The leaders of the green energy sector gathered in London on Thursday night for the annual British Renewable Energy Awards, in an event that showcased how the UK is benefiting from investing and innovating in sustainability.
The Renewable Energy Association’s (REA) ninth annual event was hosted at the Savoy on London’s Strand, a hotel acclaimed for efforts to reduce its environmental impact.
Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker, who addressed the audience with an introductory speech, said, “Once again the REA’s awards are showcasing the most inspiring examples of how UK businesses, local authorities and communities are investing and innovating to realise the unique opportunities in renewable energy.”
The anaerobic digestion firm Tamar Energy won in the company category, recognised for its efforts to advance renewable energy in the UK.
Energy co-operative Gen Community won the community award for its Newport Solar project, which has provided free solar PV installations to over 70 households living in fuel poverty.
For its energy efficiency financing programme, Siemens Financial Services won the new Financial Product Award, which was sponsored by Blue & Green Tomorrow.
REA chief executive Nina Skorupska said, “Congratulations to all our worthy winners. You are showing your peers how it’s done, and showing those beyond our own industry that renewable energy means business.
“Our judges have given equal merit to the stalwarts that have ploughed the renewable energy furrow for decades as to the disruptive new players who are fundamentally changing the way we think about energy. Evenings like this remind us exactly why renewable energy is such a vibrant and exciting sector to work in.”
The night was also used to welcome the REA’s new Finance Forum, which will look to develop the relationship between REA members and the finance community.
Greg Barker, who will be attending the forum’s steering meeting next month, said the initiative was “Not just important, but very timely.
“No-one does financial innovation better than us. The City of London leads the world in low-carbon finance. Our industry must innovate with finance as well as technology. Over time this will reduce the cost of capital for the sector and help renewable energy towards its target of competing on cost with energy from fossil fuels.”
The Finance Forum will also co-host a Sustainable Investment Bootcamp with Blue & Green Tomorrow later this year.
Simon Leadbetter, founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow and a judge for this year’s awards, said, “I’m delighted to be working with the REA to take this one step further with the Finance Forum.
“This is not just another talking shop. The Finance Forum is about explaining renewable energy markets and policies to the mainstream finance community, unlocking new and innovative sources of funding for projects, and strengthening and accelerating real world growth in renewables.”
Full list of winners:
Champion: John Baldwin
Community: Gen Community: Newport Solar
Company: Tamar Energy
Financial Product: Siemens Financial Services: Energy Efficiency Financing
Innovation: Clarke Energy: Rendlesham AD plant
Installer: Rural Energy
Leadership: Bristol City Council
Project: SgurrEnergy: Salkhit Wind Farm
Skills Development: Hughes Sub Surface Engineering: Offshore Emergency Response Team
Judges’ Award: Fiona Hall