Today, in Brussels, KLIK (Križevci Laboratory for Innovation in Climate) was awarded the European Sustainable Energy Award 2023 in the Local Energy Action category. The award recognises implemented sustainable energy actions, driven by a group of citizens or consumers, which contribute to the clean energy transition at the community or local level. It also inspires and motivates others to implement similar steps for an EU-wide deployment, resulting in economic and environmental benefits. European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson congratulated the three award winners at the Awards Ceremony on the first day of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the biggest annual event dedicated to renewables and energy efficiency in Europe.
In just two short years, the energy community KLIK (Križevci Laboratory for Innovation in Climate) has supported citizens with the installation of 277 kW of residential solar PV. This represents a EUR 500 000 investment – half of which came from the municipality itself in the form of grants and the other half covered by homeowners. Through the cooperation between KLIK, the city of Križevci and local PV installers, this achievement was possible.
‘KLIK is a unique energy cooperative helping citizens in the energy transition,’ says Sanela Mikulčič Šantić, Cooperative Manager of KLIK. ‘We are engaging with the community by collaborating with local organisations. In the last two years we organised 22 lectures, with close to 400 participants. Through this we are trying to impart the community with knowledge and connect them with other relevant stakeholders to make a more resilient community.’
The installed PV will produce an estimated 288 791 kWh of renewable energy per year, resulting in annual CO2 emissions reductions of 54 tonnes, the equivalent of a dozen gasoline-powered cars being taken off the road. The impact of KLIK in the city has not only seen more solar energy deployed but has also strengthened the local economy, creating 15 new jobs to date.
Together with the municipality and other local organisations, KLIK has set up an energy-climate office that acts as a one-stop shop for the 20 000 residents of Križevci.
‘The energy climate office is a place where citizens can meet, talk, and go to for information. It is also a place to further inspire others and it most definitely has an active role in the whole energy transition,’ adds Mario Rajn, Mayor of Križevci.
The energy community, which is partially funded by EIT Climate-KIC, serves as a strong example of how the public sector can partner with NGOs to engage citizens in energy and climate goals. Community energy projects are a pillar of the EU’s renewable energy directive and also directly support the European Green Dealand REPowerEU Plan.
KLIK was one of three finalists shortlisted for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2023 in the Local Energy Action category. The other finalists in this category were a public self-consumption collective from the Balearic Islands and Together with the Neighbours from the Netherlands.
About the European Sustainable Energy Awards
The European Sustainable Energy Awards recognise outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation and efforts in energy efficiency and renewables. Finalists were selected by a high-level jury and the winners were decided by an online public vote, with more than 11,000 people joining in. Prizes were awarded in three categories - Innovation, Local Energy Action, and Woman in Energy.
The European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) brings thousands of sustainability stakeholders together to explore policy topics related to protecting European consumers from price volatility and sharpening their skills to produce and save energy within the current energy context. There is still time to attend EUSEW 2023. Media and participants can access the event online until 22 June.
For interview requests with the EUSEW Awards finalists or additional media information, please contact [email protected]