Acting Director of Communications
Posted on 24/07/2017 by Nick Sharpe
Nominations for the 2017 Scottish Green Energy Awards open today.
To provide you with some inspiration we’re using this blog to take a look back at some previous winners.
And if it’s nomination advice you need, check out our Top 10 Tips on the Awards’ microsite.
Orkney's European Marine Energy Centre is no stranger to awards and has picked up two GEA gongs, including one in 2002, the first year the awards ran.
EMEC received the inaugural Best Project Award at the 2002 event, when judges said:
"Orkney has shown high levels of support for renewables. This is typified by the Marine Energy Test Centre: a project to lead Scotland into the 21st century as a global player in renewable marine energy."
In 2007 EMEC won the Best Renewable Innovation Award for its work on tidal energy testing. Judges then said:
"The world's first tidal test facility in Scotland will greatly benefit the development of marine energy north of the Border."
Managing Director Neil Kermode also picked up the Outstanding Contribution award in 2013, with Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Director of Energy and Low Carbon Calum Davidson praising his “dedicated and powerful leadership”.
Speaking of EMEC’s GEA history for this blog, EMEC MD Neil said:
“Scottish Renewables’ Green Energy Awards celebrate the pioneering renewables projects and initiatives underway in Scotland, putting the spotlight on the progress being made and showcasing the very best of what Scotland has to offer the global renewables industry.
“Celebrating the successes of our industry is so important to garner the political and public support necessary to ensure that Scotland can develop a sustainable energy mix, providing employment, security of supply and reduced carbon emissions.”
SgurrEnergy, now known as Wood Group - clean energy, was named Best New Business at the 2004 Scottish Green Energy Awards.
The audience at the National Museum in Edinburgh was told:
"This year’s winner is a company that has come a long way in its short life time and impressed the judges by how it has managed not just to survive but has succeeded in fulfilling its initial goal and is now at the beginning of the next phase of development.
"The company has contributed greatly to the large-scale development of renewables in Scotland and beyond. Despite rapid expansion, the company has remained true to its Scottish roots and its founding principles."
Three years later founders Ian Irvine and Steve McDonald were back, scooping the Best Business Achievement Award in 2007 (then sponsored by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, which supports Scottish Renewables events to this day).
The company now has more than 300 staff in Glasgow, Ireland, France, Canada, USA, Norway, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
Speaking ahead of the 2017 Awards, Wood Group - clean energy Director of Operations Alan Smith said:
“To win a Scottish Green Energy Award is a significant achievement and a real stamp of approval from the renewable energy sector, so we are absolutely delighted to have scooped so many awards over the years.
“Scotland is home to some of the most talented people in the industry and these awards are a great opportunity to come together and celebrate their achievements. It’s fantastic to see so much innovation across the sector and we certainly look forward to being part of the continued growth of the sector.”
The north’s first major foray into district heating impressed at the 2004 Scottish Green Energy Awards - and was nominated for two awards 11 years later.
The scheme, in Wick, was named Best Community Initiative in 2004, with judges saying:
"The winner is a community initiative that the judges felt showed a clear commitment of a local community to work together to address energy problems and use community-led schemes as a demonstrator of what is possible.
"This project has a clear long-term vision in an energy initiative to benefit one third of the community through biomass heating."
In 2015, after a 2013 takeover by Ignis Biomass, the Wick project was shortlisted for both the Renewing Scotland Award (then sponsored by SmartestEnergy) and the Sustainable Development Award, which was sponsored by Vattenfall.
Berwickshire Housing Association's commitment to renewable energy was as clear in 2002 as it is today.
The organisation was named Best Community Initiative in that year for "its innovative work in bringing renewable energy into people's homes, by developing and proving solar heating and photovoltaic applications for social housing".
This year Berwickshire Housing Association's 'Fisherman Three’ wind farm near Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders became the first wind farm in the UK to be developed by a housing association as a means of funding new homes for social rental.
The wind farm will create revenue of around £20 million over the next 25 years – enough to allow BHA to build 500 new homes.
Other social landlords honoured at previous GEAs include Dumfries & Galloway Housing Partnership, whose installation of 1,100 air-source heat pumps was at the time the largest renewables commitment from any social landlord in Scotland.
That project was awarded the Contribution to Sustainable Development Award in 2013.
In 2003 The Pure Project on Unst, Shetland, was awarded the Best Community Initiative (sponsored by GreenPower).
The award recognised the Unst community's aim of minimising carbon emissions using the latest renewable technologies, including fuel cells and hydrogen storage.
The Pure Project became the Pure Energy Centre in 2006 and now uses its "world-leading experience and skills to design, supply and commission complete hydrogen systems".
Since then it's notched up a whole host of firsts, including:
- 2007: delivered the world's first hydrogen training course
- 2008: first high pressure hydrogen fuelling station installed in Scotland
- 2012: installed first wind-to-hydrogen system in South Africa
- 2014: first green hydrogen heating system installed in the UK
- 2016: first hydrogen bus refuelling station installed in South America
EDF Energy Renewables is this year’s Scottish Green Energy Awards headline sponsor.
Chief Executive Matthieu Hue said:
“It is our great pleasure to be sponsoring this fantastic event once again and to be part of the biggest night in the calendar for renewables in Scotland.
“Every year I am amazed at the number of talented people who are nominated for an award and I would encourage everyone to enter this year to be in with a chance of winning one of these coveted prizes.”