Windpower winners Vestas give $1.5m prize to runners-up

Wind turbine specialist Vestas has surprised the eco-energy community by giving away a $1.5m prize the company won for its green innovation to the unrewarded runners-up. Vestas – which is globally the largest windpower company – took first place in the Zayed Future Energy Prize, but company execs chose to redistribute the money after realising much smaller ventures would go without. "We quickly decided that we should seize the opportunity to extend the influence of the prize through redistributing the cash award to others" CEO Ditlev Engel told the Guardian.

Half of the prize fund went to WindMade, a coalition backed by WWF, LEGO Group and Bloomberg to brand products that have been made with windpower. Meanwhile, three further ventures got $250,000 each, including Barefoot College founder Bunker Roy, Seventh Generation Advisors founder Terry Terry Tamminen – a former Arnold Schwarzenegger adviser on green issues, and finally thin-film photovoltaics company First Solar.