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New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)
Representatives of winners and those highly commended in the 2024 Energy Institute International Energy Awards, lined up on stage Photo: Oliver Dixon Photography/Energy Institute
Representatives of winners and those highly commended in the 2024 Energy Institute International Energy Awards, including, at front centre in the red headscarf, President’s Award recipient Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, joined to her right by Energy Institute President Juliet Davenport and Chief Executive Nick Wayth

Photo: Oliver Dixon Photography/Energy Institute

The Energy Institute exists to create a better energy future. In its 25th year, these prestigious awards recognise the best the sector has to offer, and for the first time were presented at the International Energy Week Dinner on 29 February 2024 at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London. This year’s outstanding winners are profiled below.

Workforce Award: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) 
The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) Renewable Energy Program has implemented more than 3,800 projects with a cumulative capacity of 13.8 MW of generating capacity, benefiting over 300,000 people.


Amidst Pakistan’s diverse and challenging energy landscape, the PPAF spearheads an off-grid renewable energy programme that not only illuminates under-served communities but also cultivates a robust and sustainable energy workforce. At the heart of this transformation lie the Community Institutions (CIs), established by PPAF to empower local communities to take ownership of their energy needs. These CIs have emerged as the backbone of the PPAF energy workforce, driving the programme’s success and fostering a new generation of energy leaders.


The impact of the PPAF energy workforce is evident in the remarkable achievements of the programme. Over 38,900 community-based physical infrastructure projects, including renewable energy, education, health, skill development and enhancing livelihood, have been successfully completed, benefiting mainly women in under-served and under-developed areas of Pakistan. The wide range of renewables projects have not only provided access to clean, affordable and reliable energy for over 481,000 people but also created employment opportunities for community members involved in project construction, maintenance and training.


In accepting the award, PPAF Chief Executive Nadir Gul Barech said: ‘This recognition is a testament to the contribution of our team to the communities at large for a sustainable and equitable energy future in Pakistan. PPAF is [working] to complement the Pakistan government’s efforts to reduce poverty across the country, and we are more than 235 civil society organisations in the country for community-led development interventions.’


He added: ‘We empower communities; we foster partnerships; so that renewable and clean energy could be up-scaled. Our interventions to reduce poverty have benefited 17 million people across the country.’


Highly commended:  
X-Academy. Its mission is to accelerate green jobs and develop the energy workforce of tomorrow, taking immediate action on climate change.


Engagement Award: UK Power Networks – Your local net zero team 
With the power to influence over 80% of the UK’s carbon emissions, according to the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC), local authorities are arguably the sleeping giants of the energy transition. While some local governments may be aware of this pivotal role, for many, the road to net zero remains unclear or, as yet, unexplored. The challenge for UK Power Networks’ Distribution System Operator (DSO) lies in turning their high aspirations into reality. In short, providing the resources, expertise and data they need to reach net zero.


UK Power Networks’ Local Net Zero team is a brand-new unit of eight (and counting) whose mission is to bring local authorities closer to the people, data and digital tools they need, by co-designing the service with them. Not just supporting but collaborating, actively listening to local governments and local area energy planning (LAEP) practitioners and their needs, and delivering digital products that can play an essential role in helping them.


From one-to-one user tests to workshops, interviews to steering groups with energy sector peers, even attending the Local Government Association conference, the Local Net Zero team has spent its first year seeking out opportunities to actively show up for customers, proactively raising awareness of their support and shared forecasts where it’s needed and valued most.


The fruit of this engagement is a suite of tailored data and digital tools, ranging from a first-of-its-kind, dedicated LAEP open data page to the brand-new Your Local Net Zero Hub tool developed via Project Collaborative Local Energy Optimisation (CLEO).


Since becoming the first network operator to launch a LAEP tool, Your Local Net Zero Hub, in April 2023, 74 of the 133 local authorities have been invited to join, more than half have already started using it and 71% have attended an onboarding session – benefiting 13.6 million people and 73% of the population within UK Power Networks’ boundary. Since the introductory webinar in June 2023, the 150+ datasets available on the UK’s only dedicated LAEP open data page have been used by 3,000 distinct users and have received over 81,000 page hits. The team also engaged 100% of these local authorities in virtual or in-person sessions throughout October 2023, outlining the offering and how it can benefit them.


Highly commended:

  • 60 Decibels’ Inclusive Energy Opportunity, making the energy access sector more inclusive: resources for entrepreneurs and listening to end-users.
  • Octopus Energy Saving Sessions, rewarding 700,000 customers to use less energy at peak times.


Technology Award: Cambridge Vacuum Engineering 
Ebflow, a local vacuum electron beam welding (LVEB) technique from Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE), has recently fast tracked the production of an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation destined for Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, in UK waters.


Using Ebflow, the foundation piece was made at least 25 times faster compared to the current default manufacturing method. Production also required 90% less energy, cost 88% less and produced 97% less CO2 emissions.


