Al Gore to present green awards

Eight UK green energy companies and a host of international contenders - from Tanzania to Peru - have made the finalist list for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, which will take place in London on June 21st.

The list of finalists includes players in renewable energy and energy efficiency all pioneering the way to cutting carbon, as well as two primary schools who are showing leadership by implementing eco-friendly practices.

Finalists will compete for what industry players recognise as the leading green energy prize.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder and chair of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy said: "All the finalists were selected because they stand out as inspiring examples of how providing local sustainable energy solutions to reduce global carbon emissions can also reap tremendous social and economic rewards for local communities around the world, including the UK."

Former US Vice President Al Gore - now an important player in environmental activism following his popular documentary An Inconvenient Truth will be one the awards' presenters and evening's keynote speaker .

Mr Gore said in a statement: "The Ashden Awards are a powerful reminder that well designed and managed local sustainable energy initiatives can tackle climate change while meeting the needs of local communities.

"Tackling these issues simultaneously - in both rich and poor countries - is critical to addressing the twin planetary challenges of climate change and sustainable development."

Wood Energy is one of the UK finalists. The company is recognised as one of the UK's leading wood-fuel heating businesses, providing over a third of the country's total wood heat capacity and saving almost 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year through its boiler installations.

Dr Robin Cotton, the founder and MD of Wood Energy, told edie: "We've been working hard for the last six years so this is real recognition. Winning this will increase the profile of the company, but more importantly increase the profile for renewable energy in heat."

Now, in its sixth year, the Ashden Awards take place in London on June 21.

First prize winners will receive £30,000 and second prize winners receive £10,000 - £15,000 to expand their sustainable energy programmes. Past winners include schemes covering solar, wind, hydro, biomass, biogas, fuel-efficient stoves and energy efficiency.

Dana Gornitzki



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