SEE awards recognise excellence in sustainable energy

SEE awards recognise excellence in sustainable energy

One highlight of the EUSEW 2009 was the third annual Sustainable Energy Europe awards recognising the Sustainable Energy Partners whose projects were deemed examples of excellence.

The Sustainable Energy Europe (SEE) awards ceremony in Brussels on 10 February 2009, hosted by European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, brought together SEE Partners and Campaign Associates. Some 251 Sustainable Energy Partnerships were entitled to register for this year’s competition, part of the greater SEE Campaign. An independent committee selected winning projects in five categories – co-operation programmes, demonstration and dissemination projects, market transformation including voluntary commitments, and promotional communication and educational actions – from a shortlist of 25 nominees.

This European Commission initiative aims to raise public awareness and promote sustainable energy production and use among individuals and organisations, private companies and public authorities, professional and energy agencies, industry associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across Europe. The Sustainable Energy Partnership is the main instrument of the Campaign; it actively involves and promotes a wide range of energy actions and programmes in the EU.

The 2009 SEE awards went to:

  • RENDEV for Co-operation Programmes. This French-based project, co-ordinated by the PlaNet Finance Group, facilitated micro-financing schemes to rural communities in Bangladesh and Indonesia, enabling them to install solar electricity systems.
  • HyFLEET:CUTE for Demonstration and Dissemination Projects. Led by PE International, this initiative is the world’s largest hydrogen-powered bus project. This project operates 47 buses in 10 different cities: Amsterdam (Netherlands), Barcelona and Madrid (Spain), Beijing (China), Berlin and Hamburg (Germany), London (United Kingdom), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Perth (Western Australia) and Reykjavik (Iceland);
  • Portuguese civic architecture specialist Sonae Sierra for Market Transformation Including Voluntary Commitments. This initiative seeks to encourage the inclusion of sustainable energy practices into the development and management of buildings; and
  • CONNECT for Promotional Communication and Educational Actions. This Belgian project, organised by Mobiel 21, presented the Traffic Snake game to more than 15 000 pupils, encouraging them and their parents to travel to school for one week in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

There were two winners in the last category – Sustainable Energy Communities:

  • Consorzio Produttori Agricoli Acque Minerali Umbre for sustainable land development work. By engaging local municipalities and farmers, this Italian project encourages energy production from local wood and agricultural biomass; and
  • Thurrock Energy Partnership – this UK project promotes energy-efficiency initiatives; encourages the uptake of eco-friendly insulation and heating measures, and offers grant schemes to local citizens.

Since their inception, the SEE awards have attracted 631 projects to register as partners. The awards publicise the objectives of the SEE campaign, and shine a spotlight on the leading sustainable energy initiatives.

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