Twelve outstanding individuals and projects, of which three are from Southeastern Europe, are competing for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards within the EU Sustainable Energy Week – EUSEW. Everyone can participate in the vote for the Citizens’ Award, Woman in Energy Award and Young Energy Trailblazer Award.
The jury from the EU Sustainable Energy Week or EUSEW, held under the auspices of the European Commission, has selected the most outstanding clean, secure and efficient energy projects and the individuals running such endeavors, and opened a public vote. The twelve finalists are competing for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards.
Everyone can participate in the vote for the Woman in Energy Award and Young Energy Trailblazer Award. The jury will choose projects from the categories of engagement and innovation for respective awards and the public will determine which one from the same two groups deserves the Citizens’ Award.
The EU Sustainable Energy Week will be held online from October 25 to 29 – energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia, civil society representatives and citizens are encouraged to participate
The European clean energy leaders and best projects offer original solutions for the improvement of the quality of life that simultaneously address climate change. Above all, the nominees mostly aim to raise public awareness of the benefits of renewables and energy efficiency and they are attempting to make mechanisms for achieving the net zero carbon emission goal by 2050 available to the masses.
The event is marketed on social media with the #EUSEW2021 hashtag and its theme is Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System.
The Engagement Award recognizes activities with high social acceptance potential that inspire and motivate citizens to change their energy usage habits. Projects COMPILE and TripleA-reno from Slovenia and EnergyNeighbourhoods from Hungary are shortlisted in the category.COMPILE helps to create energy communities integrated with renewable energy in Europe’s rural areas.https://youtu.be/nOMwO66aGLo TripleA-reno uses a performance evidence-based approach to make home renovations and resulting energy savings more attractive, acceptable and affordable for EU citizens.https://youtu.be/Abe_CDSlylA EnergyNeigbourhoods is a green lifestyle program that empowers individuals and communities to take action in response to climate change by making energy-saving behavioral changes in a collaborative way.”The EnergyNeighbourhoods program helps citizens take action against climate change without any investment but by changing their everyday behavior. We help people change their lifestyles, save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, thus reducing their contribution to climate change,” says Edina Vadovics, Scientific Director at GreenDependent Institute, the programme’s coordinator.
By making simple lifestyle changes, households in Hungary can achieve energy savings between 7% to 10% and in some cases up to 25%, the project’s results indicated.
The Innovation Award recognizes outstanding activities funded by the European Union that show an original and innovative path toward the clean energy transition. The contenders in the category are LIFE-DIADEME, PERFORM and RenOnBill.
LIFE-DIADEME is an Italian project that offers a low-cost way to save energy in public lighting while monitoring environmental conditions. It makes such systems adaptive by installing and tracking low-cost sensors. When there is rain or visibility is low due to other factors, street lights are enhanced to the maximum. Conversely, the intensity is lowered when there is no traffic.
The project’s representatives say energy consumption can be slashed by as much as 47% with their system.
PERFORM is a pan-EU project that aims to reduce the environmental impact and carbon dioxide emissions of the chemical industry.
RenOnBill is a project that uses on-bill financing schemes to increase uptake of residential building renovations in Italy, Spain and Lithuania.
“Together with financial institutions, utility companies cover the initial investment of a building renovation. The resulting savings that homeowners eventually see on their energy bills is used to pay back the utility, appearing as a line item on the customer’s energy bills,” explains Paolo Michele Sonvilla, RenOnBill Project Coordinator from Creara, Spain. “On-bill financing can reduce the upfront costs of energy renovations to zero.”
Through the EU-funded RenOnBill project, utility companies are developing strategies to offer on-bill schemes.
Women paving the way for a sustainable energy future
The Woman in Energy Award recognizes outstanding activities led by women that, if replicated, help to advance the clean energy transition in Europe and contribute to the European energy and climate targets. The contenders are Karolina Lipińska, Mònica Guiteras Blaya and Birgit Hansen.
Karolina Lipińska is an innovation architect and the initiator of the Pomeranian Platform for the Development of Offshore Wind Energy in the Baltic Sea.
Mònica Guiteras Blaya is part of the EmpowerMed project which aims to alleviate energy poverty in the coastal areas of Mediterranean countries, with a particular focus on women and their households.
By 2023, up to 10,000 citizens in coastal Mediterranean countries will be empowered to tackle energy poverty in their communities through the support of Guiteras Blaya and the EmpowerMed team.
Birgit Hansen is the first female mayor of Frederikshavn in Denmark. She is highlighted for her role in the city’s ambitious climate plan to reduce CO2 emissions by over 90% by 2050.
European youth take action to shape a sustainable energy future
The Young Energy Trailblazer Award recognizes outstanding activities carried out by people under 35 which advance the clean energy transition in Europe and inspire ambitious climate and energy action. Filip Koprčina from Croatia is competing with Merve Güngör and Daniele Novara.
Merve Güngör is in charge of communications at EKOenergy, an ecolabel recognising sustainable energy in order to encourage consumers to engage with the green energy transition.
Daniele Novara is the CEO and founder of Easy Hydro, which aims to commercialize modular, inexpensive and reliable water turbines that are installed within existing water pipes. He said the technology is primarily intended for underground mining operations.
Filip Koprčina is the founder of Energy Shift, a blockchain-powered platform that allows citizens to invest in and support solar energy projects around the world.
Taking place ahead of the decisive United Nations COP26 climate conference, the event brings together energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia and civil society representatives to discuss how forward-looking policies for decarbonisation, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and many others comprising the European Green Deal, can help rebuild a better and more resilient society and economy.