On 20 May 2021, Eurelectric’s Board of Directors unanimously elected new Presidency team. The new Presidency team 2-year mandate will run until summer 2023, during which the Presidency will give strategic impulse to the association and the electricity industry at EU level, along the lines of the Presidency Manifesto.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of the Paris-based electricity utility EDF Group, was elected President of Eurelectric, the association representing the European power sector which brings together more than 3,500 companies in power generation, distribution, and supply. His two-year mandate will pursue the transformations needed to shift away from fossil fuels, making the Green Deal a reality through electrification.
Upon his election, Jean-Bernard Lévy said: “I am honoured to take on this responsibility, as I am convinced that electricity will be the path to carbon neutrality, and the key enabler of at least 55% of CO2 emissions cuts across the economy by 2030. I have a clear conviction that the power sector, with its range of low carbon technologies, digital solutions and its ability to innovate, can help all EU citizens benefit from an affordable, climate friendly and comfortable lifestyle.”
During his Presidency, Jean-Bernard Lévy will be supported by two Vice-Presidents: Corina Popescu, CEO of Electrica, the Romanian electricity supplier and distribution operator, and Leonhard Birnbaum, CEO of the German energy supplier E.ON.
Together, they will strive to take decisive steps to put renewable and low-carbon electricity at the core of the European Green Deal, instilling a sustainable and cost-effective energy transition across EU Member States. Their mandate will be constructed around the four pillars of a shared vision, as presented in their Presidency Manifesto:
- Promoting the Green Deal as a social, industrial and strategic opportunity for all Europeans;
- Driving an affordable, low-carbon, electric lifestyle by addressing the discriminatory energy taxation hampering electricity, and supporting a strengthened carbon pricing;
- Ensuring that a full range of low carbon technologies contribute to cost-effective decarbonisation, furthering the deployment of renewables, smart grids and the uptake of electrolytic hydrogen for industrial applications;
- Showing the resilience and flexibility of electricity as a key asset for the Green Deal, while fostering smart integration and highlighting the beneﬁts of digitalisation.
Jean-Bernard Lévy takes over from Pat O’Doherty, CEO of ESB. During his Presidency, Pat O’Doherty consolidated the sector’s leadership in addressing climate change and its role in providing reliable and steadfast energy supplies to consumers at a time of great uncertainty and upheaval. During his tenure, significant advances were made in establishing the grid investments necessary to support both an increasingly renewable-based electricity system and the electrification of society.
“The European power sector has proven its resilience and reliability in the face of frequent and extreme weather events, as well as other unforeseen and complex stress tests such as the COVID 19 pandemic. Eurelectric plays a very important role in enabling collaboration and cooperation across Europe, ensuring that the industry can collectively address challenges and accelerate the pace of change. I am happy to pass on the torch to Jean-Bernard and the new presidency team knowing that they will continue to turn commitments into reality, working towards a more sustainable, convenient, comfortable and efficient future,” Pat O’Doherty, CEO of ESB and outgoing President of Eurelectric mentioned.
Jean-Bernard Lévy will set out his Presidency priorities in a keynote speech at the occasion of the Eurelectric Power Summit (25-28 May 2021).
The Power Summit will gather industry leaders, ministers, and high-level EU policy makers through a series of web-conferences and digital networking sessions aimed at identifying ways of accelerating the uptake of clean electricity in Europe.
Jean-Bernard Lévy was appointed Chairman & CEO of EDF Group on 26 November 2014. Previously he was the Chairman & CEO of Thales, a leading electronics and systems industrial group, and he headed up Vivendi as COO from 2002 to 2005, and as CEO from 2005 to 2012. During his career he held multiple management positions in corporate finance and communications, including the role of Chief of Staff to Gérard Longuet, the French Minister for Industry, Postal Services & Telecommunications and Foreign Trade. He is a graduate of the École Polytechnique (1973) and Télécom ParisTech. He is an officer of Légion d’Honneur and of the Ordre National du Mérite.
Georgeta Corina Popescu has been holding the position of CEO of Electrica SA since January 2019. Before that she was General Manager of Societatea de Distributie a Energiei Electrice Muntenia Nord, part of Electrica Group and Transelectrica’s Directorate Chairperson. Between December 2015 and February 2017, Corina Popescu held the position of State Secretary within the Ministry of Energy, during which time she was also a member of the Board of Directors of Electrica SA. Graduate of the Faculty of Power Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Power Engineering Systems department, she has 30 years of experience in multiple positions across the electricity value chain.
Leonhard Birnbaum joined RWE AG in 2008 and was appointed to the Board of Management the same year. He served as Chief Strategy Officer and as RWE Group’s Chief Commercial Officer until 2013. Since then, Leonhard Birnbaum has been a member of the Board of Management of E.ON SE. Initially in charge of trading and decentralised solutions, he later served as Chief Commercial and Chief Regional Officer and Chief Operating Officer Networks & Renewables. Since April 2021, he became Chief Executive Officer of E.ON SE and Chairman of the Board of Management.