The winners of the 2017 EU Sustainable Energy Awards have been announced at the Awards Ceremony in Brussels. Which projects swayed the judges and the public vote?
Twelve projects made it to the Awards shortlist this year, three in each of the categories: Consumers, Public Sector, Energy Islands, and Businesses. A further Award was decided by a public online vote in the weeks leading up to EUSEW 2017.
The evening focused on the role of innovation in driving the energy transition in citizens’ everyday lives. It began with a look at possible future directions for fashion – a fabric that converts solar power into electricity, developed by fashion designer Marina Toeters. Short video clips then introduced the three projects in each category before the winners were revealed.
The winner of each category was announced by a specialist in that field from the high-level jury. The Awards themselves were presented by the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, who first welcomed the audience and stressed the importance of innovation – and the new category, energy islands – in developing energy security for all European citizens.
Award winners for 2017
The Consumers Award went to the Home Energy Saving Kit by Codema (Ireland). The kit contains specialist tools to help householders identify potential energy savings in the home. Learn more
“Codema’s unique relationship with Dublin City Council Libraries has made it possible to bring the kit into hundreds of homes across Dublin,” said the project spokesperson, “helping our citizens to take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.”
The Public Sector Award went to the CELSIUS project, from Göteborg Energi AB (Sweden), which supports district heating and cooling in 66 municipalities. Learn more
“The award means attention – and district heating and cooling is worthy of attention for its simplicity,” said the project spokesperson. “The challenge is in transporting heat … CELSIUS shows how it is possible.”
The Business category winner was SINBIO, by Trebišovská energetická s.r.o. (Slovakia), generating power for the town of Trebišov from agricultural and forestry waste. Learn more.
“It was the biggest project to be supported by an EU development grant in Slovakia. I hope it will also contribute to energy sustainability in the future,” said the project spokesperson.
The first-ever Energy Islands winner was the Tilos project (Greece) for its power station that combines renewables, battery storage and a smart grid for secure energy. Learn more.
“What we have built in Tilos has scalability. It is a solution to the high cost of oil imports for the many inhabited islands in Greece,” said the project spokesperson.
The high-level jury included Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), who observed, “This award has a very strong message that alternative, community-level schemes that foster storage have become a viable reality and a way forward to address energy security for islands.”
Finally, the Citizens’ Award was revealed, chosen from the 12 finalists in an online poll. Over 22 000 votes were cast online, more than double the total in 2016. At the 14 June deadline, Tilos was the winner with over 10 000 votes – confirming the jury’s choice!
The Tilos spokesperson thanked the island’s inhabitants, saying: “Without their help we couldn’t have achieved this project.”
The Awards Ceremony was followed by a press briefing for finalists and winners and a cocktail gathering in the Residence Palace patio.
About the Awards and the 2017 nominees
The 12 finalists for the 2017 EUSEW Awards were chosen from a shortlist of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. Now in its 11th edition, the Awards are a major feature of the annual EUSEW Policy Conference.
The finalists were:
Consumers category – Home Energy Saving Kit (Ireland); Topten – Best Products of Europe (EU-wide); Participation for Sustainable Towns (Italy)
Public Sector category – Bucharest Sector 1 – Thermal Rehabilitation Programme (Romania); Beenergi Programme (Spain); CELSIUS – Smart District Energy (Sweden)
Businesses category – Active Network Management Pilot Project (Belgium); Bright Programme (Portugal); SINBIO – Sustainable Innovation in Bioenergy (Slovakia)
Energy Islands category – Bornholm – The Bright Green Island (Denmark); Tilos (Greece); Simskäla Island (Finland).