Renewables

Public voting opens for EUSEW Awards

EUSEW Awards

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Published

May 9, 2024

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Published:

May 9, 2024

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Public voting for the European Sustainable Energy Awards (EUSEW Awards) is now open. The jury has selected nine finalists. The awards, part of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), have three categories: Innovation, Local Energy Action, and Woman in Energy.

EUSEW Awards recognize outstanding individuals and projects for their innovations and efforts in energy efficiency and renewable energy. After the jury selected nine finalists, public voting is now open in three categories: Innovation, Local Energy Action, and Woman in Energy.

You can vote for your favorites until June 2 no more than once in each category. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on June 11 in Brussels.

Innovation category

The EUSEW Innovation Award recognizes ongoing or recently completed original projects that contribute to the energy transition and have tangible results, funded by the European Union. The award also inspires and motivates others to implement similar solutions across the EU, bringing social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Norwegian company Kitemill has developed a kite for electricity generation. The Airborne Wind Energy system has three main components: a kite, a tether, and a ground station. The kite glides on air currents, while the tether transfers the pulling force from the kite to the ground-based generator, producing electrical energy.

Flying at an altitude of 300 meters, the kite accesses much stronger winds, resulting in lower production costs and occupying less land than traditional wind farms.

Austrian company Photorama is the second finalist in the Innovation category. The company has developed a circular model for recycling old solar panels, enabling the reuse of materials such as silver, indium, and silicon.

The third finalist is the outPHit project in Spain, which focuses on the energy renovation of buildings. Currently, 75 percent of buildings in Europe are inefficient, leading to higher energy consumption and increased CO2 emissions. The project renovates buildings through 25 case studies to demonstrate real results and provide energy-efficient solutions.

Local Energy Action

The Local Energy Action Award recognizes sustainable initiatives led by groups of citizens or consumers (associated with local authorities or other stakeholders) in the field of energy, contributing to the clean energy transition at the community or local level. This year, the finalists are De Energiecentrale project, the Centrales Villageoises initiative, and AUSL Romagna.

De Energiecentrale aims to simplify and make energy renovation more accessible to households in Ghent, Belgium. Due to technical, financial, and administrative challenges, homeowners often give up on energy renovation of their households. De Energiecentrale provides free guidance and assistance to citizens in undertaking energy renovations.

Residents of Ghent can receive support throughout the process, from visits by experts who assess the needed renovations to finding contractors, comparing offers, and applying for grants and loans.

The second finalist in the Local Energy Action category is French initiative Centrales Villageoises. Citizens that are involved in it unite through local cooperative enterprises for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at the community level. The initiative has facilitated the installation of over 500 solar rooftop installations.

AUSL Romagna, a regional healthcare agency in Italy, has developed a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency across dozens of hospitals and buildings. Its approach integrates energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable mobility. The agency utilizes all available funding sources as well as awareness-raising initiatives among its 15,000 employees and over one million citizens.

Woman in Energy

The Woman in Energy Award highlights the activities of women that, if replicated elsewhere, contribute to accelerating the transition to clean energy in Europe. Special attention is given to efforts to advance the gender mainstreaming agenda and support equality and equal opportunities in the energy sector.

This year’s finalists are Françoise Réfabert, Rita Gomes, and Karolina Attspodina.

Françoise Réfabert, after 25 years of work in the banking sector, founded a consultancy in Paris in 2010. She developed a model for financing energy efficiency measures in collaboration with local authorities, enabling third parties to borrow money for energy renovation.

Her work led to the establishment of the Serafin association, which helps low-income households access long-term interest-free loans for home renovation.

Architect Rita Gomes, leveraging dye-sensitized solar cells, transforms household items into renewable energy-producing devices. She is the director of the award-winning startup Seenergy in Porto, Portugal, which works on democratizing solar energy production by integrating solar cells and batteries into furniture.

Entrepreneur Karolina Attspodina, originally from Ukraine, founded the company WeDoSolar in Berlin in 2022, which develops solar panels easy to install on balconies.

WeDoSolar immediately sold out its first sets of balcony solar panels and now sells its products in 24 EU member countries.

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