Reinhard Six

Reinhard has worked through his entire career in the field of energy efficiency. In 2009, Reinhard joined the European Investment Bank. From 2016 until his retirement in 2022, Reinhard managed the ELENA Facility and has led a team which has delivered a significant increase in local and regional energy efficiency projects.

Reinhard Six

Nominated by: Ralf Goldmann, European Investment Bank


Reinhard has worked through his entire career in the field of energy efficiency, after having studied engineering in Germany. In his first job he worked for IFEU in Heidelberg – at the time one of the leading institutes in this sector and one of the early players in the discussion about energy efficiency and environment in Germany. During this time Reinhard worked on the following projects:

  • Environmental and energy planning for municipalities with specific accent on GHG emission reduction (City of Heidelberg, Wuppertal, Bautzen, Mainz);
  • Elaboration of strategies in view of the energy consumption reduction in social housing or offices; Feasibility studies for CHP in municipalities linked with the design of district heating networks.

Following this time in Germany, Reinhard joined Rhônalpénergie-Environnement (regional energy and environment agency of Rhône-Alpes region, France), where he a German national worked in a French regional agency, a true European. In this role, Reinhard 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 to local authorities in Rhône-Alpes for project development in the fields of energy savings in the building stock, small scale cogeneration plant set up, construction and extension of district heating networks and substitution of coal by wood chip boilers.

His focus on Europe energy efficiency policy and implementation has been especially expressed in his role as expert in EU policies, demonstrated by the following activities:

  • on behalf of FEDARENE in the working group “buildings” of ECCP;
  • on behalf of Committee of the Regions elaboration of the position paper for CHP directive;
  • and as senior expert for energy planning, local/regional energy and environmental policy counselling, GHG emission reduction plans (covering energy efficiency, renewable energies, transport and mobility).

Finally, in 2009, Reinhard joined the European Investment Bank on technical appraisals of energy efficiency projects, the EIB energy lending criteria, which translating EU energy policies. His main contribution to energy efficiency at European scale has been however his work in the establishment of ELENA , a joint EIB – European Commission facility. From 2016 until his retirement, Reinhard managed the facility and has led a team which has delivered a significant increase in local and regional energy efficiency projects.


One of Reinhard’s strengths during his career has been to develop clear achievable goals, based on sound technical knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the needs and realities at the local and regional level.

Being creative means to him, analysing challenges be it technical, organisational followed by developing solutions and then to follow these through by providing leadership and clear communication. Creativity means as well to identify good approaches in one region and then transfer these – in an adapted way – to other regions. An example for this has been the development of energy clusters for SMEs which still exist in Rhône-Alpes and which have been modelled on an Austrian example.

A clear strategic vision has been demonstrated in his management of the ELENA facility, contributing to the long-term growths, establishing partnerships with key stakeholders and a clear focus on delivering concrete and tangible results. Reinhard anticipated new technological developments but as well, capacity needs in European regions and has adapted the approach of how access to the facility could be enabled and how long-term impact could be ensured.


  1. While it is a methodological issue to describe the impact of Reinhard’s work in key numbers, probably one can approximate the long-term impact already starting in his work at the Ifeu institute in Germany which introduced energy planning in municipalities and even without a clear methodological evaluation it can be safely assumed that this work had an exemplary role and has been replicated since then in a large number of regions and municipalities.
  2. May be clearer the impact in Rhône-Alpes can be described even though it will be difficult to give exact figures on the project related impact through his advises and probably even more through the leverage of transferring knowledge in the joint activities of FEDARENE.
  3. Finally in his work managing the ELENA facility, already in 2019, the facility has supported 85 projects with an investment volume of EUR 5.6 billion and 33.000 FTE created. These numbers have since then been increasing.

While it is difficult to attribute this impact to a single person, nor to count all impact a person can achieve it is undoubted that through his career, Reinhard made a significant contribution and impact on energy efficiency and in the energy transition.


While leadership can be visible in public and is probably the most seen and recognized, most likely the invisible leaders during the day-to-day work with colleagues, team members, stakeholders and clients are the ones who in their domain are the true leaders which move society and created value.

Reinhard always based his leadership on sound technical knowledge, the ability to communicate complex matters to decision makers, and through leading by example in providing diligent work and constant progress. He was a keen learner and a teacher to younger colleagues throughout his career and could inspire others to follow this path and to gain satisfaction through concrete and tangible results.

Curious to find out if Reinhard will be the winner of the Roger Léron Award 2022?