2015 – Beate Weber-Schuerholz

On the theme The Energy Transition – Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency

In 2015 the award was shared equally between Beate Weber-Schuerholz and Peter Hennicke from Germany, and Jeremy Leggett from England.

Beate Weber-Schuerholz was elected mayor of the town of Heidelberg in 1990 where she, over the course of two election periods (1990-1998), laid the foundation for the leading position within energy efficiency which Heidelberg holds today among the cities of the world. Through co-operation with local business, leadership of the local authority’s energy supply company, financing of energy efficient buildings and heavy investments within public transport, Heidelberg reduced its CO2 emissions by 30 percent over the period 1993 to 2007. Today, Heidelberg is a role model within energy efficiency, it having, for example, the world’s largest passive house areas.

Jury's motivation

This year’s prize in the area of solar energy is awarded to Jeremy Leggett and this year’s prize in the field of energy efficiency is awarded to Peter Hennicke and Beate Weber-Schuerholz.

During the course of her term of office, Beate Weber-Schuerholz demonstrated strong leadership and an ability to organize and inspire companies, local officials and citizens. Moreover, Weber-Schuerholz emphasized the economic and environmental benefit of energy efficiency. Her commitment extended beyond the city limits through regional initiatives and to work within the EU.