International Clean Energy Challenge

An event for young professionals

24 – 28 July 2023, Upper Austria

At the International Clean Energy Challenge 2023, held from 24 – 28 July in Spital am Pyhrn/Austria, 49 highly-qualified young professionals from more than 30 countries developed concrete energy solutions for the local energy transition in diversified and interdisciplinary teams. The event was organised by the regional energy agency of Upper Austria (OÖ Energiesparverband, ESV) in collaboration with other regional energy agencies from all over Europe.

Accelerating the clean energy transition towards climate neutrality is presently at the top of the agenda. The event brought together enthusiastic young innovators under 35 from around the world and 8 energy agencies from 7 EU countries for an event of collaborative thinking. In interdisciplinary and international teams, they tackled real-life challenges presented by the partner organisations on topics relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy in communities, buildings, companies and more.

Each of the 8 teams was assigned to a specific challenge that immersed them into the world of the local energy transition: developing Energy Communities; visualising and communicating energy indicators; designing a sustainable building; conceptualising a campaign to attract sustainable energy professionals; connecting with SMEs across Europe; increasing acceptance for wind power; supporting the development of the biomethane sector.

Far more than a competition, the event focussed on creation through collaboration. The dynamic, yet structured, innovation process consisted of a combination of brainstorming activities, autonomous group work and peer-review sessions. The team coaches offered valuable support and professional coaching, and two external mentors offered their expertise on communication and entrepreneurship.

In the final session, the teams showcased their work and results to a jury, and awards were presented in 5 categories. Very positive feedback was received from all those who took part in the event. Participants gained practical, real-life insights into driving change. And they contributed to developing ideas and solutions that will have an impact on achieving climate neutrality. The partner organisations profited from the creative thinking of inspirational, bright young minds.

The participants were mostly young professionals working in businesses, in energy agencies, associations, public bodies, industry, and research institutions. They came from a diversity of educational backgrounds including a variety of engineering fields, economics, architecture, business, environmental sciences, IT, communications, law, political science and more.

The event was organised by the OÖ Energiesparverband, the regional energy agency of Upper Austria and organiser of the annual international conference World Sustainable Energy Days. It was held also in the context of the H2020 project "Remarkable Climate Leaders".


Accelerating the clean energy transition towards climate neutrality is presently at the top of the agenda. To speed up change, we need young and innovative minds that are willing to work together on tackling this challenge.

We invited 49 young professionals and researchers under 35 (born after 1987) to find fresh solutions and new ideas for the local energy transition in an event of collaborative thinking across disciplines.


An event for young professionals!

  • Tackling real-life challenges for the local energy transition presented by regional energy agencies and developing concrete solutions in diversified and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Networking with forward-thinking European organisations and benefiting from professional mentoring and training from their management staff.
  • Meeting other young innovators from all over the world. Building up a peer network!
  • Being inspired for new ways of thinking about the energy transition and climate neutrality!
  • Winning an award for the best project!
  • Spending an unforgettable week with like-minded people in the beautiful Austrian Alps. Experiencing Austrian hospitality and enjoying an exciting mixture of workshops and leisure activities.


Bright young thinkers from all disciplines (business, engineering, economics, social sciences, law, arts etc.) and from all over the world!

Eligibility criteria:

  • minimum work experience of 3 years or undergraduate degree (e.g. bachelor)
  • strong interest in the clean energy transition
  • good knowledge of English
  • born after 1987


24 – 28 July 2023

  • Arrival: Monday, 24 July during the day, kick-off event in the afternoon
  • End: Friday, 28 July


In Spital am Pyhrn, Upper Austria

Upper Austria - one of the nine Austrian regions - is a European leader in the energy transition. Greenhouse gas emissions from buildings were reduced by 36 % in the last decade. Renewable energy already supplies 32 % of all primary energy and 68 % of all space heating. This transformation has also resulted in a strong innovation ecosystem of businesses and pioneer communities that are catalysts for the energy transition in all sectors.

The event was held in the landmark building of a former monastery, surrounded by the panorama of the Austrian Alps. The "Pyhrn-Priel Holiday Region" is characterised by a picturesque scenery of alpine pastures and lovely villages.

The event was organised in the context of the H2020 project "Remarkable Climate Leaders" by the regional energy agency of Upper Austria in collaboration with similar organisations from all over Europe.

Organisation and event office

OÖ Energiesparverband
Landstrasse 45
4020 Linz, Austria
T: +43-732-7720-14380

The event is held in the context of the H2020 project "Remarkable Climate Leaders"​​​​​​​.