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solar power csp EU Sustainable Energy Awards

The best European clean energy projects and leaders received top recognition at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards ceremony. Five winners took home awards in their respective categories – Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy, Young Energy Trailblazer – and the Citizens’ Award. An expert jury selected the winners in the Engagement and Innovation categories while European citizens chose the others via a public vote. European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, was on hand to congratulate the winners at the online awards ceremony which kicked off Day 1 of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).

Commissioner Simson praised all five EU Sustainable Energy Awards winners commenting, “The projects and individuals that are being recognised today are not only leaders in transforming Europe’s energy landscape, they are role models. Their work is a testament to the importance of citizen engagement in making the European Green Deal a reality. We’ve been working hard to develop policy instruments, which guide and support action on the ground, and it is truly inspiring to see this vision at work. Together, we are bringing Europe closer to its climate goals.“ 

EnergyNeighbourhoods

EnergyNeighbourhoods took home the Engagement award for its green lifestyle programme that empowers citizens to save energy in Hungary

The Engagement award recognises activities with high social acceptance potential, that inspire and motivate citizens to change their energy usage habits.

“The EnergyNeighbourhoods programme helps citizens take action against climate change without any investment but by changing their everyday behavior,“ says Edina Vadovics, Scientific Director at GreenDependent Institute, the programme’s coordinator.  “We help people change their lifestyles, save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, thus reducing their contribution to climate change.“ 

Read more about EnergyNeighbourhoods in English or Hungarian.

LIFE-DIADEME

LIFE-DIADEME won the Innovation award for its innovative public lighting scheme which reduces emissions and improves pedestrian safety

The Innovation award recognises outstanding EU-funded activities that show an original and innovative path toward the clean energy transition.

“We have installed almost 800 sensors on light posts in the two pilot areas in Rome, and an additional 200 in Rimini and Piacenza,” says Linda Meleo, Councillor for Infrastructure Development in Rome’s Department of Infrastructure. “It is an energy-saving technology but it also promotes pedestrian safety. Many municipalities are reluctant to implement adaptive lighting technologies for fear of lighting dimming when the conditions are unsafe, but the real-time aspect of LIFE-DIADEME overcomes this.”

Read more about LIFE-DIADEME in English or Italian.

Woman in Energy award

Birgit Hansen, Mayor of Frederikshavn, won the Woman in Energy award for her local leadership in climate planning

The Woman in Energy award recognises outstanding activities led by women that, if replicated, help to advance the clean energy transition in Europe and contribute to the European energy and climate targets.

“My role as a mayor and as a leader is to motivate people to act on this agenda. I need to be at the forefront and bring together industry, citizens and the municipality to make things happen. We made partnerships within the municipality, so all actors who want to get involved in our green transformation can do so,” explains Birgit when discussing the role of leadership and climate action.

Read more about Birgit Hansen in English or Danish.

Young Energy Trailblazer

 Koprčina scooped the Young Energy Trailblazer award for democratising solar energy ownership

The Young Energy Trailblazer award recognises outstanding activities carried out by young people (under 35) which advance the clean energy transition in Europe and inspire ambitious climate and energy action.

“I wanted to show that the choice between making money and having a positive impact on the environment is a false dichotomy,” says Filip, “citizens who invest in these solar projects can expect greater returns than they would receive if their money was in a bank. The amount of energy we will save from the investments committed to date is equal to charging 17.5 million smartphones.” 

Read more about Filip Koprčina in English or Croatian.

Citizens’ Award

RenOnBill took the Citizens’ Award for bringing financial institutions and utilities together to increase renovation uptake

The Citizens’ Award recognises initiatives and individuals working on innovative and engaging ways to reinvent Europe’s energy landscape. The six projects competing in the Engagement and Innovation categories were up for consideration for this award, determined by public vote.

“Together with financial institutions, utility companies cover the initial investment of a building renovation. The resulting savings that homeowners eventually see on their energy bills is used to pay back the utility, appearing as a line item on the customer’s energy bills,” explains Paolo Michele Sonvilla, RenOnBill Project Coordinator from Creara, Spain. “On-bill financing can reduce the upfront costs of energy renovations to zero.” 

Read more about RenOnBill in English, Spanish or Italian.

About the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 

Twelve outstanding individuals and projects are highlighted at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2021 for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Finalists were chosen from a list of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. The EU Sustainable Energy Awards have four categories – Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy and Young Energy Trailblazer – as well as the Citizen’s Award. Prizes were awarded by an expert jury (for Engagement and Innovation), and by citizens via a public vote.

