The world’s largest clean energy prize just got bigger. According to a statement from Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the stakes have been raised and the prize for the 2012 competition is now worth $4 million dollars.
Now in its fourth year, the Zayed Future Energy Prize is intended to “celebrate achievements that reflect innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability.” The prize, which is named after Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has historically seen strong participation by U.S. innovators.
This year, four of the six competitors were from the U.S., though Danish wind turbine maker Vestas walked away with the $1.5 million prize for its long-term vision developments in wind energy. Interestingly, Vestas turned right around and said that it would be giving its winnings away, half of which went to three other Zayed prize finalists.
In addition to upping the prize for the 2012 competition, three new awards were added to the SME/NGO category, special recognition for large corporations is now included, a new international education competition for high schools went into affect and a $500,000 prize will be issued for a lifetime achievement winner. Nominations for the prize will be accepted through August 22nd and submissions will be accepted up until September 19th. The winners for 2012 will be announced on January 17th in Abu Dhabi.