Winner of the 1st edition of the Roger Léron Award in 2015, please meet Herbert Stava (Austria).
Illustration : Herbert_Stava
Herbert Stava, City Councillor for the environment for Bruck/Leitha, Austria
Starting in 1985 as a city councillor for the environment in his hometown Bruck/Leitha, Mr Stava has been constantly engaged in renewable energy, sustainability, and energy efficiency.
Starting from initiatives in his hometown, Mr Stava succeded spreading its actions in the region Römerland-Carnuntum, which involves 27 municipalities and more than 75.000 people, to become today 100% energy independence region.
In 1995 Mr Stava founded Energiepark Bruck/Leitha to develop his hometown towards a 100% Renewable Energy city and in a second step to develop the whole region.
In 2013 the European Investment Bank (which has very strong regulations about the sustainability of projects) supported further development by signing the loan agreement (€ 140 Mio.) for 7 further wind farms.
Mr Stava started a very successful fundraising campaign to set up the invention of a highly innovative plant system for algae production in order to produce several oils for the food industry as well as for transportation (biofuels) out of algae biomass. Only one year after in 2012, the demonstration plant (the company´s name is ecoduna) was ready to operate.
Mr Stava gave the impetus to create a postgraduate master program for renewable energy in CEE, which started in 2005 in cooperation with the technical university of Vienna.
The regional initiatives worked as “fertile soil” for other companies like Enercon, which built new factories in the area and created green jobs.
The development of the region itself became a lighthouse for further regions to have the heart to start their own sustainable development
The high investments in the region led to work for the local companies (like electricians, technical offices, farmers…)
When wind farms were started there were studies saying that wind power does not make sense in Austria. Nevertheless, Mr Stava willingness to “make it possible” was huge, he and his colleagues gave their private households as a guarantee for banks credits. Having a view of the region it shows that this willingness brought success.
The activities of Mr Stava had and have had an impact beyond the region.
By supporting EUs 20-20-20 as well as national goals with the plants built in the region and the measurements set to decrease the energy demand.
By supporting plants like the Photovoltaic Park in Cakany (Slovakia) or Ecoduna, which acts globally.
Awareness building, competence and knowledge building has always been an important path to activate other regions to start building their own way.
In 2015 the Master program will have its ten-years-anniversary, more than 230 students out of more than 30 countries worldwide were trained to become their own region energy independent and support regional development through the energy sector.
Awards such as “World Energy Globe” in 2012 or the “RES Champions League” in 2013 certificate
All the initiatives mentioned above with Mr Hava are famous, they had many visits of EC commissioners, ministers in Austria, a good media coverage etc.