World Clean Energy Awards Honors Alt-Energy Projects

Basel, Switzerland – The inaugural ceremony for the “energy Oscars” celebrated nine projects around the globe that represent the most promising and innovative uses of large-scale renewable energy.

More than 70 projects were nominated, and an eight-member jury of experts chose winners in fields ranging from construction to transportation to marketing and investment. The World Clean Energy Awards, created by the Swiss group the Transatlantic21 Association, will take place in a different country every year.

The winners in the 2007 awards came from nine categories. For construction, the Hammarby Sjöstad Sustainable City in Sweden won the award. The new development will be home to 10,000 apartments for 25,000 residents, and will use at least 50 percent fewer resources than other developments of its size.

The Philippine Two-Stroke Engine Retrofit Project won the award for Transport and mobility. Envirofit International, which is behind the project, has developed a retrofitting kit for two-stroke engines, which are found everywhere in the Philippines. The kit improves fuel-efficiency and thus massively reduces greenhouse gas and toxic emissions.

In the Products category, which includes agriculture, mining, industry and utility products, Kenya’s Simple Solar Assembling Project won the award. The project employs primarily young people in Kibera, one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest slums, to build photovoltaic power panels that are then used throughout the area to provide affordable renewable power to residents, as well as giving economic opportunities to the region.

The Green Business Center and Water Energy Nexus Activity in New Dehli won the Clean Energy Award in the Services category. The project is a joint initiative from the state government of Andhra Pradesh, the Confederation of Indian Industries, and USAID. It has become India’s leading centre for energy, the environment and climate change, and works to support green concepts for improving energy efficiency and sustainable development.

In Finance and Investment, the award was given to the Masdar Initiative in United Arab Emirates. This project, the first of its kind in the oil-rich Middle East, is a multi-billion dollar program designed to leverage Abu Dhabi’s considerable financial resources and energy expertise into innovative solutions for cleaner, more sustainable energy production and into resource conservation.

Li Zhaoqian, Mayor of Rizhao, China, won the politics and legislation award for his city’s project, the Popularization of Clean Energy in Rizhao. With a population of more than three million, the city is using a combination of incentives and legislative tools to encourage the large-scale, efficient use of renewable energies. Over 500,000 people have already benefited from the program, which in some areas has already installed solar thermal collectors on every single roof.

For the category of NGOs and initiatives, the Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund took home the award with their “Social Merchant Bank” project. S3IDF provides around 5,500 people in southern India with light from a clean energy source.

The jury’s special award was given to Women for Sustainable Development, with the Bagepalli CDM Biogas Project in India. The project is introducing biogas cookers as a substitute for India’s traditional cooking methods, which use non-renewable sources of energy. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the greenhouse gas emissions that the project saves can then be sold in the form of certificates.

And finally, the jury’s special award for courage was given to the Intertribal COUP/Rosebud Sioux Environmental Justice Revitalization Project. The wind power project, which was jointly created by the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and the Rosebud Sioux tribe, encourages tribally-owned development of wind power on Indian Reservations as a viable strategy for building sustainable tribal economies, as well as capitalizing on the hundreds of gigawatts of potential energy generation capabilities in the northern Great Plains area of the U.S.

The high-profile jury of the World Clean Energy Awards, chaired by German professor and author Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, met in New York on 8 May 2007. The jury is composed of the following eight individuals:
  • Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute (USA)
  • Nicky Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London. On the jury she also represents the organisations ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) and “C40 – Large Cities Climate Leadership Group” (UK)
  • Ashok Khosla, CEO TARAhaat, New Delhi (India)
  • James Leape, Director General, WWF International
  • Amory B. Lovins, Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Snowmass, Colorado (USA)
  • André Schneider, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum (Switzerland)
  • Klaus Töpfer, former Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme UNEP (Germany)
  • Ernst U. von Weizsäcker, professor and author (USA / Germany)

Well-known institutions such as the Worldwatch Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the local government sustainability union ICLEI and South-South-North Cape Town, South Africa, were invited to propose winners. Together with other respected institutions, they nominated a total of 70 candidates from 20 countries.

More information about the awards is available at

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