Apr 14, 2009 / ENERGY GLOBE Award

Standing ovations for the ENERGY GLOBE World Award

Top-ranking representatives of European government, especially from the field of environment, a glamorous gala, and above all the best environment projects in the world made the ENERGY GLOBE Gala Prague 09 an event to remember. The winner of the ENERGY GLOBE World Award is from Myanmar.

Ten years ago, as the first ENERGY GLOBE Award was held as a private Austrian initiative in the realm of a regional event, who would have thought that it would grow to what it is today? The ENERGY GLOBE Award is the most prominent environmental prize worldwide. More than 110 nations participated in this year's selection process with their excellent projects.

The anxiety was unbelievable in Prague's Veletržní Palác, the venue of the ENERGY GLOBE World Award on invitation of the EU Council. The VIPs meeting in the fully packed palace hall included host and EU President Mirek Topolánek, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, as well as representatives of EU and EFTA nations and EU membership candidates. Also attending were Michael Fehn of E.ON Czech and Hans Zeinhofer of Energie AG, whose combined support enabled this award ceremony.

At 1 p.m. the TV gala broadcast around the world was opened. The phenomenal Desirée Nosbusch began with an E-20 summit by summoning the most important representatives of government of the attending nations along with Mirek Topolánek and Stavros Dimas onto Stage. Surrounded by 27 children with EU flags, they drew the joint road map to an energy efficient future.

Now the excitement in the hall was escalating and the nominees in the five categories were obviously nervous. Who would take home the coveted ENERGY GLOBE World Award at the end of the gala? Who would be honored in the categories Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth?

Finally there were glowing faces among the representatives of Chile's  project Working for the E-Waste Solution, which took on the challenge of collecting and recycling electrical waste; this project won the award in the category Earth. The ENERGY GLOBE in the category Fire went to Myanmar for the Burma Solar Hospital Project. A water supply project in Tanzania was distinguished with the award in the category Water. In the category Air, the traffic concept of the Spanish city of Burgos won. The winner in the category Youth was the Rock in Rio school project, which promotes solar energy in Portuguese schools.

One of the highlights was the audience voting for the ENERGY GLOBE World Award. In a close/landslide vote, the victory went to the project in Myanmar, which had allready got the award in the category Fire. The award was presented to the ecstatic winner Salinee Tavaranan by Mirek Topolánek, Martin Bursík and Stavros Dimas. "Of course, I have not prepared a speech for this situation, thank you", Tavaranan said.

However, this was not the only emotional highlight: US shooting star Nisha Kataria gave the audience goose bumps with Michael Jackson's “Earth Song” and Viktor Lazlo contributed Latin samba flair with her interpretation of “Begin the Beguine”. With their performance of „Earth, Wind and Fire“, the Austrian folk group Seer brought the gala to a close. At the after show party with Viktor Lazlo, however, the celebration continued.

The impressive and committed projects that received the awards provided the guarantee that this high-class gala remained on target. These projects made the glamorous gala at the heart of European democracy to a high-profile road sign toward sustainability and environmental consciousness. Initiatives and developments such as these are exactly what our environment needs. The ENERGY GLOBE Gala, which is unique in form and importance, showcases these projects and, via worldwide TV broadcast, delivers a message of sustainability for our planet to a global audience.

The nominees

Category Earth:

  • Switzerland: First 100% solar-heated apartment house in Europe
  • Chile: Solving the E-Waste Problem 
  • Cuba: Eco-materials in social housing projects

Category Fire:

  • Myanmar: Burma Solar hospital project
  • Czech Republic: Central regional heating using biomass
  • USA: Tri-Generation industrial-power solar systems

Category Water:

  • Nicaragua: Solar-operated water pumps for rural population
  • Tanzania: Water supply for Ngarenanyuki and Oldonyosambu
  • Austria: Washing machine tuning

Category Air:

  • Germany: SkySails wind drive system for modern shipping
  • Sri Lanka: Brandix Green Project
  • Spain: New approaches to sustainable mobility in Burgos

Category Youth:

  • Japan: Ecological lifestyle via the Environmental Diary
  • Austria: Latent heat buffer
  • Portugal: Rock in Rio school project

The winners