Social innovation projects in Spain will once again receive special attention this autumn. Co-organized by Som Energia and Coop57, the Germinador Social is a contest to stimulate the creation of innovative social models with the aim of promoting new local agents for the energy transition. The contest winners of this year’s Germinador were selected through two channels – one project was selected by the public, and four projects were selected by a jury – and will present their projects at the Som Energia School in Mataró, Spain, on 4-6 October.

The popular voting prize, awarded in July, went to Bioclimatiza tu cole (Bioclimatise your school). Through this project, the Cotidiana cooperative intends to provide an analysis and a guide for personalized bioclimatic solutions to four schools. In each school, Cotidiana will organize participatory awareness raising workshops for students, as well as dissemination activities, to explain and implement bioclimatic solutions.

This 3rd edition of the Germinador will feature a special award in the field of energy poverty – and this new category has already made first waves! The projects submitted were so different, that the jury decided to award two projects instead of one (making five winners in total):

  • El Apagón: ni sed, ni frio, ni obscuridad (The Blackout: neither thirst, nor cold, nor darkness, 65% of the prize) – A social theater play to raise awareness about the impact of energy poverty on people, and particularly on women. The project includes taking the work to different cities, creating links with other entities in the territory and working for mutual support and collective advice. It is promoted by the Catalan Association of Engineering Without Borders (ESF).
  • Rise – APP por los derechos energéticos (Rise - APP for energy rights, 35% of the prize) – This project includes creation of a mobile application that serves to detect and understand situations of energy poverty, and take measures to mitigate it. It will be aimed at entities that work in this field, and is promoted by the Welfare and Development Association (ABD).

In the energy transition category, the jury selected the following projects:

  • Comunidad energética rural (Rural Energy Community) - Creation of a rural energy community that, with the renewable energy projects it operates, will offer environmental, economic or social benefits to community members and the environment. It is promoted by the MUTI Association, Evolutionary Space.
  • Impulso de comunidades energéticas (Promotion of Energy Communities) – A project to promote the creation of neighbourhood communities that produce their own energy. Ecoserveis will design the methodology and the socio-administrative facilitation process to make this project replicable in other parts of Spain.
  • Xenergía, Mujeres con Energía (Women for Energy) - Ambassadors of the cooperative will work to promote the generation of energy with renewable sources (invested investment, self-production, energy efficiency ...) and advocate for equality (through the creation of equality plans and participation in European projects that include the gender perspective).

The total prize money for the Germinador Social is 31,500 Euros, which come from the voluntary donation of a part of the Som Energia contracts, and which are distributed among the winning projects. Those in the energy transition category will receive 5,000 euros each, and the two of energy poverty will be distributed 10,000 euros (65% and 35%, as decided by the jury). In addition, the Coop57 Foundation will subsidize a portion of the financial costs of a possible loan to the winning projects. The prize for those who win the public vote will be in kind, with a value of 1,500 euros in services processed through Cooperativa Opcions.

Learn more about the Germinador Social and this year's winning projects here...