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2018 ZFEP High School Finalists & 2017 ZFEP High School Winners (CleanTechnica Exclusive)

The next Zayed Future Energy Prize is around the corner already, and a wealth of high school innovation and inspiration will again be highlighted on the same stage as some of the world’s most famous and influential cleantech leaders.

The next Zayed Future Energy Prize is around the corner already, and a wealth of high school innovation and inspiration will again be highlighted on the same stage as some of the world’s most famous and influential cleantech leaders.

The 2018 Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP) finalists have just been announced. I covered the “Small & Medium Business” and “Nonprofit” finalists the other day, so this post is dedicated to the kids. You can read short summaries of the high school finalists below, courtesy of the ZFEP website. Before those, however, there are also a few videos of the 2017 ZFEP winners (including four exclusive interviews CleanTechnica landed earlier this year) that I think are worth a watch — especially if you need just a little extra dose of inspiration today.

Here’s a video on some previous years’ winners as well:

And here’s one in which a few other members of the ZFEP review committee and I share some of our messages for the youth of today:

Finally, below are the 2018 finalists in the global high schools categories.

2018 Global High Schools Finalists


Mahindra United World College of India (MUCWI) is a private coeducational boarding school in the rural Western Ghats region. It is one of 17 United World Colleges around the world and offers two-year International Baccalaureate courses to a small number of fee-paying and grant-aided students, many of whom are from overseas. Read more >>

The Bahrain Bayan School is a K-12 non-profit bilingual school established in 1982. With the help of the Zayed Future Energy Prize money, the school intends to develop a learning platform called EcoLab 360. The platform is to educate students and the surrounding community on sustainable practices and technologies by focusing on the five R’s; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Raise awareness, and Renewable energy. Read more >>

Shenzhen Yadi School is a private boarding school founded in 2003. It has 1,800 students. The school will partner with BYD, a previous ZFEP winner, to implement its project. About 50% of the school’s students are children of BYD employees. The application states that the school has established a New Energy Exploration & Experience Center, through which students become involved in practical activities related to renewable energy. Read more >>

The Muntinlupa National High School serves a large cohort of students who, when grouped with the staff and school-related personnel, number around 10,000. The school currently relies on a diesel generator to provide electricity for the site and intends to introduce a bioreactor project in which algae can be cultivated for use as a biofuel and can be used to purify wastewater. The choice of algae stems from its hardiness to fluctuations in light intensity and algae’s many uses. Read more >>


The Aouda Saadia School is a girls school, with students from ‘modest families of artisans and farmers’. It plans to add solar water heaters, photovoltaic panels and LED light bulbs to reduce the energy use of the school and provide hot showers. Floor lamps will be installed to light the school at night, so that students are safe and night classes can be held for local women seeking to become literate. Read more >>

The Primrose Technical High School has about 900 students and is situated close to two large informal housing settlements. Students from these settlements often do not have access to basic facilities at home. This plan would use solar water heating, solar lighting and LEDs, and a vegetable garden to improve the students’ quality of life, providing them food and making sure that they have warm showers. Read more >>

Gaitheri Secondary School is a co-educational secondary school of around 250 students and 20 staff about 40km north of Nairobi. The school is currently dependent on the local electricity grid which is unreliable and does not support ICT education. The school has outlined a three phase vision to address this and other problems through sustainability. Read more >>

Mbaracayú Educational Centre is a technical boarding school for rural and indigenous girls ages 15-18. It is located in the Mbaracayú Reserve’s forest. This centre opened its doors in 2009 and represents an initiative of the Fundación Paraguaya, in alliance with Moises Bertoni, owner of the centre. It offers the last three years of high school and students graduate with a technical degree in environmental sciences. The girls pay a symbolic amount to cover the cost of their education and help at the tourism lodge and with the sale of products from the farming center run by the school. Read more >>

The Americas

Centro Educacional Agrourbano is situated close to Brasilia and hosts 520 students and staff. It is on its way to becoming resource independent and emission free, in terms of waste, water and energy. The school is in an agricultural region that has suffered environmental deterioration because of pesticides and pollution and is currently experiencing the worst drought in 80 years. Built right next to a natural reserve and local farms, the school wants to help the community transition to more sustainable technologies. Read more >>

The Prof. Dimas Mozart e Silva School is a public, secondary education institution. The school is located in Taquarituba, Brazil, a small city with 20,000 inhabitants employed primarily in the agricultural and ceramics industries. The school proposes the implementation of a comprehensive sustainability program. This program includes the installation of a 17.8kW rooftop solar photovoltaic system, rainwater harvesting, waste recycling through composters, expanding an organic garden, replacing conventional lighting by LEDs, installing lighting sensors, using economic toilet flushing and constructing a 55 square-meter “sustainability” room with a green roof. Read more >>


Tenison Woods College is a co-educational Roman Catholic school in Mount Gambier, South Australia that offers education to almost 1,500 pupils ranging from pre-school through to year 12 (final year) students. The stated aim of the project is to maximize the learning outcomes for students from across the region, while significantly reducing the school’s power costs. Read more >>

Lowanna College is the largest secondary school in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria. The 975 boys and girls attending the school are drawn from rural townships, where most parents work in local coal-fired power stations or in agriculture. The recent closure of one of three large power stations nearby saw the loss of 800 jobs, which placed considerable pressure on the community. The school is therefore at the heart of the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of power. Read more >>

Motufoua Secondary School (MSS) is the only government school in Tuvalu, a small Polynesian island nation in the Pacific Ocean. It is located on the island of Vaitapu (population 1,555), which at 5.6 square km is the nation’s largest atoll. The school has a 46kW solar PV array and a diesel generator but, as this is subject to fuel availability, a constant power supply is not guaranteed. Read more >>


Vladimir Nazor school is located in a village 15km from the Adriatic coast. The project seeks to take advantage of the sunny location by installing a solar system to provide both electricity and water heating. This is the school’s first application to the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Read more >>

Werner Heisenberg School is a vocational school, located in Rüsselsheim, Germany with approximately 2,900 students and a teaching staff of around 150. It offers training in metal technology, trade and logistics, security and fire services, and other subjects, as well as German language courses for refugees. Read more >>

Gomel State Regional Lyceum opened 20 years ago in the city of Gomel, the second-most populous city in land-locked Belarus. Over 400 children attend the school which includes academic buildings, dormitories and a “museum of energy savings.” The region was severely affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, therefore the school has a special interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, according to its application. The candidate states that the museum is often visited by foreign delegations, including the one from the World Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Read more >>

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Written By

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.


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