EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, said: “I am pleased to witness such growing interest in this award, with so many high quality entries year after year.
“My praise goes to the five winners as well as to all the organisations and individuals around Europe that are working to ensure a more sustainable energy future for us all.”
Of the 272 contesting projects, the following five were selected:
Solar.Now! by the Rural Energy Foundation, the Netherlands, provides support and training to entrepreneurs in 7 sub-Saharan African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) to set up and develop renewable energy business.
Since 2007, around 332,000 people have benefitted from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The programme also trains installers, runs awareness campaigns for potential users, facilitates access to loans, and advises governments on suitable regulation.
Demonstration and dissemination
The Hungarian Schools Illumination Programme promoted by the Hungarian Ministry of Education and Culture and General Electric Lighting, won the sustainable energy award in the demonstration and dissemination category.
The programme is retrofitting illumination systems in schools across Hungary. The projects are mainly funded through the energy savings they provide.
In four years, over 1400 schools have been retrofitted and another 1500 upgrades are expected. The projects have reduced energy consumption in Budapest schools by 40%.
Alcatel Lucent’s Alternative Energy Program for Global Green Telecommunications won the market transformation award. Base stations are powered with solar and wind energy instead of using diesel generators for off-grid, wireless communication stations.
Promotional/communication and educational actions
Sonne! Sonne! Sonne! promoted by WBN: Büro für Kommunikation GmbH, Sharp Solar and Q-Cells,seeks to inform youth aged 13 to 25 about renewable energy and CO2 reduction. The programme has created a humorous integrated campaign on TV and online, which so far has reached 16 million viewers in Germany.
Sustainable energy communities
ProjectZero in Denmark is a public/private initiative aiming to make the town of Sønderborg CO2 neutral by 2029. The project, Turning Sønderborg into a Zero Carbon Municipality, focuses on five main areas: building renovation, green heat pumps and district heating, onshore and offshore wind, biogas plants, and smart grid systems.