Creating the transition piece was part of RapidWeld – a project funded by Innovate UK and led by a consortium including SSE Renewables, CVE, DNV, Sif Netherlands, Agile NDT and The Welding Institute (TWI). Supported by Dogger Bank wind farm, the aim of RapidWeld was to qualify LVEB for offshore applications and validate it is significantly quicker, cheaper and more energy efficient than submerged arc welding (SAW). The consortium also wanted to prove LVEB can produce high quality welds with excellent fatigue properties.


Ebflow is different to other welding technologies. Instead of welding inside a costly, size-limiting vacuum chamber, Ebflow creates a local vacuum around the seam being welded. This unleashes the potential to use LVEB on large structures, including the biggest monopiles, while reducing costs and enhancing productivity. (Ebflow is also being used to create nuclear reactor pressure vessels.)


Prior to producing an Ebflow-welded monopile at Sif’s Rotterdam manufacturing facility, DNV-OS-C401 tests, and fatigue testing commissioned by Dogger Bank, conclusively showed that Ebflow delivers the mechanical and metallurgical properties needed to satisfy construction codes and design requirements. They also proved fatigue strength is at least as good as equivalent arc welding techniques. On completion of DNV’s review, a Technical Qualification for the technology was issued for the world’s first LVEB welded turbine monopile.


Young Professional Award: Thierno Abdourahmane Talla, BP Instrumentation and Control Technician
young professional speaking at stage lecturn

BP’s Thierno Abdourahmane Talla accepts the Young Professional Award, while Devrim Celal, Kraken CEO, looks on
Photo: Oliver Dixon Photography/Energy Institute

Talla described his background: ‘As early as when I was in high school, I have always been interested in using STEM to try and reduce the gap between developed countries and my country Senegal. That’s the reason why I was involved in a school project to make biogas from cow manure and dung. I pursued electrical engineering studies at university to be able to have the technical knowledge required to solve my country’s energy challenges.’


‘After I graduated with an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Computer Science, I joined Cogelec Energy for an internship where I sized a mini-solar power plant for the village of Younoufere in the north of Senegal. Then I joined the Senegalese national electricity company, Senelec, where I worked to improve the electrical distribution reliability in our capital city Dakar. After that, I joined Vinci Energies where I worked as an Assistant Project Manager in the electrical distribution component of the “Poles 2020” project. I was involved in the design and proofing of electrical plans for nearly half of the 89 villages the project was covering.’


‘In January 2020, I was recruited by BP among more than 4,000 candidates in Mauritania and Senegal. I was part of the top 1.2% of candidates. I joined BP to work in a natural gas project in Mauritania and Senegal. I have been assigned to Trinidad and Tobago since January 2023 on a rotational basis on an offshore platform. As an Instrumentation and Control Technician, I perform routine maintenance on equipment. However, I like to think of my role as being in the first line of defence to tackle methane emissions; whether the emissions are from equipment leaks, venting or flaring.’


‘The energy industry is trying to decarbonise fast to be in line with the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. However, the industry needs to do that fast while continuing to supply the energy the world needs. While CO2 is the most renowned greenhouse gas, methane remains 28 times more potent (trapping more heat) than CO2. Methane is responsible for about a third of the emissions-induced rise in global temperatures, according to a Wood Mackenzie report. Hence, the necessity to slash methane emissions.’


‘I believe reducing venting and flaring could not only substantially reduce methane emissions but also help generate revenue that can be invested in greener energies. Cutting methane emissions is the quickest way to slow global warming. Besides, according to an International Energy Agency special report, oil and gas companies account only for 1% of clean energy investments. That needs to change. To keep the temperature increase below 1.5°C and the CO2 emissions on track, more investment must be made in cleaner solutions to tackle the climate emergency.’


Highly commended:  
Heather Legan, Process Engineer, BP. Legan has championed women, risk management and carbon management and forecasting at the multiple offshore facilities she has supported.


President’s Award: Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) 
After receiving the award, Al-Hosany said: ‘I am delighted and humbled to be recognised by the Energy Institute’s membership. This one is for all the trailblazing women in the energy sector in the Middle East, who are doing remarkable work to drive the energy transition and create a greener, more sustainable future for all.’


Al-Hosany has been at the forefront of transformative work in energy in her home nation and internationally, advocating for renewable energies and tackling the barriers to their deployment, to accelerate the energy transition.


Her career spans government, business and academia. She serves as the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA and is also a member of the COP28 Advisory Committee, the advisory panel for the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change initiative, the Board for the American University of Sharjah and the Global Councils of the Sustainable Development Goals.


She was previously Executive Director of Sustainability at Masdar and has also held positions on a number of other boards and intergovernmental bodies, including the UN Sustainable Energy for All and Khalifa University, the public research university in Abu Dhabi.


A prolific writer, Dr Al-Hosany has been published globally.


She believes passionately in the leading role that women can play in responding to global sustainability and climate change challenges. This is a cause she championed as Programme Director of the UAE-led Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy initiative which she launched in 2015.