Vestas awarded Zayed Future Energy Prize
Vestas was awarded first place in the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize at a ceremony at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on January 18th, 2011. To all of you, who through 31 years have supported us in our vision for a more sustainable future, thank you.
The US$2.2 million Zayed Future Energy Prize is the largest award in the field of renewable energy. Established in 2008 to honour the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, founder and former ruler of the United Arab Emirates, the annual prize recognizes outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement in renewable energy.
A record number of companies and organisations – 391 from 69 countries - participated in this year’s competition. Just six of those were selected as finalists for the final round of evaluation. The top 6 finalists were portrayed in a series of videos during the awards ceremony in January, where Vestas was the declared the overall winner.
Unceasing commitment to wind
Dr RK Pachauri, former Nobel Prize winner and chairman of the Zayed Future Energy Prize jury, said, “for over 30 years, Vestas turbines have been among the most innovative in the world across the industry. Not only has the company - almost single-handedly - been a pioneer in the wind power industry, it simultaneously succeeded in spite of the fact that they are established in a small country."
Global industry leadership
The judges were particularly impressed with the company's long-term vision and its ability to scale up through a commercially-viable business model. They also commended Vestas’ global leadership in the wind energy industry, despite numerous challenges through the company's 31-year history.
CEO Ditlev Engel received the prize on behalf of more than 20,000 colleagues at Vestas, saying: "It is a tremendous honour for all of us at Vestas to receive this prestigious award. Not least, we are very much honoured to hear the jury’s words about innovation and industry leadership."
Passion is the key to success
Engel praised the passion of his co-workers, saying “you will not find many places like that in business. It is this passion that has led us to be the global leader in wind energy.”
He added that the passion of his colleagues, combined with their commitment and innovation, would drive Vestas towards even greater goals: "We only have one thing on our minds – wind. To continuously develop the technology in order to make wind energy as cheap as possible for both our customers and end users worldwide."
Ditlev Engel promptly donated half of the US$1.5 million to the newly established NGO, WindMadeTM, founded by Vestas together with the UN Global Compact, WWF, Global Wind Energy Council, Bloomberg, LEGO and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The remaining $750,000 was equally divided between the fourth, fifth and sixth placed finalists, with each receiving $250,000 to help fund their work in renewable energy.
The award was presented by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other VIPs.
About the Zayed Future Energy Prize
The Zayed Future Energy Prize represents the vision of the founding father and former President of the United Arab Emirates, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who championed environmental stewardship.
It is awarded to up to three individuals, companies, organisations or NGOs that have made significant contributions in the field of climate change, sustainability and renewable energy.
The jury comprises some of the world's leading authorities on renewable energy and climate change. Chairman of the jury, Dr RK Pachauri, has been chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, along with Al Gore.
Other members include Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland; HE Eng Khaled Irani, the former Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources for the Kingdom of Jordan; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of Aldara Properties PJSC in Abu Dhabi; Lord Browne, CEO of Riverstone Holdings in the UK; Lord Foster, founder and chairman of architects Foster + Partners in UK; and Susan Hockfield, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
For more information on the Zayed Future Energy Prize, visit www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com