EUSEW 2021

EUSEW 2021 runs from 25 to 29 October 2021, under the theme ‘Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System’. Taking place ahead of the decisive COP 26, the event brings together energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia and civil society representatives to discuss how forward-looking policies for decarbonisation, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and many others comprising the European Green Deal, can help rebuild a better and more resilient society and economy.

Photo: Mike McBey 

wind power

The production of renewable energy from solar and wind power is increasing every year. But after analysing the growth rates of solar and wind power in 60 countries, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University in Sweden and Central European University in Vienna, Austria, conclude that virtually no country is moving sufficiently fast to avoid global warming of 1.5°C or even 2°C.

Read more

floating windfarm kincardine
The 50 MW Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is now the largest floating windfarm on the planet. It is located 15 km off the coast of Aberdeenshire, in water depths ranging from 60m to 80m.

The project consists of five Vestas V164-9.5 MW and one V80-2 MW turbine, each installed on WindFloat® semi-submersible platforms designed by Principle Power. The Kincardine project was started back in 2014 by Allan MacAskill and Lord Nicol Stephen, now both directors of Flotation Energy plc. In 2016 Cobra Group became the main investor in Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd. (KOWL)

Cobra Wind, a subsidiary of Cobra Group, has been responsible for delivery of the project, including engineering, construction, installation and commissioning.

Cobra’s Senior Manager, Jose Antonio Fernández, said:
“The Kincardine project is not only the world’s largest. It has also been a fantastic foundation for other joint venture projects between Cobra and Flotation Energy. Our Round 4 success with the 480MW Morecambe project, our 7GW of bids into the Scotwind leasing round and our White Cross 100MW floating project in the South West are all signs of our confidence in Scotland and the UK Floating wind is set for massive growth in the future – and we want to do more.”

Floating windfarm other firsts

In addition to being the largest floating windfarm in the world, the development also features another first, using the highest capacity wind turbines ever installed on floating platforms.

Kincardine will generate over 200 GWh of green electricity a year, enough renewable electricity to power more than 50.000 Scottish households and to help fight climate change.

Jaime Altolaguirre, KOWL Project Director from Cobra, said: “The completion of Kincardine comes at a pivotal time in determining Scotland’s leadership in the floating offshore sector. Kincardine offshore windfarm has shown that the largest and most advanced wind turbines available can be installed on floating platforms in the challenging North Sea environment. The project proves that floating wind can play a vital role in tackling climate change not only in Scotland and the UK, but also around the world.”

The Kincardine team has also announced the selection of Aberdeen as its operations and maintenance base.

Jaime Altolaguirre continued saying: “Our local team, managed by Cobra, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the project. We will be using Scottish based companies with proven North Sea capabilities, drawing on their experience maintaining offshore semi submersibles and platforms over the last 50 years. It could not be a better fit.”

Aaron Smith, Chief Commercial Officer, Principle Power, said
“Kincardine floating windfarm is further showing the readiness and commercial potential of floating technology. With eighty percent of the world’s offshore wind resources in deep water areas, floating technologies like the WindFloat® open several new geographies to harness the boundless supply of clean energy contained therein.  The UK has led the way in realising the potential of floating wind and is now recognised globally as a key market for floating wind developments. Kincardine demonstrates the readiness of floating wind to support the government’s net zero ambitions ahead of the forthcoming lease awards in ScotWind, floating wind leasing rounds managed by Crown Estate Scotland.”

Nils de Baar, President, Vestas Central & Northern Europe, said:
“The Kincardine project shows how boundaries of offshore wind technology are constantly being pushed forward. We have once again demonstrated that the world’s most powerful turbines can be installed on floating substructures.
We stand ready for the next phase of commercial scale floating offshore wind. With appropriate policy and regulations, floating technology offers the UK an opportunity to expand its global leadership position in offshore wind and build further opportunities for the domestic supply chain. We are proud to be part of the pioneering Kincardine project.” 

About Kincardine Floating Windfarm

  • Developer: Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd. (KOWL). Established in 2014 by Allan MacAskill and Lord Nicol Stephen. Majority owned by the Cobra Group
  • EPC Contractor: Cobra Wind International Limited (CWIL)
  • Turbines: 5 x Vestas V164-9.525 MW turbines and 1 x V80-2 MW
  • Blade tip height: 190 meters
  • Foundation: WindFloat (floating, semi-submersible type)
  • Project Capacity: 50 MW
  • Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Distance from Shore: 15 km
  • Water Depth: 60-80 meters
  • Nominal Voltage: 33 kV
  • Number of homes powered annually: over 50.000
  • Expected life: at least 25 years