Public voting is now open for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2022, part of the European Union’s Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), taking place from September 26 to 30. The shortlisted candidates include 12 finalists in four categories – Innovation, Local Energy Action, Woman in Energy, and Young Energy Trailblazer.
The 2022 European Sustainable Energy Awards recognize exceptional individuals and projects for their innovations and efforts in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. The finalists, three in each category, have been selected by a renowned jury, and members of the public are invited to choose their favorites in online voting.
In the Innovation category, the award recognizes exceptional EU-funded projects that show the original path in the energy transition.
The Beccs Stockholm project is developing technologies for the capture and storage of bioenergy from biomass in existing heat and power plants. Combining BECCS technology (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) with district heating enables an energy-efficient process that captures and permanently stores carbon dioxide, leading to the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. BECCS Stockholm will remove over 8 megatons of CO2 emissions during the first decade of operation.
When biofuels are burned in a combined heat and power plant with carbon capture and storage, up to 90% of CO2 is captured. This innovation also has great potential in other sectors, such as the pulp and paper industry, waste incinerators, and heating plants.
Innovative facade technologies applied by ENVISION in the renovation of buildings generate energy from all available surfaces, enabling “energy-positive buildings.”
ENVISION has developed a new technology that collects thermal and electrical energy from the entire facade of the building, including windows. Such solutions enable the maximum amount of solar energy to be collected while maintaining the aesthetic and functional properties of the facade.
With a return period below 15 years, installation is economical and easy and takes less than two days during the renovation process.
Because it’s invisible, the technology can be applied to buildings using any color, not just the black that we’re used to with solar panels. The facades have been installed in demo locations across Europe, in places with very different climates, in the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy.
Thanks to the Muse Grids project, two communities in Italy and Belgium that are poorly connected to the electricity grid will soon become energy independent, making the most of affordable renewable energy sources.
The project has developed management and planning tools that allow the community to optimize energy use in all facilities connected to the smart energy system, enabling up to 90% of the residents’ energy needs to be met from their own production.
Local Energy Action
In the category of Local Energy Action, the award is intended for contributions to the energy transition at the community level or the local level.
The Minoan Energy Community project in Crete will provide energy for a hundred households and businesses, which will have free electricity for the next 25 years thanks to a recently built photovoltaic power plant.
The project at Minoa Pediadas on this Greek island is fully funded and implemented by the local energy community and relies on virtual net metering. With the concept of “energy democracy” at the core of the project, all strategic decisions are made by the community assembly. The project exemplifies citizen-led renewable energy initiatives.
ComAct deals with energy-poor communities and the introduction of energy efficiency measures in residential buildings in five Central and Eastern European countries. The project provides a methodology and tools for involving the community in the project, financial support advice, and technical knowledge on how to save energy.
C-Track 50 supports local authorities across Europe in long-term planning for climate solutions, sustainable energy, and carbon neutrality of cities and regions by 2050. The project is aimed at supporting local and regional authorities in 11 EU countries in building long-term energy and climate planning capacities.
National governments are committed to ambitious goals, but this cannot happen without the involvement of actors on the ground, and the closest ones to citizens are local authorities and municipalities, according to C-Track 50.
Woman in Energy
In the Woman in Energy category, the award is given to women who lead extraordinary activities to improve the energy transition in Europe.
Andreia Carreiro, a co-founder of Women in Energy Portugal, contributes to the transformation of local energy systems in the fight against climate change.
Apostolina Tsaltampasi is president of Greece’s first women’s energy community and leads an initiative that supports women leaders in the transition to green energy.
Britta Schaffmeister is the executive director of the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC) and an advocate for ocean energy. DMEC brings innovative solutions for marine energy to the market while mobilizing capital and shaping policies.
Young Energy Trailblazers
In the category of Young Energy Trailblazers, the award recognizes young people under 35 who improve the transition to clean energy and inspire ambitious climate and energy actions.
Timea Farkas is developing programs to improve energy efficiency among small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 99% of all businesses in Romania.
Marie Jeanmougin supports energy-efficient building renovation initiatives at the local level in France. As the single largest energy consumer in the EU, buildings account for about 40% of EU energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Carla Silva Goncalves is developing forecasting models, integrated into digital tools, to better predict renewable energy production and maximize the use of renewable energy sources. She points out that sophisticated mathematical methods are necessary to build the energy systems of the future.
“Despite the many benefits of renewable energy sources like wind and solar, there are challenges to overcome because of their dependency on the weather. Forecasts are important to balance production and consumption considering high integration levels of renewable energy,” says Silva Goncalves.
You can find out more about the finalists and projects and vote on the EUSEW website, where the organizers invite the public to meet the finalists through their achievements and choose their favorites.