Take the opportunity to give recognition to the individuals and organizations driving Europe’s energy transition by voting for some of the nine finalists of this year’s competition. The awards are part of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW). The winners are selected in three categories: innovation, local energy action and women in energy.
Voting is online and it is open until June 11. Everyone can support one finalist from each of the categories. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in June, which will be attended by European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simons and the high-level jury.
The EUSEW Innovation Award recognizes outstanding ongoing or recently completed projects funded by the European Union that show an original and innovative path towards a clean energy transition.
Alqueva is a floating solar power plant that makes up a hybrid power plant with an old hydroelectric facility and a battery storage unit. Its creators say they use a scalable technology that simultaneously reduces emissions and protects nature.
“We need all the renewable technologies to come together and deliver the energy transition in Europe,” Executive Board Member of EDP Generation Joana Freitas explains. The new 5 MW power plant in Alqueva consists of 12,000 solar panels floating on four hectares of an existing hydroelectric reservoir in central Portugal.
The STEP (Solutions to Tackle Energy Poverty) project uses social innovation to tackle energy poverty across Europe. “Energy poverty can best be tackled through consumer awareness and behavioral change, empowering citizens to improve their situation,” says Kęstutis Kupšys of the Lithuanian Consumers Alliance, one of 11 project partners.
The world’s first high-speed ferry is called Medstraum and runs on batteries. It was developed within the TrAM (Transport: Advanced and Modular) project. The vessel allows commuters in the Stavanger region, Norway, to travel without greenhouse gas emissions or air pollution.
Local Energy Action
The Local Energy Action Award recognizes sustainable energy actions implemented by a group of citizens or consumers (connected to a municipality or other stakeholders) that contribute to the clean energy transition at the community or local levels. A self-consumption collective from the Balearic islands, KLIK from Croatia and Together with the Neighbors from the Netherlands reached the finals this year.
The collective in the Balearic islands is tackling energy poverty through the installation of photovoltaic systems on publicly owned infrastructure. Its founders aim to show how clean energy goals are achieved with benefits for citizens. Over 1,500 households across the Spanish archipelago will get access to clean and affordable energy this year thanks to the project.
KLIK (Križevci Laboratory for Innovation in Climate) is an energy community in Croatia that, in cooperation with the local authority and 11 other local partner organizations, installed residential solar panels of 277 kW in total in just two years. It is an example of cooperation between an energy community and a municipality.
The investment is valued at EUR 500,000. Half was granted by the City of Križevci while homeowners covered the remainder. The local authority aims to have nearly 20% of households with installed photovoltaic systems by 2030.
Together with Neighbors is a citizen-led initiative which works on saving energy in South Holland. Through a network of volunteers, it has developed a replicable model for community members to share information about energy efficiency.
The benefits are two-fold: for citizens that achieve savings and for nature, because thanks to the project, a significant amount of CO2 emissions have been prevented.
Woman in Energy
The EUSEW Woman in Energy Award recognizes women who lead outstanding activities that help to advance the clean energy transition in Europe. Particular attention is placed on efforts to drive the gender mainstreaming agenda and support equality and equal opportunities in the energy sector. This year’s finalists are Silke Wesselmann, Agnieszka Spirydowicz and Anastasia-Maria Moschovi.
Silke Wesselmann is the first woman leading the Office for Climate Protection and Sustainability in Steinfurt, Germany. She is working on the implementation of the energy transition by translating global climate targets into local action.
Working together with the Münster University of Applied Sciences, Silke and her team developed a plan to outline energy measures for 24 cities in the district of Steinfurt in the sectors of electricity, heating and mobility, bringing together sustainable energy action and climate issues.
Agnieszka Spirydowicz is an expert bringing solar, wind and hydrogen energy to a coal-dominated region in Poland. As president of energy community Zklaster since 2021, she combines her technical experience with multi-level cooperation models to launch innovative and sustainable energy projects in the area of Turów and beyond.
Anastasia-Maria Moschovi has a PhD in chemical engineeringS he brings energy innovation to Greece. As head of research, development and innovation at Monolithos in Athens, Anastasia leads several EU-funded projects in the development of innovative technologies in hydrogen production, green energy production and storage, electric vehicles and industrial decarbonization.
Last year, two of the four European Sustainable Energy Awards went to Southeastern Europe.