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European Sustainable Energy Week
News announcement11 June 2024European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency2 min read

Portuguese architect designing indoor solar solutions wins 2024 European Sustainable Energy Award

Portuguese architect Rita Gomes has won the 2024 European Sustainable Energy Award in the Woman in Energy category, for her Seenergy start-up, which pioneers the use of renewable energy solutions integrated into household objects. 

Rita’s project came first in an online public vote. She received the award at the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) awards ceremony on 11 June in Brussels. 

Based in Porto, Portugal, the challenge for Rita’s start-up is to develop a range of cost-effective, eco-friendly furniture designed to harness and store energy: ‘Our mission is to bring the advantages of solar technology in furniture to a worldwide audience, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious future,’ she says. 

Seenergy makes use of coloured solar cells that mimic the process of photosynthesis in plants, converting light into electricity without needing direct sunlight. Once collected, the energy is stored in a battery integrated into the furniture, and can be used to charge devices or power lights through USB ports.  

Rita Gomes was one of three finalists shortlisted for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2024 in the Woman in Energy category. The award recognises women who lead outstanding activities that, if replicated, help to advance the clean energy transition in Europe. Particular attention is placed on efforts to drive the gender mainstreaming agenda and support equality and equal opportunities in the energy sector.  

The other finalists were Françoise Réfabert from France, and Karolina Attspodina from Germany. Françoise developed an innovative vision to provide accessible financing for home energy renovations. Karolina is on a mission to bring solar energy to your balcony with lightweight DIY kits. 


EUSEW Awards ​celebrate Europe’s best clean energy projects and leaders

The European Sustainable Energy Awards (EUSEW Awards) recognise outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation and efforts in energy efficiency and renewables. The nine finalists were selected by a high-level jury in three categories –  Innovation, Local Energy Action, and Woman in Energy – before being submitted to an online public vote. ​  

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EUSEW 2024  

The European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the​ biggest annual event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe, takes place on 11-13 June under the theme ‘Net- zero solutions for a competitive Europe’. The event brings together public authorities, private companies, NGOs and consumers to promote initiatives accelerating decarbonisation through green technologies and solutions towards a fair and just transition for people and competitive businesses. 


For interview requests with the EUSEW Awards winners or additional media information, please contact ​ mediaateusew [dot] eu (media[at]eusew[dot]eu)