Prize Category 1: Sustainability Prize
Specific Area of Focus: Development of Renewable Energy

Hans-Josef FELL


Hans-Josef FELL is an internationally recognised founding figure of the global renewable energy movement. He is actively promoting 100% renewable energy worldwide and providing political advice to many parliaments and governments on the transition to an energy system based entirely on renewables as well as on climate protection. He is the Founder and President of the Energy Watch Group, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan global network of scientists and parliamentarians. Together with his organisation, Fell is analysing global energy developments and commissioning independent studies on energy. Findings have received much attention among media, politicians and scientists worldwide.

Fell entered politics in 1990s. From 1990 to 2000 he was a city councillor in Hammelburg and a district councillor in Bad Kissingen. In 1993, he introduced the world’s first local feed-in tariff in his hometown Hammelburg and founded the first cooperative worldwide to produce solar electricity.

During his time as a member of the German parliament, Fell authored the draft Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which was adopted in 2000 in the face of strong political opposition. The EEG is the foundation for the technology developments in photovoltaic, biogas, wind, geothermal and hydro power in Germany, which stimulated the global growth of renewables. The underlying principle of the EEG has since been replicated in almost hundred countries and regions around the world. Fell initiated the legislation promoting biofuels and was actively involved in establishing the renewables legislation at the European level.

From 1999 to 2005, as spokesman of the Alliance 90/the Greens parliamentary group in the research committee of the German Bundestag, Fell helped to secure an increase in research funding for a series of renewable energy related technologies. This funding was crucial to the current worldwide expansion of solar thermal power technology and the expansion of geothermal power generation throughout Germany.

In recognition of his contributions to promoting renewable energy, Fell was awarded Energy Globe Award in 2000, Bavarian Order of Merit in 2012, and Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2015.