Wolfgang Jilek, Energy Commissioner of Styria, Austria
→ Understanding how technical and political aspects are interdependent
Mr Wolfgang Jilek has an academic degree in architecture. After some years being one of the Managers of the former Styrian Energy agency, he became Energy Commissioner of Styria until his retirement. When Austria entered the European Union in 1995, it was his initiative that the Agency participates as a partner in many EU funded projects.
- Mr Jilek wrote the “Manual for Communal Energy-Planning”, and the manual “District heating with Biomass”, for the Regions of Styria and Salzburg and which was requested in other countries.
- He was the co-founder of several energy agencies in Styria.
- Mr Jilek also cooperated with the other Bundesländer in Austria, whereupon he master-minded certification for energy performance of buildings funded by the Styrian Government.
- There was no aspect of Styrian energy policy he was not involved in, writing draft laws, reports, and monitoring effects, using his know-how on technical, economic, legal, organizational and communication skills as well.
- He updated the Styrian Energy Strategy continuously.
- Even after retirement, he was elected chairperson of an association for the “Training of Energy Consultants”.
- Mr Jilek still has contacts at European level and is active in the Concerted Action on the Energy Performance of Buildings.
- Mr Jilek was a major actor of the Styrian Energy policy. He set ambitious but realistic goals, elaborating a strategy by creating incentives to bring the people to act in terms of targets and afterwards setting legal standards.
- The development of a certificate on energy performance for buildings in Styria (and some other provinces) was important for the implementation of the European Directive.
- Mr Jilek’s initiatives in the field of district heating, support to rural cooperative to operate the heat plants, support to the creation of several energy agencies and his inputs to research resulted in the creation of green jobs.
- His training of high-quality energy consultants probably is representative of the importance he places in dialogue in addressing different players.
- Mr Jilek’s involvement with European partners and his position as frontrunner in the field of sustainable energy has given him the opportunity to promote the topic well across the borders of its region.
Mr Jilek is a good example of why and how technical and political aspects are linked when we talk about energy. His involvement on a variety of levels has allowed him to be very influent in Styria and elsewhere. It is noticeable how Mr Jilek emphasizes the role of communication, in order to build a common front between stakeholders related to sustainable energy. He is an engineer who quickly learnt that his knowledge by itself simply wouldn’t be enough to make the change he was aiming for.