Remembering a Giant: REvolutionaries, the Steve Sawyer Memorial Award

Remembering a Giant, Steve Sawyer

Its been almost a year since we lost a true stalwart of the energy movement. Steve Sawyer was, to many of us, a friend, colleague, mentor, devil’s advocate, and sometimes grumpy (if he didn’t have his coffee); but always true to the greater cause of a sustainable energy future.

He did crazy things at Greenpeace and worked with business giants as Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). He was a founding member and stalwart supporter of REN21 since its creation in 2005.

His voice is missed but not forgotten.


On Earth Day 2020, GWEC launched a memorial award in Steve’s honour.

REvolutionaries: The Steve Sawyer Memorial Award honours Steve’s life mission to pioneer the global energy transition, recognising young leaders in the renewable energy sector in developing countries.

Always on the lookout for new talent, Steve particularly admired people who weren’t afraid to shake up the status quo. As Kelly Rigg, his wife of 35 years said, “ Nothing gave [Steve] more hope than seeing young people he’d mentored make their mark on the world”

A jury will determine the winner of the award, focusing on five key criteria: leadership, renewable energy, innovation, scalability, and diversity. The jury is composed of people close to Steve, including members of Steve’s family, GWEC, Greenpeace and REN21.

Applications are now open for the award until 7 June 2020. More information about the award and how to apply can be found here.


REN21 is the only global renewable energy community of actors from science, governments, NGOs and industry. We provide up-to-date and peer-reviewed facts, figures and analysis of global developments in technology, policies and markets. Our goal: enable decision-makers to make the transition to renewable energy happen – now.