This year’s winners are truly revolutionising the sustainable energy world. From a free city-wide public bicycle scheme in China helping combat air pollution, to the large-scale restoration of hydro power plants in East Tajikistan and innovative smart energy hardware and software solutions in the UK and India, this year’s winners are all leaders when it comes to excellence in sustainable energy.
The winners of the 2017 Ashden Awards are:
UK Award winners
Big Birmingham Bikes (BBB), a Birmingham City Council initiative, has provided four thousand free bikes and cycle training to residents living in deprived areas in order to improve peoples’ mobility, health and wellbeing, as well as to increase access to workplaces, education and training. BBB is a joint winner of the Ashden Award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities.
Nottingham City Council – the other joint winner of the Ashden Award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities – has introduced a modest parking levy for employers in the city – to help tackle congestion and associated air pollution – and invested the revenue back into sustainable transport measures such as electric buses, cycling, trams and a public transport smartcard.
The Passivhaus Trust promotes the use of Passivhaus techniques to design buildings, resulting in significant energy savings whilst simultaneously providing high levels of comfort and health. At the forefront of the Passivhaus movement in the UK, the Trust provides advice, training and certification to architects, engineers, suppliers and builders and wins the UK Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings.
Smarter Grid Solutions offers smart hardware and software to actively monitor the electricity distribution network, and manage renewable energy generators. Its real-time technology enables its customers to make the most of existing network infrastructure and quickly connect increasing amounts of renewable energy in areas where the network had previously been considered to be full. The organisation wins the Ashden Award for Smart Energy, supported by Ecotricity.
Switchee offers the first smart thermostat designed specifically for social housing. It monitors temperature, humidity, light levels, motion and air pressure to learn when a home needs heating and when it can be allowed to cool down, cutting energy use and carbon emissions by up to 15%, and enabling landlords to better manage their housing stock. Switchee is the winner of the Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation.
International Award winners
Ecolibrium Energy – winner of the Ashden Award for Powering Business – is an Indian start-up company addressing the need for demand-side energy management through SmartSense, their big data energy analytics platform.
Empower Generation – is bringing clean energy to vulnerable communities in Nepal, helping to eradicate poverty, improve health and reduce carbon emissions. The social enterprise is empowering women to become entrepreneurs by training them to own a business and manage a sales force. Empower Generation is the winner of the Ashden Award for Clean Energy for Women and Girls, supported by UK aid.