Switzerland's energy sector is on the move. The main driving force is global trends such as constantly increasing energy consumption throughout the world and the various associated problems: CO2 emissions, climate change and pollution of the environment, the future availability of fossil resources and their price trends, the liberalisation and globalisation of energy markets, the future use of nuclear energy and the disposal of radioactive waste, and the future potentials for renewable form forms of energy. These problems result in a variety of major challenges for the government, the economy and society, and discussions on Switzerland's future energy supply, as well as studies concerning energy perspectives, are currently in progress at all levels. And these are of course essential for creating a firm basis for making future decisions relating to energy policy.
But players who take practical measures are just as important as those involved in discussions. They research and develop energy technologies for the future, bring innovative products onto the market, are pioneers in the use of new technologies, create solutions that unite energy and environment awareness with comfort requirements, aesthetics and economic interests. Through their activities they form a bridge between theory and practice. Their successful implementation of such measures awakens an interest in innovative products and at the same demonstrates practical benefits for users, the economy and society.
The outstanding capacity for innovation of these players and organisations deserves appropriate public recognition and visibility.
The "Watt d'Or" will be awarded at the beginning of January each year on the occasion of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy's New Year event. It is awarded to the best performers in the previous year, i.e. in January 2015 it will be awarded to the best energy projects during 2014.
The "Watt d'Or" does not take the form of prize money, and there is no table of rankings. All projects and players or organisations receive an award in the form of a certificate and a trophy.
The "Watt d'Or" will draw attention to each award-winning project, person or organisation, and this means that holders will be able to use the award for advertising or PR purposes. In other words, they will not only receive a certificate and a trophy, but will also be able to enhance their image and benefit from media presence.