Energy Pathfinders: 2050 (EP:50)
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- Energy Pathfinders: 2050 (EP:50)
Are you an Energy Pathfinder? We want to find the best energy projects from across Oxfordshire and from every size of organisation, from social enterprise to multi-national.
Oxfordshire has established itself as the home of carbon reducing energy innovation and now a new competition, backed by leading academic, local authority and business organisations, has been launched to find the county’s current leading projects.
The competition, known as Energy Pathfinders: 2050 (EP:50), follows the publication of the county’s Energy Strategy in November 2019 and reflects the importance being placed on innovation by the UK government, especially in the run-up to COP26 in November.
The Energy Strategy revealed that the sector makes a significant contribution to Oxfordshire’s economy, generating £1.15bn a year, or 7% of the county’s economic output.
EP:50 will shine a light on a wide range of vibrant and dynamic projects in the built environment and communities, transport and infrastructure, and energy efficiency and demand reduction. The judges will also make a further award to a project which demonstrates exemplary standards of diversity and inclusion and embodies key aspects of the Energy Strategy.
Throughout 2021, we are seeking pioneering projects which we can help champion on a local, national and international stage. Your project, if selected, will become part of an Energy Pathfinder showcase for clean technology, helping you to connect with potential investors, influencers and customers.
Areas of innovation:
There’s plenty of scope! For example, if your organisation is working on innovations in:
- New developments in the built environment
- Retrofitting of existing premises
- Grid capacity
- Low carbon generation
- Demand reduction
- Growing the low carbon economy
- Sustainable transport
If you're involved in any of these areas of work, we want to hear from you.
The Energy Pathfinder awards have three categories which will be rolled out and judged in stages during 2021:
- Category one: Built Environment and Communities - read more on our category one winner
- Category two: Transport and Infrastructure - enter now
- Category three: Energy Efficiency & Demand Reduction - register your interest
Entries for Category two must be received by 4 July 2021. Category three details will be announced later this year.
The Energy Pathfinders awards is open to projects and organisations of all sizes, from small to large businesses and including start-ups and community-based initiatives. As well as energy and carbon savings, the judges seek projects which place high value on diversity, inclusion and that have a wider social value.
Projects will be considered in the context of their impact, scope for scale-up, and economic importance to Oxfordshire, against the three guiding principles of the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy:
- Securing a smart, modern, clean energy infrastructure through increased electricity grid capacity, supporting planned housing, industrial and commercial growth and changing energy requirements.
- Reducing countywide emissions by 50% by 2030 (compared with 2008 levels) and setting a pathway to achieve zero carbon growth by 2050. Realising the economic benefits of a low-carbon transition by supporting; a) ambitious and innovative clean generation projects across the county and b) projects that reduce energy demand and increase energy efficiency for domestic, industrial, commercial buildings and transport.
- Enhancing energy networking and partnership working to focus on the low carbon energy challenges, galvanising pioneers in clean growth to support the scaling-up of future solutions and accelerate delivery towards a net zero-carbon county.
The judging panel includes experts from the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and Oxfordshire County Council as well as independent sustainability specialists:
- Ahmed Goga: OxLEP (Chair)
- Hannah Scott: Bioregional & Oxfordshire Greentech (Joint Deputy Chair)
- Lewis Knight: Bioregional & Oxfordshire Greentech (Joint Deputy Chair)
- Andrew Baud: (Secretary), Tala
- Sam Hampton: University of Oxford
- David Hartley: Oxford Brookes University
- Dr George Economides: Oxfordshire County Council
- Cllr Tom Hayes: Oxford City Council
- Sam Thomas: Cherwell District Council
- Emma Southwell-Sander: STFC/Harwell Energy Cluster
- John Kennedy: Flexible Funding
- Nicola McConville: Taylor Vinters
- Tim Rose: Pivot Power, Energy Super Hub
- Rob Panting: OxLEP (Observer and deputy for Ahmed Goga)
- Elio Astone: Flexible Funding (Observer and deputy for John Kennedy)
- Stephen Brown: Oxford Brookes University (Observer and deputy for David Hartley)
How to enter:
To enter, you will need to complete the online form here [link]. As well as needing basic contact information, we are asking you to provide:
- An outline description of your project and its aims.
- Details of the energy and carbon savings of your project, giving accurate figures where possible.
- A summary of why your project is innovative.
- An explanation around the extent to which your project is likely to contribute to the Oxfordshire economy and the scope for future scale-up.
- Details of how you champion diversity and inclusion and deliver wider social value.
Benefits for winners:
As well as an Energy Pathfinders trophy for your office, you will receive a logo and marketing toolkit to help you publicise your achievement. The full benefits for Energy Pathfinders include:
- Physical presence and networking opportunities at annual showcase event (subject to pandemic restrictions)
- Online coverage and profiling by OxLEP and Oxfordshire Greentech
- A social media campaign with the hashtag #EP50
- Mention in news releases and feature articles for regional and trade press
- Opportunity to position project as part of Oxfordshire’s Green Recovery with OxLEP and Oxfordshire Greentech providing links to investors through networking and features in investment prospectuses (where possible)
- Profile of projects in OxLEP and Oxfordshire Greentech’s work with central government (BEIS, DIT, DEFRA) and other organisations, including the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, with a focus around COP26, plus any further profiling opportunities in partner organisation’s publications
Who’s behind Energy Pathfinders?
Energy Pathfinders is a joint initiative between OxLEP and Oxfordshire Greentech, a business network supporting the growth of the low-carbon sector in Oxfordshire.
Criteria/terms and conditions:
We welcome entries from rural, urban and growth locations, from diverse communities, and from organisations demonstrating wider social value.
Projects – or at least part of any wider scheme – must be carried out in Oxfordshire.
Entries will be considered from completed, part-completed or funded projects starting by 24 March 2021. If completed, the projects must have been completed by 1 January 2020 or later.
Entries may come from commercial or not-for-profit organisations. There is no limit as to the organisation’s size or the project’s budget.
The Energy Strategy reflects the importance of networking and collaboration. Please provide evidence of how working with others has either supported the development of your project or where you have shared your own best practice.
Entries for the Transport and Infrastructure category are being accepted until 4 July 2021 and can be made via the below link:
*Please note: You will need to have or create a free Google account to complete the form.
Organisations wishing to register an interest for category three (Energy Efficiency and Demand Reduction) can do so by emailing OxLEP's communications manager, Rob Panting, via the below link:
The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The year’s top projects will be highlighted to government via our contacts at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to potential international investors and customers, and to local schools who will be invited to explore the innovations.
The Oxfordshire Energy Strategy
EP:50 aligns with the guiding principles of the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy. Find out more on the strategy and what it will mean for the county and its push towards a zero-carbon future.
Download: 'Oxfordshire Energy Strategy - a brief overview'
Download: 'The Oxfordshire Energy Strategy' (full version)
Download: 'The Oxfordshire Energy Strategy - delivery plan' (September 2019)
Download: 'Oxfordshire takes lead in the green recovery'