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Rita Gomes is a finalist for the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2024

The architect is the founder of the startup Seenergy, a company dedicated to creating design solutions that integrate renewable energy systems into decorative furniture. 

Rita Gomes is a finalist in the Women in Energy category of the European Sustainable Energy Awards 2024. The award honours women with innovative projects in the field of sustainable energy.

The company, based in Porto, aims to develop a range of furniture capable of harnessing and storing sunlight. ‘Our mission is to create innovative solutions in which we can apply the advantages of this solar technology integrated into furniture on a global scale, thus contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future,’ says the architect.

Seenergy uses dye-sensitised solar cells that simulate the process of photosynthesis in plants, converting light into electricity. The solar cells can be used indoors, as they don't need direct sunlight. Once collected, the energy is stored in a battery that is integrated into the furniture pieces and can then be used to charge devices or switch on lights via a USB socket.

‘We're developing a range of products, including a bedside table that is powered by solar energy, where the entire top is made up of DSSCs technology,’ adds Rita.

Rita Gomes confesses that she faced some obstacles because she is a woman ‘I faced some challenges, mainly related to stereotypes about the role and capabilities that women have in the field of technology’.

Through partnerships with industry leaders and the University of Porto, the Portuguese architect intends to invest the prize money in her project and speed up the development of Seenergy's concept and products by next year.

The other finalists for the award are Françoise Réfabert, who has developed an innovative vision in the area of affordable financing for home energy renovations, and Karolina Attspodina, from Germany, who wants to bring solar energy to balconies through DIY kits.

An online public vote will take place until 2 June, when the winner of the EUSEW (European Solar Energy Awards) will be announced.


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