EUSEW Awards 2016: Why Europe is an innovation epicentre for sustainable energy
On 14 June, the winners of the EUSEW annual Awards for innovative energy projects were announced during an Awards Ceremony in Brussels.
“This is the highlight of the Week because it showcases the best that Europe has to offer in sustainable and renewable energy and we’ve been inspired by the finalists and winners over the years, ” said Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, in his welcome speech at the EUSEW Awards Ceremony.
A short film introduced each of the nine finalists for most outstanding and innovative energy projects in three categories – Consumers, Public Sector, and Businesses. A spokesperson from the jury, charged with the task of choosing the winners in each category, made the announcement before a packed auditorium.
The Consumers prize went to the EcoGrid EU project by Østkraft (Norway/Denmark), which is an energy-market concept empowering households to manage renewables. Learn more
“We are very proud to win this award. We’re a small island and the prize is for the entire community of Bornholm who want to be carbon neutral by 2025,” said the EcoGrid EU project spokesperson. In 2017, all power on the island will be generated by renewable sources.
In the Public Sector prize, the winning project, Sustainable-energy transformation, Municipality of Pokupsko (Croatia), shows that even with a limited budget local governments can implement sustainable solutions. Learn more
“We are proud and deeply honoured to receive the award – the result of vision and hard work. We’re making these changes… for the sake of our people and planet earth. Together, we can achieve great results… which can be an example for Europe,” said Pokupsko’s spokesperson.
While the Businesses category prize went to Green Brewery Göss by Brau Union Österreich (Austria), which is the world’s first major carbon-neutral brewery using only renewable energy. Learn more
“Beer is more than a beverage; it’s an essential part of culture and lifestyle. More than 1 million hectolitres of production is now fully zero carbon at Green Brewery Göss and there is no other project like it worldwide. It is a great example of the Heineken mission of ‘brewing a better world’,” said the project spokesperson.
A fourth award, the Citizens’ prize decided by a public vote, also went to the Green Brewery Göss project. “We introduced this new category because we really wanted to engage consumers to play more of a part in the making of the event,” said Commissioner Cañete.
The high-level jury was led by Jerzy Buzek, chair of the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee who said that Green Brewery Göss is unique as a business which combines sustainability and profitability so well. “The most important point is that it is so close to society and nature with cooperation between smaller and bigger communities,” he added.
Sparking the energy conversation
Delegates were treated to a musical demonstration by EUSEW Ambassador Sudha Kheterpal which highlighted the importance of the human connection in changing the energy conversation.
The power of small, green-tech solutions lies not only in their move away from fossil fuel technologies, but in the ability to do things differently, Ms Kheterpal told the EUSEW news team. Her ‘Spark’ percussion shaker, which converts the kinetic energy from playing it into electricity, shows this disruptive mind set in action.
“Spark connects with end-users and consumers by literally being placed in the hands of people and offers a solution to the 1.2 billion people living off the electricity grid,” she said earlier in the day in her ‘Shake your power’ session.
The Awards Ceremony was followed by a cocktail gathering and press meetings for the finalists and winners.
About the Awards and the 2016 nominees
The nine finalists for the 2016 EUSEW Awards were chosen from a shortlist of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. Now in its 10th edition, the Awards are a major feature of the annual EUSEW Policy Conference.
The finalists were:
Consumers category – Coopérnico (Portugal); Test-Achats (Belgium); Østkraft (Norway/Denmark)
Public sector category – Cyprus Energy Agency (Cyprus); SEAI (Ireland); Municipality of Pokupsko (Croatia)
Businesses category – Brau Union Österreich (Austria); GreenWay Operator (Slovakia); Industry Park of Sweden (Sweden)
The Awards Ceremony