FEDARENE- Roger Léron Award 2022 to Reinhard Six
After a thrilling close contest, Reinhard Six emerged as the winner of the 2022 Roger Léron Award last night. Lina Gellermark and Anne Girault won second and third place, respectively – the first time two women stand on the podium. Jörg Lorenz, a nominée to this award, passionately gave hands to the winners.
After much anticipation, the winner of the Roger Léron Award 2022 was announced last night in Brussels.
The evening kicked off with an opening address from FEDARENE President Julije Domac, who reflected on the drastic changes that have occurred in the field of energy. “Energy used to be boring”, he joked, “electricity came from the walls, heat from the radiator, and the rest was not so interesting. But now, every citizen is afraid of how much they are going to pay for energy, wondering if their homes will be warm or not. Today, nobody thinks that energy is a boring concept”. This poignant observation by the President showed just how important energy efficiency has become, and it was in that spirit that the Roger Léron Award 2022 was decided to honour energy efficiency leaders: those who have built their careers working towards the energy transition – even before the “energy transition” was something spoken about.
But, before the winners would be announced, guests of the ceremony were treated to two more keynote speeches. Adela Tesarova, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s DG Energy, reflected on how energy efficiency has become a major policy point in Brussels. She spoke of the new financial instruments and programmes that were supporting the energy transition across Europe, but also highlighted that more can be done: “It is a bit ironic that we still have islands who are dependent on fossil fuels”, she remarked, pointing to the threat of rising seas and the urgent challenge to curb emissions. Nevertheless, it is also important to celebrate success, she said. The Roger Léron Award allows us to see “not only outstanding individuals, but citizens who are pushing others to step up to the challenges ahead”.
And finally, in an invigorating address, Christiane Egger, our Vice-President for Climate Neutrality, reflected on the figure behind the Roger Léron Award. “Tonight we celebrate someone who was the embodiment of energy transition when it was not yet a thing”. But today, Christiane noted, energy efficiency is not only a thing – it is a must: “our survival depends on it.” And yet, this is exactly the right moment for energy agencies to prove their worth, according to the trailblazing Austrian. “It’s a window of opportunity for us at the regional and local level to show what we can do. We are providing useful, scientific information, and we have the skills to deliver. But we also have to change, as agencies. We need to be more proactive, more flexible, and more resilient. It is our moral responsibility. What we have done so far is great, but we must do more”.
And so, the stage was set for the presentation of the finalists of the Roger Léron Award 2022. And the result is……..
Reinhard Six began his career as an engineer with IFEU Heidelberg – an early player in the discussion about energy efficiency in Germany – before moving to France and Rhônalpénergie-Environnement, where he was in charge of European affairs and the promotion of co-generation and district heating. He managed more than 40 EU projects, gave technical assistance for local and regional project developments, and established himself as a leader in European energy efficiency policy and implementation. This expertise drove him to join the European Investment Bank where worked until retirement. There, Reinhard’s greatest achievement was establishing and later managing ELENA, an EIB – European Commission joint facility that has delivered a significant increase in local and regional energy efficiency projects. His lifelong commitment to energy efficiency and his impact on local, regional, and European level all see him take home the Roger Léron Award 2022.
The Roger Léron Award celebrates outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to the energy transition at a local or regional level and who have also made a difference at the European level. The Prize is named in memory of Roger Léron who was one of the founders and former President of FEDARENE as well as a great contributor to the regional and local sustainable energy field throughout his life.
This year, a focus has been placed on Energy Efficiency Leaders. Following our nominations campaign, 12 candidates have been nominated. Jörg Lorenz from green with IT Berlin was one of them.