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Does Africa hold the key to the world’s energy crisis?

Does Africa hold the key to the world’s energy crisis?

Jun 2, 2014

Africa has some of the most exciting and innovative solutions in the realm of renewable and sustainable energy – and now these innovations may be rewarded. The Zayed Future Energy Prize was established by the United Arab Emirates government to inspire and ignite the great minds of the 21st century to come up with innovative solutions and implement projects that can potentially address the world’s energy crisis. It is the world’s largest annual prize purse in renewable energy and sustainability at an impressive US$4 million.

Global high schools, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), NGOs, individuals and large organisations are being challenged to excel in creating solutions within the field of renewable energy and sustainability to win these significant financial rewards, as well as the accolades of their peers.

Africa is emerging as one of the most exciting spaces in this arena, and this year the Nkhata Bay School Authority in Malawi was awarded US$100,000 for their proposal to create a solar demonstration and training centre. This programme will educate both the students and the community in the use of sustainable power and it is a bold and much-needed project for a country that is one of the least electrified in southern Africa with less than one percent of the rural population connected to the national electric grid.

A prize of US$1.5 million each awaits the winners of the SME and NGO categories and individuals stand to win half a million dollars, all based on demonstrable contributions to the future of renewable energy and sustainability. High schools can win up to US$100,00 based on a proposal that incorporates sustainability, energy access, energy efficiency or renewable energy.

The large corporation category welcomes entries from organisations that have revenue exceeding US$100m, have a clear vision for the future of energy over the long term and have demonstrated growth within this arena.

Entries across categories (except high schools) need to demonstrate how the solutions and implementations have had a marked impact, how they have demonstrated leadership within the community, a long-term vision and a level of innovation. The Zayed Future Energy Prize offers a superb opportunity for innovators and path-breakers in renewable energy and sustainability to be recognised for their efforts in resolving one of the most pressing issues of the 21st Century.

Submissions for the seventh edition of the Prize are open until 14 July 2014. Please visit for further information.

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