The Roger Léron Prize was this year awarded to Gérard Dellinger, former mayor of Saint-Julien-en-Quint, in recognition of his extraordinary dynamism and his sense of innovation in the field of renewable energies and mobility, in the service of his municipality and region. Organised by FEDARENE, the award ceremony took place remotely on Thursday, November 26th in the presence of around 100 participants.
An engineer by profession in the industrial sector, Gérard Dellinger moved to St-Julien-en-Quint after his retirement, at the end of the 1990s, and was elected mayor in 2001. At that time, Saint- Julien-en-Quint, a small village located in the Vercors Regional Nature Park made up of 15 hamlets and about 150 inhabitants, suffered from the consequences of its isolation and was particularly experiencing problems related to transport, energy and lack of economic dynamism. From the start of his mandate, Gérard Dellinger embarked on daring initiatives, starting with the installation of the optical fiber. Very quickly, he developed a passion for energy issues and was at the origin of an ambitious project: the establishment of a local micro-grid and the development of hydrogen mobility. He then created ACOPREV, a local association for clean energy and mobility, completed later on by the creation of a local cooperative owned by the citizens.
ACOPREV aims for the energy transition of rural areas by promoting the development of green and renewable energies. This approach has several objectives: to enable residents to reduce their energy bills, eventually achieving a situation of self-sufficiency; creating links in the municipality and in the neighbouring municipalities; boosting the economic attractiveness of the territory - job creation, wealth and interest.
What is most remarkable about Gérard Dellinger is his strategic vision of rural areas. Not limiting himself to a technical approach, he knows how to unite local actors and citizens in the various projects in which he is involved. Beyond the creation of a cooperative managed directly by citizens and local municipalities, a partnership with the University of Lyon has, for example, made it possible to work on communication tools to help stakeholders including citizens to better understand technical aspects of projects. Educational actions are regularly organised in schools and the village of Saint-Julien-en-Quint has already hosted three editions of the Hydrogen Days, intended to introduce new uses of hydrogen, in particular fpr mobility.
At 93, Gérard Dellinger is not at a loss for ideas or projects, and even less energy!
A high-level event
The first online edition the Roger Leron Award Ceremony was also the occasion to celebrate FEDARENE's 30th anniversary together with prestigious guests and long-standing friends and members of the network. FEDARENE’s President Julije Domac opened the floor, followed by Commissioner Kadri Simson who thanked FEDARENE members and Roger Leron nominees for their efforts to advance the Energy Transition in their regions and at European level. She stated: “this is a call for action from exceptional and resourceful people. (..) We need everyone to get engaged and act now to renovate our homes and our relationship with our planet, and I will be looking forward to working with you.”
FEDARENE's Secretary General Seamus Hoyne then presented FEDARENE’s core activities and ambitions for the future. His speech was completed by that of Christiane Egger, Vice-President for Energy Efficiency. She also honoured the memory of Roger Leron, one of the founders of FEDARENE and the soul behind the Award. Mr Leron, as she said, truly embodied the spirit of Energy Transition, and paved the way for the many nominees celebrated that day.
You can find a more complete biography of Mr Dellinger’s description here and watch the recording of the Ceremony here below.
About the Award
The Roger Léron Prize rewards exceptional personalities who, through their perseverance, their impact, their strategic vision and their leadership, have contributed to sustainable energy at local and regional levels. The prize is named after Roger Léron, who was one of the pioneers of regional energy development in Europe, former Regional Councilor of Rhône-Alpes and president of RhônAlpEnergie-Environnement, co-founder of the European Federation of European Agencies and Regions for energy and the environment (FEDARENE).
Picture by © Jean-Marie HOSATTE