awards of Cleantech.” Watching the live-streamed video above, you can watch the beautiful presentations about some of the world’s top cleantech leaders in big business, startups, and nonprofits, as well as uplifting stories of students in high schools around the world who are already working to make a difference and help our society run more sustainably.

A new event this year is the Abu Dhabi Global Action Day. Masdar summarizes: “The afternoon programme is dedicated to Abu Dhabi Global Action Day, a high-level conference aimed at turning the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into practical and innovative solutions in policy, investment, technology and partnerships – with a focus on the steps to be taken by both government and business.”

Some of the key opening ceremony speakers — who, again, you can watch via the live stream (or after the fact) via the embedded video at the top — include:

  • Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Luis Guillermo Solís, President of the Republic of Costa Rica
  • Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  • Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro.
  • Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCE)

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, notes: “Having marked our tenth anniversary last year, we are proud to host ADSW as we embark on the next ten years of our success in the UAE and international markets. ADSW 2017 is one of the first global platforms to debate the outcomes of COP22 in Marrakech, and to take further action to adopt renewable energy, clean technologies and sustainable development following the ratification of the Paris Agreement. It is also a gateway to the opportunities of the Middle East & North Africa, today one of the fastest growing and most cost-competitive markets for renewable energy and clean technology.”

Masdar adds: “More than half of the exhibiting companies are small and medium sized business (SMEs) from leading clean-tech nations including Germany, France, Japan, the United States and the UK, further illustrating the commercial dynamism and growing maturity of the sector.”

It’s an exciting event. I’m eager to uncover more cleantech gems here, more inspiring stories, and more seeds of collaboration. Stay tuned!

*Full disclosure: Masdar is covering my flight, hotel, and some food for my weeklong visit to Abu Dhabi.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7425 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan