On the 9th of October 2019, FEDARENE President Julije Domac handed over the 5th Roger Léron Award to Søren Hermansen: a true island leader who led Samsoe’s island population into a fossil-free future.
Illustration : FEDARENE
The Roger Léron award, organized each year by the Fedarene, rewards leading figures who, through their perseverance, impact, strategic vision and leadership, contribute to sustainable energy at the local and regional level.
On the 9th of October 2019, sustainable energy stakeholders garthered in Brussels to find out who would be the finalists and winner of this 5th edition. The Ceremony also welcomed speeches from FEDARENE Secretary General Seamus Houne, FEDARENE Vice-President for Energy Efficiency Christiane Egger and Member of European Parliament Jutta Paulus.
Søren Hermansen, from the Danish island of Samsø, has been a driving force in its transformation into a self-sufficient island in renewable energy. Recognized worldwide for his leadership, he received the 2008 Time Magazine Heroes of the Environment Award, the 2009 Gothenburg Award and the 2011 Svend Auken Award (Auken was a former Danish Minister of the Environment). Søren Hermansen has participated in numerous international conferences and events on the deployment of renewable energy. He is also Director of the Samsø Energy Academy, a former member of the Advisory Group to the Minister of Energy and Climate (Connie Hedegaard) and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Aalborg.
The second place was shared by Maria del Rosario Heras and Josep Puig i Boix. Josep Puig i Boix is the co-funder of Ecoserveis, a not-for-profit consulting association devoted to energy efficiency, renewable energy education and promotion. As Barcelona’s City Councillor, he led the city to sign the Aalborg Charter for Sustainable Cities and to develop the Local Agenda 21.
Mrs Heras Celemin has been working in the field for more than 40 years, focusing mainly on building regulation. She managed to convince the Spanish and EU regulators of the importance of energy savings, when on the other side of the table, there were the huge construction and energy companies strongly linked to the use of fossil fuels.