Commission awards 2003 Prizes to the best European projects in Renewable Energy (link)

January 22, 2004

Brussels, 21 January 2004

On the occasion of the European Conference for Renewable Energy, today were handed over in Berlin the 2003 EU Awards of the Renewable Energy Campaign for Take-Off. For the 4th consecutive year, the Commission rewarded the efforts made in promoting renewable energy and showcasing successful projects and initiatives all over Europe. The Award Ceremony marked the official closure of the campaign. "I would like to congratulate the winners again this year for their commitment to renewable energies. In view of the greater challenges facing us now that enlargement will become a reality in May, I would also like to encourage them and all our partners to continue these efforts" said Loyola de Palacio.

The Award Ceremony took place in Berlin today on the occasion of the European Conference for Renewable Energy 'Intelligent Energy Options' (19th 21st January).

The 2003 Winners of the Renewable Energy Campaign for Take-Off, involving all European Union countries, are the following [1]:

  • Third party financing (TPF) and the take-off of renewable energy sources in Spain (lead by IDAE)

  • Promoting the deployment of renewable energy in Ireland (lead by the Renewable Energy Information Office of the Sustainable Energy Authority)

  • Energy planning in Navarra (lead by the Government of Navarra)

  • Pohjolan Voima's Bioenergy Program (lead by the Finnish Pohjolan Voima)

  • Varese Ligure 100% sustainable (lead by the Municipality of Varese Ligure)

  • World Network on Bioenergy A global Renewable Energy Partnership (involving a large network of partners lead by the European Biomass Industry Association)

  • Soltherm Europe Initiative (a large EU-wide consortium lead by Ecofys b.v.)

  • Objective 15% of renewable energy in 2010 (led by ST Microelectronics)

  • Renewable Energy for Nordrhein-Westfalen (led by the Regional Energy Agency)

  • In order to highlight the closing of the campaign, a prize for the best renewable energy programme of the last four years was awarded to the region of Upper Austria "Energie 21 - The Energy Action Plan for Upper Austria", which is run by the O.Ö. Energiesparverband.
In the future, support to initiatives promoting renewable energies in the Member States will be granted under the new programme 'Intelligent Energy Europe' adopted in June 2003 with a four year budget of 250 million €for the enlarged Europe.

Building on the achievements of the Campaign for Take-Off, the Commission will launch a larger successor Campaign on Sustainable Energy in mid-2004, encompassing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The European Campaign for Take-Off was launched by the European Commission in 1999 and has been the first Renewable Energy Promotional Campaign launched at European level with a view to accelerate and substantially improve the market penetration of renewable energies, thereby developing economies of scale and in turn, reduce costs.

During these four years, 1 Renewable Energy Partnerships embracing more than 700 institutions have been signed throughout the European Union. 31 of these Renewable Energy Partnerships were elected as leading projects and were awarded a prize on the basis of their substantial contribution to the Campaign for Take-Off. The three previous Ceremonies of the Award Competitions took place in Toulouse (2000), Brussels (2001) and Salamanca (2002).

As underlined in the Commission Green Paper on Security of Energy Supply, the EU's objective is to reach a share of 12% for the contribution of renewable energy sources to the European Union's gross inland consumption by 2010. In order to reach this target, major legislative proposals have been adopted. The Directive on Renewable Energies adopted in 2001 provides for an overall EU indicative target of 21% for the share of renewable energy sources of the EU's electricity consumption, in the enlarged Europe. The Directive on biofuels entails a target of 5.75% for the share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2010.

These objectives are coupled with efforts towards the rationalisation and stabilisation of energy demand to achieve an indicative annual reduction in energy intensity of an additional 1% per year above the business as usual forecast. The Directive on energy performance in buildings aims for example at exploiting the 20% savings potential in the building sector, which represents 40% of the total energy consumption in the EU. The recently adopted Directive on cogeneration and the proposal for a Directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services sets up compulsory energy efficiency targets for Member States and for their public services[2].

More on the Commission's policy towards renewables at the following address:

Annex: short description of the winning projects

For more information on the awards please contact:

Mariàngels Pérez Latorre

European Commission

Directorate General for Energy and Transport

(DG TREN - D1 - DM 24 4/146)

Rue de la Loi 200 - B-1049 Brussels

Tel: 32 2 2960437, 32 2 2955775

Fax: 32 2 2964254


[1] More detail in the Annex and on the Internet at the following address:

[2] For more information see at: Annex


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DN: IP/04/76 Date: 21/01/2004

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