Reusing waste coolant water from regasification plants: winning idea of "Las ideas se mueven" (ideas on the move) competition

Published on Thursday, 1 December 2016

A system for recovering waste cooling water that regasification plants discharge into the sea and using it to cool nearby buildings. This was the winning idea in the second edition of the “Las ideas se mueven” (Ideas on the Move”) competition launched by Endesa, together with the University Enterprise Foundation (FUE), with the aim of generating ideas related to electricity among university and vocational training students. The winner was announced during the final awards ceremony held today at Endesa’s headquarters in Madrid, which was attended by the rector of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Guillermo Cisneros; Endesa’s general manager of human resources, Andrea Lo Faso; and the general director of the FUE, Fernando Martínez.

The first prize went to Laura Marí Martínez from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, who received a cash prize of 3,000 euros and a scholarship for the vocational preparation programme BRIDGE, with academic training and paid work practice at Endesa. Laura presented the public and the jury with a system that reuses the cooling water discharged by regasification plants into the sea, boosting the energy efficiency of the area and minimising the plant’s environmental impact on marine flora and fauna by not discharging the cold water into the sea. 

The second edition of this competition was aimed at students up to 26 years of age enrolled at universities and vocational training centres in Madrid (the first edition was held in Catalonia). In total, 215 great ideas were received. The initiatives had to be related to innovation, energy efficiency, demand-side electrification, protection of the environment and the surroundings, customer service excellence or the quality of energy services. There are plans to extend the competition to other areas next year, such as Andalusia or Aragon. 

The jury selected three finalist ideas from among the proposals submitted, including the winning idea, and the students had the opportunity to enhance their ideas during a debate with experts held on 22, 23 and 24 November inside an electric vehicle called the Endesa Van. 

Second and third prizes

Sergio Sánchez Romero from the Complutense University of Madrid and Ignacio Sánchez Barba from the Polytechnic University of Madrid received the second and third prizes respectively, winning €1,500 and €1,000. Sergio’s idea consisted in transforming waste into products in the algae industry and Ignacio's proposal was an application for saving energy in buildings.

Employer branding

The competition “Las Ideas se Mueven” forms part of the set of initiatives carried out by Endesa with the aim of attracting and retaining young talent, Employer Branding initiatives, in order to position the company as a desirable place to work in all the markets in which it operates, focusing on the most sought after profiles. In 2015, the company took part in a number of physical and virtual job fairs, holding workshops and helping to improve the employability of young people. Innovative events have been held, aimed at attracting talent and the company has updated its website targeting potential candidates, while the Scholarship Plan has been reinforced to improve its competitiveness.

Endesa is therefore continuing with its commitment to developing young talent and introducing them to the labour market and improving their employability. The Scholarship Plan for 2015 initially reached 120 young people and it was later extended halfway through the year to 25 more, reaching a total of 145. The company plans to take on 167 students in 2016. The scholarships tend to be for a year and they are associated with a training programme that consists of technical training and skills development. In previous years, around 20% of participants were hired, and this year we hope to increase this figure as our planning has focused more on future vacancies that may arise. The most sought-after profiles for scholarships are industrial engineers and in scientific profiles in general (mathematicians, statisticians, etc.) and for non-technical business administration and management profiles, economics and law tend to be the most sought-after qualifications.