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Brussels, 10 February 2009

Commission rewards Europe’s most pioneering Sustainable Energy Projects

The winners of the third edition of the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2009 were announced at a ceremony in the Albert Hall in Brussels on February 10th, 2009. The awards are an integral part of the EU’s Sustainable Energy Week, and its overall Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign. They aim to showcase examples of the most outstanding, ambitious and innovative initiatives in sustainable energy, and reward those projects most worthy of recognition. They also seek to inspire the development of Europe’s newest energy initiatives. These awards can recognise EU projects but also include international both participants and beneficiaries.

This year, over 250 projects entered the competition. 6 projects have been awarded prizes in five categories:1

  1. Co-operation Programmes >> RENDEV, PlaNet Finance Group, Saint Ouen, France. Enabling rural communities in Bangladesh and Indonesia to gain access to micro-financing schemes, and thereby obtain solar electricity systems. Prices for the systems are moderate, and the project has demonstrated a high replication potential.
  2. Demonstration and Dissemination Projects >> HyFLEET:CUTE, PE International, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany. This is the world’s largest hydrogen-powered bus demonstration, research and dissemination project. Running 47 buses in 10 cities on three continents, it has involved 31 partners from industry, government, universities and consultancies. Countries participating include Germany (leaders), Australia, Canada, China, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK.
  3. Market Transformation Including Voluntary Commitments >> Sonae Sierra, Lisbon, Portugal. Civic architecture specialist, seeking to incorporate sustainable energy practices into the development and management of buildings. Its aim is to raise awareness about sustainable energy among stakeholders, and to drive the industry forwards in the energy efficiency of its buildings.
  4. Promotional Communication and Educational Actions >> Connect, Mobiel 21, Leuven, Belgium. Promoted by the EU’s CONNECT project, the Traffic Snake game is designed as an attractive school action to inspire schoolchildren and parents to travel in a safe and environmentally-friendly way for one week. It has already involved over 15.000 children. Partners in the project come from Austria, Bulgaria Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and the UK.
  5. Sustainable Energy Communities (In this category there were two winners ex-aequo) >>Consorzio Produttori Agricoli Acque Minerali Umbre s.r.l., Acquasparta, Italy. Consortium of regional farmers and local municipalities in Umbria aiming to produce energy using local wood and renewable agricultural biomass, thereby achieving sustainable land development. Starting locally, the positive consequences of the project are rapidly spreading over the whole country. >> Thurrock Energy Partnership, Climate Energy Ltd, Thurrock, UK. This project was established to promote energy efficiency initiatives actively in Thurrock, and to increase citizens’ take-up of energy-efficient insulation and heating measures. It offers all residents energy efficiency and security measures as well as grant schemes, with a principal focus on vulnerable clients.

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