Brussels, 4 April 2023 – Solar Heat Europe, the industry association representing the solar heating and cooling sector in Brussels, has announced today the appointment of its new Managing Director, Valérie Séjourné, taking over from Pedro Dias.
This change occurs at a key moment of the energy transition, when there is an urgent need to decarbonise the heating and cooling sector, in line with the Fit for 55 Package, RePowerEU, the EU Solar Energy Strategy, and the Green Deal Industrial Plan. With already more than 10 million solar thermal rooftop systems installed on residential buildings in Europe, the sector has a substantial potential for growth with ready-to-use solutions for the provision of renewable heat in a vast number of additional applications, from commercial buildings (e.g. hotels, hospitals, leisure centers, shopping centers) to large scale installations such as district heating networks and industries (e.g. pulp and paper, food and drinks, textile, chemicals, etc.).
Guglielmo Cioni, Vice-President of Solar Heat Europe said: “This is the time to grow. Trillions of Euros will be invested, and a tectonic shift is happening in the way we generate and use heat. Solar thermal needs to be a visible and strategic part of the solution. We are thrilled to start working with Valérie at this key moment, for the full deployment of solar thermal in Europe and globally.”
With a communications and marketing background, Valérie Séjourné comes with more than 25 years of experience in a well-established pan-European industry association in Brussels, leading many sustainability-related projects but also communications, stakeholder engagement and advocacy outreach towards many different audiences (B2B, B2C). She also has valuable experiences with Ademe, the French energy transition agency at the start of her career.
Pedro Dias, former Secretary General of Solar Heat Europe since 2014, will continue contributing to the Association’s mission and goals, leading the advocacy work as Policy Director. Costas Travasaros, President of Solar Heat Europe commented: “On behalf of the Board and the full membership, we wish to warmly thank Pedro for his tremendous commitment to Solar Heat Europe during these many years. His passion for our industry helped us in steering through harsher periods for the sector and in the creation of the framework conditions that have contributed to put the European solar thermal industry back on the growth path, recognized as a Strategic Net-Zero Technology”.
“It is a great pleasure to join the community of the renewable energies sector at this key period and I am grateful to the Board of Solar Heat Europe for their trust. Today, Europe needs solar thermal solutions more than ever and I look forward to working with the members of the Association and their partners to promote further the benefits of this technology, its many applications and help the sector expand, creating more local jobs whilst providing tangible CO2 savings, in line with the Solar Thermal Roadmap launched in 2022. Working in an open and constructive dialogue with all partners will be my priority, building on the excellent expertise of the team and the network” concluded Valérie.
Pedro Dias stated: “Being passionate about our mission in Solar Heat Europe, I’m pleased to see a person with the professional and personal qualities of Valérie taking the helm of our organisation and I very much look forward to our joint work.” He added: “I’m particularly thankful to the Board of Directors for our cooperation and for facilitating this solution which allows me to work part-time while continuing to contribute to the development of our sector and the energy transition”.
About Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF
Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF’s mission is to achieve the prioritisation and acceptance of solar heat as a key element for sustainable heating and cooling in Europe and to work for the implementation of all necessary steps to realise the high potential of solar heat. With members in more than 15 European countries, Solar Heat Europe members cover different parts of the value chain, being based in countries as diverse as Finland or Cyprus. Last year, Solar Heat Europe published Energising Europe with Solar Heat – A Solar Thermal Roadmap for Europe, comprising key information and data about the potential of the technology to accelerate the energy transition and boost the European economy.
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