Young Croatian innovator wins EU Sustainable Energy Award for democratising solar energy ownership
Filip Koprčina recognised by European Commission for start-up that uses blockchain to enable European citizens to co-own solar parks and receive cash in returns
Today, Filip Koprčina was awarded the prestigious EU Sustainable Energy Award in the Youth Energy Trailblazer category. European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, was on hand to congratulate the winners at the online awards ceremony which kicked off Day 1 of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW).
Commissioner Simson praised all five EUSEW Award winners commenting, "The projects and individuals that are being recognised today are not only leaders in transforming Europe’s energy landscape, they are role models. Their work is a testament to the importance of citizen engagement in making the European Green Deal a reality. We've been working hard to develop policy instruments, which guide and support action on the ground, and it is truly inspiring to see this vision at work. Together, we are bringing Europe closer to its climate goals.“
Filip founded the EnergyShift platform that allows individuals to earn a profit while contributing to a clean energy future.
“I wanted to show that the choice between making money and having a positive impact on the environment is a false dichotomy,” says Filip, “citizens who invest in these solar projects can expect greater returns than they would receive if their money was in a bank. The amount of energy we will save from the investments committed to date is equal to charging 17.5 million smartphones.”
More than 1,000 early investors will soon be the proud owners of a solar power plant, standing to reap financial returns of 10-15% annually while reducing carbon emissions. With a combined anticipated investment of EUR 1 million via the Energy Shift platform, Filip, 25, is realising his goals of boosting solar energy production and democratising the green energy transition. Filip and his team use blockchain technology to offer citizens the chance to invest in green energy with fixed returns, while holding decision-making power over its operations.
A committed environmentalist and one of Croatia’s recently named 30 revolutionaries bringing change to the country, Filip will deliver up to 1MW installed solar capacity with the potential to power 370 households in the near future through Energy Shift.
“The project actually came to be because I wanted to install solar panels at my parents’ house in Croatia. This proved to be more difficult and costly than anticipated,” explains Filip. “While looking for an inexpensive way to get reliable renewable energy to power our house, I had the idea of a business model where individuals jointly invest and co-own renewable energy projects.”
Starting a business combining renewables and tech was a natural step for the entrepreneur. Having developed a passion for clean energy from an early age, Filip has been involved with numerous environmental organisations and is currently raising awareness about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals with the European Solidarity Corps in Cyprus, where he resides. With the early investors only, Filip’s Energy Shift platform will allow to reduce up to 137kg of carbon emissions per year, per solar panel installed.
In addition to being accepted to the Youth Sustainable Energy Hub, Filip has secured funding for Energy Shift from the European Institute of Technology’s (EIT) Digital's Venture Programme and recently gained recognition by the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label, which recognises his project as a financially viable response to tackling climate change. Filip also lends his expertise as a member of the United Nations’ High Level Dialogue on Energy as a Technical Working Group member. With his work on Energy Shift, Filip is bringing the EU closer to the 2030 targets.
Filip Koprčina was one of three finalists shortlisted for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2021 in the Young Energy Trailblazer category. The two other contenders were Merve Güngör and Daniele Novara.
About the EUSEW Awards
Twelve outstanding individuals and projects are highlighted at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2021 for their innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Finalists were chosen from a list of the year’s most successful projects for clean, secure and efficient energy. The awards have four categories - Engagement, Innovation, Woman in Energy and Young Energy Trailblazer – as well as the Citizen’s Award. Prizes were awarded by an expert jury (for Engagement and Innovation), and by citizens via a public vote.
EUSEW 2021 runs from 25 to 29 October 2021, under the theme ‘Towards 2030: Reshaping the European Energy System’. Taking place ahead of the decisive COP 26, the event brings together energy policy experts, industry leaders, academia and civil society representatives to discuss how forward-looking policies for decarbonisation, energy efficiency, climate mitigation, and many others comprising the European Green Deal, can help rebuild a better and more resilient society and economy.
There is still time to attend EUSEW 2021! With more opportunities than ever to connect, engage, network and reflect on the biggest issues in clean energy in Europe and beyond. Media and participants can access the online event until 29 October.
For interview requests with the EUSEW 2021 Award winners, please contact [email protected]