Abu Dhabi: The winners of the ninth edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize were selected in Abu Dhabi by its official jury on Sunday — which included the former presidents of Iceland and South Korea as jury members.

This year’s edition records its largest ever participation with over 1,600 entries from 100 countries. The nine winners will be publicly announced in January 2017 at an award ceremony during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Established in 2008, the Zayed Future Energy Prize was made to honour the legacy of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his environmental work. The prize is split into five categories — large corporation, small and medium enterprise, non-profit organisation, global high schools, and the lifetime achievement awards — with each category awarding the best innovative and sustainable technologies for clean energy. More than 200 million people around the world have positively benefited from the previous winners of the prize.

“It has been a privilege for us to follow in recent years the extraordinary success of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and how it has gained reputation and support all over the world — the fact that there were more than 1,600 nominations and entries from almost 140 countries testifies to the broad global engagement of this prize … I think that sends the message that the clean energy transformation is not just a vision but has become an integral part of the economic transformation of countries,” said Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Chair of the Zayed Future Energy Prize Jury and former president of Iceland.

“By establishing the prize the leadership of Abu Dhabi and the people of this country have given the world an extraordinary symbol of hope and positive progress, and that is [following] in the true tradition of Shaikh Zayed, but it is also a very important contribution to the evolution of the world,” he added.

Speaking on this year’s entries, Grimsson said that he was pleased to see a large participation by diverse young people.

“To see the proposals submitted from high schools in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and elsewhere in the world, the innovative projects that they have put forward is a message that the world is indeed changing.

“One of the most inspiring part of this year’s nominations and winners was the extraordinary strength and innovation and variety coming from these young people … even if they came from very poor communities … they still had the determination to send their proposals to Abu Dhabi for a project that would change their school and change their community … So we can truly say today that the prize every year is the most important global mechanism to demonstrate the desire and action of young people all over the world to reach for sustainable clean energy,” he added.

Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and director-general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, was equally positive on the impact and global scale of the prize, calling it a springboard for solving sustainability challenges.

“Our wise leadership established the Zayed Future Energy Prize to be a springboard for partnerships and innovations that will help solve global energy and sustainability challenges. Today, this mission has positively impacted the lives of more than 200 million people worldwide through an international community of prize-winners.

“The Zayed Future Energy Prize amplifies the achievements of its winners and acts as a platform for collaborative action for lasting change. The jury meeting is the precursor to this and through the decisions taken here, the jury members will select a new group of winners who will extend this clean energy transformation.”

Zayed Future Prize

-Encourages groups and individuals to pioneer innovative sustainable technologies for clean energy.

-Nine winners have been selected from its five categories which include Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non Profit Organisation, Global High Schools, and Lifetime Achievement Award.

-The winners will be announced at a public awards ceremony on January 16, 2017, during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

-More than 1,600 entries were submitted for this year’s edition from over 100 countries, with 30 finalists chosen.

-More than 200 million people around the world have been positively impacted by the winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.