Gérard Dellinger, winner of the Roger Léron prize 2020

2020.12.18

The Roger Léron Prize was awarded this year to Gérard Dellinger, former mayor of Saint-Julien-en-Quint (26), in recognition of his extraordinary dynamism and sense of innovation in the field of renewable energies and mobility, in the service of the territory. Organised by FEDARENE, the award ceremony took place remotely on Thursday 26 November in the presence of around a hundred participants.

Engineer in the industrial sector, Gérard Dellinger moved to St-Julien-en-Quint upon 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, consisting of 15 hamlets and about 150 inhabitants, was suffering the consequences of its isolation and was experiencing problems with transport, energy and economic dynamism. From the start of his term of office, Gérard Dellinger undertook bold initiatives, starting with the installation of fibre optics. Very quickly, he became passionate about energy issues and was at the origin of an ambitious project: the implementation of a local micro-grid and the development of hydrogen mobility. He then created ACOPREV, a local association for clean energy and mobility, later complemented by the creation of a local citizen-owned cooperative.

ACOPREV aims at an energy transformation of rural areas by promoting the development of green and renewable energies. This approach has several objectives: to enable inhabitants to reduce their energy bills, to achieve self-sufficiency in the long term, to create links in the municipality and neighbouring municipalities, and to boost the economic attractiveness of the area: creating jobs, wealth and interest.

What is most remarkable about Gérard Dellinger is his strategic vision of rural territories. Not limiting himself to a technical approach, he knows how to federate local actors and citizens in the different 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, for example, has made it possible to work on communication tools to help stakeholders, including citizens, to better understand the technical aspects of projects. Pedagogical actions are regularly organised in schools and the village of Saint-Julien-en-Quint has already hosted three editions of the Hydrogen Days, designed to introduce people to the new uses of hydrogen, particularly mobility.

At 93 years of age, Gérard Dellinger has no shortage of ideas or projects, and even less energy!