Judges announced for Humber Renewables Awards as deadline nears

The awards celebrate the best of the region’s renewables sector

Judges for the Humber Renewables Awards
Judges for the Humber Renewables Awards (Image: Humber Renewables)

The judging panel has been selected for the 2024 Humber Renewables Awards as the entry deadline draws near.

Humber Marine and Renewables chair Iain Butterworth, in his first year at the helm of the key regional organisation, joins experienced hand Camilla Carlbom Flinn at the table, while there is another debut in the shape of Sheena McGuinness, head of renewables and cleantech at financial consultancy giant RSM UK. Former regional business journalist David Laister, recently appointed as PR and media director at Hull marketing consultancy Fred, completes the team.

They will carefully sift through the entries to the event, now in its 12th year, creating a shortlist ahead of selecting the eventual winners – to be announced at a gala dinner finale to the Offshore Wind Connections conference in Hull on May 2. The nominations deadline is looming, with entries required by March 17.

Mr Butterworth succeeded Andrew Oliver at the helm of Humber Marine and Renewables (HMR) late last year, after he completed the merger of Team Humber Marine Alliance (THMA) and Grimsby Renewables Partnership in 2022, forging a stronger single voice for the allied sectors.

He is a former merchant navy marine engineer, who – following his successful seagoing career – studied law and qualified as a solicitor, working in Hull for many years as a specialist maritime lawyer. He lives in Scarborough and runs his own marine consultancy business, which keeps him extensively involved in the maritime and renewables industries.

Mr Butterworth, who served as a director of THMA for many years, said: “We have seen huge increases in skills, supply chain involvement, innovation and infrastructure over the past 15 years, and it is great to see all the companies involved who have either moved to the area or diversified their offer to embrace the new industry.

“I am really looking forward to the event, it seems to be getting bigger and better every year, and seeing the calibre of entries will be another endorsement of what has been created here.”

Mrs Carlbom Flinn is a fellow HMR director, and chaired Stallingborough-based specialist agency Carlbom Shipping for several years, prior to its acquisition by Pentagon Marine last summer. She is now the director of the shipping agency division there, while also sitting as the region’s honorary Swedish and Finnish Consul, and Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire.

For two successive years at the start of the decade she was named as the finance category winner at Women Powering Smart Energy Awards. Her work includes managing the tax lifecycle of renewables companies, and recently she has advised on the recent Greencoat and Innova Renewables partnership.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to reading the nominations and further understanding the great strides being taken on the Humber. It will be a pleasure to get a real feel for the businesses involved ahead of attending what is rightly a flagship regional event of national significance.”

Mr Laister has sat alongside the Humber Renewables Awards judges for several years in his former role as Humber business editor for previous organiser Reach Plc. Now part of the Fred team in Old Town, he has also been helping with launch materials for the 2024 event.

Humber Renewables Awards take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in the city. For more details about the event and how to enter, visit www.humber-renewables.com.

This year’s categories for the Humber Renewables Awards:

Humber Renewables Small Business of the Year (under 50 employees)

Sponsored by Orsted

This category will recognise those who have spotted an opportunity in the renewables market. The winner will be able to demonstrate fast growth, a healthy profit and a solid plan for the future. It could be a company set up solely to work in green energy or a traditional business which has branched out. One of the reasons Siemens Gamesa decided to invest in Hull was because of the great engineering and maritime infrastructure the Humber already has. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: RSUK Group

Humber Renewables Medium / Large Business of the Year (over 50 employees)

Running a major company is tough in any field but in an evolving sector like renewable energy it has complexities beyond most. Businesses have to be instantly adaptable, on top of the latest technology and ready to make the most of opportunities offered by the Government’s regularly updating green agenda. This award’s winner will be a regional firm with at least 50 employees and bold ambitions to become even bigger. Judges will be looking at past financial performance and recruitment in the past year. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Associated British Ports

Best Renewable Energy Project or Installation

This prize is for the game-changers that are making it happen. Judges will be looking for a winning project that produces clean power, is built to the highest of standards and encapsulates the area’s expertise. The category is open to schemes of any scale, from multi-million pound developments to micro-generation programmes. It could be won by a firm focused on renewables or a company, public sector organisation or educational establishment which has done its bit to reduce our carbon footprint. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Pillswood Project from Harmony Energy

Excellence in Renewable Skills and Training

Sponsored by East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Multinational green energy companies may have their eyes on the region and feet on the ground but success in bringing them here means nothing if they cannot find qualified employees. Getting the training right for any potential workforce is vital and this award will celebrate those organisations which have done most to create a much-needed skills base. The category is open to employers, specialist centres and education providers. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: RES

Renewables Education

Sponsored by Blackrow Wind

This category will reward the educators who have done most to promote the value of clean power and understand the opportunities it brings. It could be as part of an energy qualification or learning programme run by a university of college, or a one-off project at a primary or secondary school. Entries will be able to demonstrate what the aims of the project were, how they were achieved and any feedback from students. Submissions may also include details of whether, and how, the project was supported by industry. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: East Riding of Yorkshire Council / Dogger Bank Wind Farm

Green Innovation

Green energy is now cheaper than its fossil fuel equivalents and this is down to innovation. This award will reward firms of any size that go out of their way to be more efficient and are not afraid to come up with novel approaches. Judges will be looking to see how innovation has made a real difference. That could be developing a different business model, refining existing technology to make it leaner and more effective, or introducing a new solution. This award is not just open to energy firms. Companies in the recycling sphere, or those reducing consumption are welcome, as are businesses where inventive methods have seen carbon footprints reduced. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Cellform Hydrogen

Diversity and Inclusion Award

It isn’t just the field of work that needs to evolve to ensure peak performance, but the workforce too. Engineering and maritime disciplines have been some of the narrower fields when it comes to balance but thanks to some great initiatives, many at a local level, that is changing. We want to celebrate that success, acknowledge effort and reward the results. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Generation Net Zero

Engaging The Community / Community Project

This category will recognise a renewable energy project that has the community at its heart. This could either be through raising public awareness of renewable energy needs or involving a local community in a project. Or this could be a renewables project driven by a local community or organisation, or one that is to the benefit of one. Going the extra mile in support of major initiatives is welcome too, ensuring the Humber and its hinterland reaps what it deserves from hosting such industrial endeavour. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: HFR Solutions CIC

Humber Renewables Woman of the Year

Sponsored by RWE Renewables Ltd

This award aims to recognise and celebrate women working in the energy sector who go above and beyond business-as-usual. This may be someone who has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, has contributed significantly to the expansion and improvement of the power sector or it could be a young role model who is destined to shape the future of renewable energy, having been acclaimed by peers or the wider industry. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Claire Swannick, RWE

Humber Renewables Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Boston Energy

Green collar jobs are the envy of many, providing a clear contribution to a better world, with highly skilled on-task learning the backbone of career starts. It is an industry at the heart of levelling-up and perceived vocational and academic differences were swept away on an early tide when it came to getting ahead in renewables. We want to celebrate the success of those engaged in an apprenticeship programme. Enter here.

Last year’s winner: Ria Matthews

Humber Renewables Champion 2024

The winner of this award will have a passionate focus on promoting the renewables industry in this region. It could be an individual, public sector body or company – the key is a real focus on making the Humber the Energy Estuary. They will have tirelessly campaigned to promote green power. A worthy winner would be anyone who has helped attract new investment, encouraged Government support of the ambition or paved the way for more jobs. It could also be an organisation or person who has ensured the reputation stretches beyond the region. Judges will be looking for candidates whose aim was not just to further their own business, but to create opportunities for all. This is a special award, bestowed by the panel.

Last year’s winner: Kurt Christensen, Wind Power Support