Günther Oettinger, Commissioner responsible for Energy 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 the individuals around Europe that are working to ensure a more sustainable energy future for us all."
The five Sustainable Energy Europe Awards - one for each of the five award categories- went to:
Project Promoter: Rural Energy Foundation, Netherlands
Category: Co-operation Programmes
The Solar.Now! Programme provides support and training to entrepreneurs in seven sub-Saharan African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia), helping them set up and develop renewable energy business. Making photovoltaic panels available at affordable prices is helping to build a marketplace for solar energy in rural aras where there is plenty of sunshine, but no existing electricity grid. Thanks to REF´s programme, since 2007 an estimated 332,000 people have enjoyed the benefits of a reliable household source of energy thanks to solar panels. The programme also trains installers, runs awareness campaigns for potential users, facilitates access to loans, and advises governments on suitable regulation.
Winner: Hungarian Schools Illumination Programme
Project Promoters: Ministry of Education and Culture and General Electric Lighting, Hungary
Category: Demonstration and Dissemination Projects
The Schools Illumination programme is retrofitting illumination systems in schools across Hungary. Through the design and use of high-standard lighting and heating solutions energy is safed and CO2 emissions are cut. The renovation projects are funded mainly by the energy savings made by their installation. In just four years, more than 1,400 primary and secondary schools across the country have been retrofitted, and another 1,500 upgrades are foreseen. Due to the lighting improvements alone, energy consumption has been reduced by 40% in Budapest schools.
Winner: Alternative Energy Program for Global Green Telecommunications
Project Promoter: Alcatel Lucent, France
Category: Market Transformation
Alcatel Lucent developed an integrated technology that replaces the need for diesel generators, enabling telecoms equipment to run on renewable fuel. Powering the base stations with solar and wind energy is improving mobile communications, providing social and economic benefits and changing the lives of millions. Currently many telecoms operators in emerging markets provide mobile service to areas not served by an electricity grid, using diesel generators to power wireless base station antennas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Winner: Sonne! Sonne! Sonne! / Sun! Sun! Sun!
Project Promoter: WBN: Büro für Kommunikation GmbH, with solar cell manufacturers Sharp Solar and Q.Cells, Germany
Category: Promotional/Communication and Educational Actions
In an effort to reach youth (ages 13-24), inform them about renewable energy and motivate CO2 reduction, solar cell manufacturers Sharp Solar and Q.Cells teamed up with MTV to create a humorous integrated campaign on TV and the Internet. Realising the power that puppets, animation and computer-generated images have in reaching the target audience, the creative forces behind the campaign created a series of fictional energy-experts: a toaster, a boom box, a mobile phone and a hairdryer. The campaign reached 16 million viewers in Germany.
Winner: ProjectZero: Turning Sonderborg into a Zero Carbon Municipality
Project promoter: ProjectZero, Denmark
Category: Sustainable Energy Communities
A true community effort, ProjectZero is a public/private initiative that aims to make the seaside city of Sonderborg (population 77,000) CO2 neutral by 2029. Focused on five main areas -- building renovations; green heat pumps and green district heating; on-shore and off-shore wind energy; biogas plants; and Smart Grid systems -- Sonderborg is following an impressively detailed roadmap on what the region will do in the coming years to achieve its long-term goal. One example: "Bright Green Harbour," a project designed by Frank Gehry, will transform the old industrial waterfront into a vibrant area with state-of-the-art energy efficiency standards.
Now in its fourth edition, the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards competition has seen a steady rise in the number of entries (272 in 2010) - a further evidence of the growing interest in sustainable energy across Europe. In 2009, 251 projects entered the competition, up from 242 entries in 2008.
For interviews with winners, contact Kostas Mastakas at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign: www.sustenergy.org. For more information about Sustainable Energy Week: www.eusew.eu