Ace is a renewable energy initiative which has been launched across several North West European countries.
Ace promotes the importance of renewable energy in the everyday life of citizens, businesses and local government – the idea is, if the right information is supplied, more people will use renewable energy. Ace supports the fact that renewable energy is necessity for our future.

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This awards category was open to villages which have made major steps forward in making their village climate-neutral and energy self-sufficient.

Energy Neutral Village

Current Ace Projects

Click on the images to your right to learn more about different renewable energy projects taking place throughout europe.

WINNER: Hook Norton Low Carbon Ltd

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


    Aim:  To help the community reduce its energy consumption, carbon emissions and save money, with a range of community-based schemes and individual household projects based on interest-free loans. Target Area: Hook Norton community Technologies: Own renewable energy generation (including solar PV on a local primary school and a church); bio-fuel supply, low-carbon housing development, low interest ‘green’ energy efficiency improvement loans, community small holding and low carbon car club.  Open meetings every two months with advice clinics, themed discussions and guest speakers. Stakeholders:  Hook Norton Low Carbon Limited (HNLC) is a Co-operative and Community Benefit Society, set up by Low Carbon Hook Norton members. Funding: HNLC is the first community which developed the concept of taking grant funding to generate a long term sustainable revenue stream.  They were awarded £400,000 funding by DECC under the Low Carbon Community Challenge in 2010, and this money has been invested to generate £80,000 per year income to invest in on-going projects. This approach allows HNLC to regenerate the sustainable community loan fund in order to fund a long terms stream of low carbon projects.


REGIONAL FINALIST: Trévières Village

Basse-Normandie, France

  • Aim: The village of Trevières wanted to make energy improvement s on its public buildings (primary and secondary schools) as well as develop a feasibility study for the establishment of a network of wood heat energy for space heating and domestic hot water in buildings. Students from IUT Cherbourg Channel got involved as part of their course requirements to look for concrete case and real case studies. Through the “Bessin at Virois County”, two teams of 5 students worked on an energy audit and recommendations in order to improve energy consumption. The study aims at planning the following actions : retrofitting of the primary school; retrofitting of the secondary school; implementation of a wood district heating

    Target Area: The gym and retirement home “the Hexagon” are in the optional section of the study.

    Technologies: Feasibility study, wood heat energy

    Stakeholders: The main interlocutors have been the employees of the commune and schools, as well as the responsible person for the retirement home. Few citizens have been interviewed (owners of the houses potentially link to the district heating).


REGIONAL FINALIST: Cloughjordan Ecovillage

Co. Tipperary, Ireland

  • Aim: The Cloughjordan EcoVillage is a not-for-profit organisation developing an alternative model for sustainable living. The EcoVillage aims to provide a healthy, satisfying and socially-rich lifestyle while minimising ecological impacts.

    Target Area: 53 private houses in Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary

    Technologies: The Cloughjordan Ecovillage project provides an eloquent demonstration of district heating and renewable energy in an Irish context. Its woodchip boilers have reliably provided 100% of the space-heating and hot water needs of residents for four years.

    Stakeholders: The Cloughjordan EcoVillage brings together a diverse group of people creating an innovative new community in Tipperary.

    Funding: Much of the early years was spent developing the structure and ethos of the company and raising finance to buy land for the ecovillage. Capital was raised through the members putting in their own money and through a loan from an ethical bank.

    Additional benefits: The 67-acre site includes beautiful and fertile land where the community grows their own food, and plants and trees to promote biodiversity.


REGIONAL FINALIST: s' Heer Hendrikskinderen

Zeeland, Netherlands

  • Aim: The village of ’s-Heer Hendrikskinderen aims to become energy neutral by 2020. The plan includes the renovation of the private houses (energy-neutral, sustainable, life-cycle-resistant, comfortable). The village hopes to improve and sustain the collaboration by all villagers and preserve and enhance all incentives for viability.

    Target Area: Village of s’Heer Hendrikskinderen with the goal to include the whole Municipality of Goes

    Technologies: Door-to-door surveys of households to identify potential for home energy efficiency measures; collective procurement of PV panels; plan for insulation measures and the energy installation (heating) in homes

    Stakeholders: Over 80 people contributed in different project groups to make the village plan, 20 of which are at the core of various project groups.

    Funding: The responsibility for investment in sustainability are taken by the inhabitants themselves.

    Additonal benefits: Additional social benefits of the project include: a public health post, a volunteer point, play facilities for young children and teens was realized and a “Liturgy Garden” laid out. Road safety was improved through the construction of a bike path.


REGIONAL FINALIST: Energieneutraal Oosterhuizen

Gelderland, Netherlands

  • Aim:  The village of Oosterhuizen aims to become fully sustainable in the near future to make the village an attractive place to live and work for all generations. Part of this plan involves energy savings through education. This is done via a new innovative digital platform that connects all inhabitants of the village. Additionally, they have been proactive in producing renewable energy through the instalment of solar panels on houses and barns.

    Target Area: 500 persons in the village of Oosterhuizen with a goal of reaching 1,500 persons

    Technologies: The village focuses on investing in solar energy for individual houses as well as roofs of big barns and farmhouses to supply a group of households. They are also investigating the opportunity for biogas together with Enki Energy.

    Stakeholders: Oosterhuizen inhabitants

    Funding:  Most of the investments are currently made individually but the village is looking at joint investments via a suitable and effective communication tool.