On 20 June, the winners of the 2017 EU Sustainable Energy Awards have been announced at the Awards Ceremony which took place at the Résidence Palace Hotel in Brussels in the context of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 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.
Twelve projects were this year's finalists, 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.
2017 EU Sustainable Energy Awards winners:
- 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.
- The Public Sector Award went to the CELSIUS project, from Göteborg Energi AB (Sweden), which supports district heating and cooling in 66 municipalities.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
All twelve finalists were of high quality, but the judges explained their reasons for their final choices.
TILOS Island, which aims to transform the island of Tilos' access to renewable energy, sends a very strong message that alternative, community-level schemes that foster energy storage are becoming a viable reality and a way to address energy security for islands.
Sinbio, which converts local straw, hay and woody material into renewable energy, shows that the energy transition is not a purely political or policy issue, but rather something much closer to citizens, inevitably changing the way we live and think for the better.
Home Energy Saving Kit, which helps householders save energy, stands out for its closeness to citizens and for its educational dimension. This initiative empowers consumers, and makes them feel part of the energy transition.
Celsius – Smart District Energy, which is developing energy-efficient district heating and cooling systems, brings together 66 municipalities in 15 EU countries. It engages small and large scale industries and unites academics and end-user groups.
The Awards Ceremony was followed by a press briefing for finalists and winners and a cocktail gathering in the Residence Palace patio.
For further information, please visit the relevant EUSEW 2017 and DG Energy webpages at the links below.