The Zayed Future Energy Prize aims to inspire innovation and the development of barely imaginable solutions in the global race to address the crisis of climate change and the scarcity of sustainable energy alternatives. Governments, companies, NGOs, individuals and institutions are eligible for the award, which recognizes excellence in the innovation, development and implementation of sustainable energy solutions. The scope of the prize encompasses:

The winner receives $1.5 million, while up to two finalists each receive $350,000, to help accelerate development of their ideas. The Zayed Future Energy Prize reflects the vision toward conservation and global citizenry of the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi and Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The prize honours the environmental stewardship legacy of the late Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and President and Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Finalists are nominated by experts across the globe, while the winners are chosen by a jury chaired by Dr R.K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced the first winners of the prize in January 2009 at the World Future Energy Summit.

The inaugural prize winner in 2009 was Mr. Dipal Chandra Barua has devoted more than 13 years of his life in developing one of the most successful market-based sustainable models to reach the off-grid rural people on a mass scale.