On 8 October, ENGAGE partners announced the winners of the Social Innovation Challenge. The competition called for creative proposals to encourage active participation in the energy transition.
Andrea Raquel Ruiz Lopez and Marina Braun won first prize after impressing the jury with their project, ‘RevoluSUN’. The project aims to empower people to accelerate the energy transition in their immediate environment. Christian Spitzner was awarded second prize for his project, ‘Peoples Power’. Florian Bonert and Leon Trippel, who pitched the project ‘CoBenefit – sustainable local initiatives’, finished in third place.
The ENGAGE Social Innovation Challenge called on people in German-speaking countries to submit socially innovative ideas, products or services related to the energy transition. The competition was the first of its kind.
During Bürgerenergie-Konvent 2022, an event designed to advance civic energy initiatives, each of the five finalists were given five minutes to pitch their project idea to the audience and the jury. Prizes included coaching, workshops and networking opportunities with the ENGAGE partners. The competition was moderated by IKEM and Bündnis Bürgerenergie.
The winning project, ‘RevoluSUN’, aims to empower people to accelerate the energy transition in their area by deploying a PV system to benefit a collective, or ‘energy community’ (EC). Groups that are disproportionately affected by energy poverty or unequal energy distribution would receive special assistance. The project team explained that empowering people to join an EC would be an effective method to reduce energy poverty and promote affordable and renewable energy.
A smart platform created in the course of the project would also group participants according to their EC needs and connect all stakeholders necessary to operate the EC. This platform could also feature various service offerings that assist users in establishing, promoting and managing ECs, the RevoluSUN team noted.
‘Peoples Power’, which finished in second place, takes aim at the rapid rise in electricity prices caused by the current energy crisis. The project team hopes to reduce electricity prices to pre-crisis levels by providing customers with 100% renewable energy.
‘The Peoples Power project will establish a new, responsibly owned energy producer that makes our world “energy-ready” by building new capacities for decentralised renewable energy production,’ the team explained. ‘As a responsibly owned company, People’s Power will be an electricity producer fully committed to these goals and values.’
The ‘CoBenefit’ project team, led by Florian Bonert, won third prize. The project aims to make it easier for managers and agencies in charge of climate change mitigation measures to identify and coordinate climate action at the citizen level. The platform proposed by the team would provide a framework for scaling up the implementation of initiatives at citizen level and provide a digital interface to connect the necessary stakeholders.
The ENGAGE partners were excited to see such an enthusiastic response to the challenge and would like to thank all candidates for their entries!