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Zayed Future Energy Prize

Zayed Future Energy Prize

Belvedere Wins European Region Gold Medal - A Huge Achievement!

Barry Heneghan (Rhetoric Finlay) being presented with the prize by
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Nevin Maguire visiting the farm

Belvo wins $100,000 prize for eco-farm on college roof.

Belvedere College SJ has won the Global High School category of the prestigious Zayed Future Energy Prize in Abu Dhabi – the first Irish school to win the award. Their project to create an ‘off-grid’ urban farm in Dublin city centre will receive $100,000 in funding to allow for the expansion of their current urban farm project on the roof-top space in Belvedere College. Students Barry Heneghan (see photo) and Lorcan O’Kelly travelled to Abu Dhabi with urban farm co-ordinator Simon O’Donnell to enter their eco-farm project for the competition.
Students had constructed a 6 kWp solar photovoltaic system along with rainwater harvesting systems to irrigate the farm on the roof. Their plan for the development of the farm project includes maximising sustainability by only using water and energy that can be harvested on-site.

In a bold plan for recycling, the nutrient requirements of the farm will be provided by a closed loop aquaponics system. This means that the effluent waste from fish tanks will be pumped on to beds housing crops such as salads, tomatoes and strawberries. In order to minimise inputs, students will experiment with growing phytoplankton and zooplankton to feed the tilapia fish that can also be harvested as a food source.

See this video link about this news item which was featured on RTE's News2Day programme (limited Viewing time)

More about the Zayed Future Energy Prize

The Zayed Future Energy is an annual award celebrating achievements that reflect impact, innovation, long-term vision and leadership in renewable energy and sustainability. There are five award categories – Lifetime Achievement, Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, Non-Profit Organisation and Global High Schools. Currently in its ninth year, previous winners include individuals such as former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and companies such as Panasonic and Siemens.

The prize, managed by Masdar, is bestowed annually on pioneers in renewable energy and sustainability-related fields. Established in memory of the Founding Father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his passion for environmental sustainability, this set of international awards celebrates the pursuit of a sustainable energy future.

The finalists were scrutinised by the prize’s prestigious Jury on October 23rd 2016, and the winners were announced at an awards ceremony during the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2017
For more information, visit

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