Iberdrola has stressed the importance of carbon capture and energy storage technologies to the future of the energy industry in the first edition of the firm’s Perseo technological innovation awards.

The Spain-based utility has announced that Westec Environmental Solutions and Bright Energy Storage Technologies are this year’s Perseo Award winners. It says that next year’s awards will be focussed on innovation in the biomass technology and energy efficiency fields.

The Perseo Awards initiative was established by Iberdrola as a means of supporting research and technology innovation in the energy industry. Winners will be offered investment in the form of equity stakes in their companies by the Perseo Fund, an initiative that uses Iberdrola development capital to invest in clean energy technologies.

This year Iberdrola opened the award with two categories: carbon capture and storage (CCS) and clean combustion technologies, and energy storage technologies aimed a electrical grid use. The winners were selected by the Investment Committee of the Perseo Fund, which took into account factors such as innovation as well as financial, environmental and social feasibility.

Runners up in the two categories were two USA-based companies, Carbozyme and Ecovoltz.

In the CO2 capture and storage and clean combustion category, UK company Westec Environmental Solutions submitted a CO2 absorption technology that uses smaller devices than the ones used currently, but equally effective and less expensive. In the category of energy storage aimed at electrical grid use, Bright Energy Storage Technologies submitted an initiative focused on a low-cost underwater energy storage system (BrightCAES).