Abu Dhabi: The Zayed Future Energy Prize for renewable energy and sustainability solutions has so far received 579 submissions in five categories for 2012, the results of which will be announced in January 2013.

This represents an increase of 36 per cent from 2011 and 386 per cent from 2009, the year the awards began.

“We are proud about the growth in the number of entries for the prize in 2012 which has continued to evolve with every passing year due to the unwavering efforts of committee members and our various stakeholders,” Oafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of the Republic of Iceland told Gulf News on Wednesday.

Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy for South Africa, said: “Submissions and nominations were received from all over the world including Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Australia and Oceania.”

President Grimsson added that the Zayed Future Energy Prize is a continuity of the legacy of environmental sustainability bequeathed by the UAE’s founding father Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan by rewarding demonstrated solutions that address the global challenges of climate change, energy security, energy access, and economic development.

He added that the initiation of the Global High Schools Prize is a positive message that the committee received from the young generation about the need to sustain energy and to protect the environment.

“With the initiation of the Global High Schools Prize and the substantial positive feedback, the award gears towards recognising achievements in sustainable energy and becoming a catalyst for innovation in sustainability.

The awards ceremony, marking the fifth anniversary of the Zayed Future Energy Prize on January 15 next year, will be held to coincide with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week from January 13-17.

Awards will be presented in five categories; Large Corporation where the winner will be granted a recognition award, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises where the winner will be granted $1.5 million (Dh5.5 million); Non-Governmental Organisations, where the winner will be granted $1.5 million; Lifetime Achievement Award (given to an individual) where the winner will be granted $500,000 and the Global High Schools Prize divided among five regions with each school awarded up to $100,000 (The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania).