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Research and innovation

Horizon prize for integrated photovoltaic energy system

What the prize was, why it was needed, rules, who to contact

What is the prize

The Horizon prize for integrated photovoltaic energy system will reward a European protected historic urban district that has perfectly integrated in its buildings a photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity for at least 50% of its required electricity consumption. In this context the photovoltaic system should include all the necessary components to supply power within the district.

Why this prize?

In Europe, architectural and planning rules for protected historic urban districts impose major technical constraints on integrating renewable energy systems such as photovoltaics. These problems call for innovative and creative solutions for integrating photovoltaics into buildings combining technology with the cultural heritage of a city district. The suggested energy solution must also be adaptable and replicable to other districts, as the prize aims to mobilise and enhance private and public investment for the replication of similar solutions in Europe.

This prize contributes to the Energy Union priority to make the EU the world number one in renewable energy and lead the fight against global warming.


The development of the most suitable architectural and aesthetically-pleasing design for photovoltaic energy system in combination with optimal technical solutions, with the least visible impact on and minimal intrusion to the structure of protected historical urban buildings in Europe.


Applications for the contest ended on 26 September 2018.

Rules and guidance

Who can join the contest?

The contest is open to all legal entities (including natural persons) or groups of legal entities regardless of their place of establishment. The contestant has to be a community that has installed and operated in the protected historic urban district in Europe a new building integrated photovoltaic system.

How will your application be evaluated?

Exclusion criteria foreseen in the article 139(2) 3rd subparagraph of the Financial Regulation will apply.

Essential award criteria:
As a minimum, the installation needs to have a minimum power capacity of 50 kilowatt-peak (kWp), must be installed after the launch of the contest and must be operating continuously for at least six months at the closing date for submission of the application.

The prize will be awarded, after closure of the contest, to the entrant who in the opinion of the jury demonstrates a solution that best addresses the following essential cumulative criteria:

  • High quality in terms of architectural and aesthetic design
  • Reliability, easy maintenance and safety of operation
  • Energy savings and CO2 emission reduction
  • Minimal/no-invasive impact to the premises
  • Low operation and maintenance costs
  • Scalability and adaptation to different locations and different types of buildings
  • Active public participation to suggested solutions

Read the detailed rules of the contest


For more information or any questions you might have please ec-photovoltaics-prizeatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (contact us)