The Toyota Prius was selected from over 300 entries and was awarded the accolade during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi by H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Commenting on the winning entry, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and ceo of Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company MASDAR said: “The calibre of entries has been phenomenal and the jury had tough choices to make in narrowing the selection down to three finalists. The chosen finalists are recognised for their dedicated efforts towards creating a sustainable future for the world, and we are delighted to support them by providing a platform for global recognition and further innovation.”
Toyota was presented with the grand prize of US$1.5 million, while two runners up – Zhengrong Shi, Founder & CEO of Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, China and Amitabha Sadangi, CEO of International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) – were also awarded US$350,000 each.
According to the judging panel, all three finalists "exuded the qualities associated with the Prize criteria - leadership, innovation and long-term vision, and are true ambassadors of renewable energy innovation".
The Zayed Future Energy Prize jury cited Toyota Motor Corporation’s revolutionary technologies, which have set the global standard for fuel efficiency and innovation, as the key factor behind selecting Toyota as the 2010 winner. The original Prius was launched in 1997 and the judges estimated that in the last 13 years has saved around seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere, due to fuel efficient technology.
IDEI was selected for its successful deployment of low-cost irrigation technology to farmers in India. The technology has been designed for small-scale farmers, rather than commercial entities, with over one million smallholders in India having invested in the energy-saving systems to date. This has resulted in over 500 million litres of diesel being saved, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1.8 million tonnes.
Zhengrong Shi, founder and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings Company, established Suntech in September 2001 and has since seen it grow to become the world's largest manufacturer of silicon solar modules. Shi has dedicated his efforts to making solar energy a viable alternative to traditional electricity and increasing its adoption across the globe.
You can read additional comments from WFES at David Hopwood's blog.