Eastern partner countries eligible for EU Sustainable Energy Awards for the first time.
Shaping Europe’s Energy Future is the theme of this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), which will happen across the EU and in the Eastern Partnership region from 17 to 21 June.
Since 2006, the EUSEW has been uniting public authorities, businesses, non-governmental organisations and citizens across the EU and Eastern partner countries to promote initiatives to save energy and move towards cleaner, more secure and efficient power. The week has grown into a close-knit community that is at the forefront of sustainable energy policy in Europe.
Honouring outstanding energy projects
Among the activities taking place each year are the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. These recognise inspiring EU-supported energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that directly help citizens and communities save energy or switch to sustainable sources. This year, the Awards were extended for the first time to applicants from the Eastern Partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Applications were open to citizens, businesses, governmental institutions, local authorities, civil society and youth organisations, from one or several Eastern Partners countries. Six finalists were selected from over 50 entries and the overall winner will be announced during the EUSEW week at a ceremony on 18 June in Brussels.
Last year’s winner in the Young Energy Leaders Awards category was a communication hub called Czech Sustainable Houses. “Our student architecture competition is the largest in central Europe and has been inspiring young architects to lead the way to energy transition with their innovative, energy-saving designs. We have also created hundreds sustainable houses’ projects, as well as a new system for energy management in households,” says founder Pavel Podrum.
Energy Days across the Eastern Partnership region
Another established feature of EUSEW is its ‘Energy Days’. Organised by local public and private organisations, the Days are activities and events that promote clean energy transition. Any activity can be an Energy Day – from a workshop, to a competition, to a tour of a power station – provided it engages citizens and energy stakeholders in building the Energy Union.
Last year, more than 40,000 people participated in some 500 different Energy Day activities and events across the region. For example, in Armenia, the Yerevan Energy Efficiency project, which is undertaking a comprehensive energy efficiency retrofitting and refurbishing of 140 kindergartens across the country, was presented.
In Georgia, meanwhile, Telavi residents participated in a quiz on energy efficiency and renewable energy and winners were rewarded with small prizes such as summer sport hats with solar powered fans and solar outdoor lamps.
And in Moldova, more than 300 children and their parents learned about the importance of saving energy and the sources of green energy. They also participated in an energy-themed drawing contest, sports competitions and other activities for the chance to win prizes.
Covenant of Mayors continues to attracts signatories
At the launch of the EUSEW in Ukraine in June 2018, 14 new cities signed up to the EU’s Covenant of Mayors – East initiative, which targets local authorities and their citizens to take the lead in the fight against global climate change.
As of April 2019, some 269 Ukrainian cities had joined the EU initiative and committed to reducing carbon emissions, stepping up energy efficiency and improving the quality of life for their residents. And across the region as a whole, there are now over 410 Covenant of Mayor signatories, a number that keeps on growing!
Major EU conference on renewables and energy efficiency
Taking place in Brussels from 18 to 20 June, the EUSEW Policy Conference is the biggest European conference dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use. Sessions organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders, focus on sustainable energy issues, debate new policy developments, best practices and sustainable energy ideas.
The EUSEW event continues to grow with last year’s numbers speaking for themselves: over 2,500 participants and more than 7,000 live stream followers, 64 sessions, more than 50 networking activities, over 500 local Energy Days across the EU, including in the Eastern Partnership countries, and trending for three consecutive days on social media.
Will you be part of it?
You can look to see if there is an energy day being organised near you on the EUSEW web site.