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Plenary speakers

The following plenary sessions are in the planning for the joint conference:

  • Monday: Welcome ceremony
  • Monday: The road to 100% renewable energy
  • Tuesday: Regional progress and programs in renewable energy
  • Wednesday: Global focus and innovation in renewable energy
  • Thursday: Increasing quality of life through renewable energy
  • Thursday: Closing speech by Hans-Josef Fell


Additional plenary speakers will be announced here in the coming weeks. Please re-visit this page soon.

The road to 100% renewable energy - Monday plenary

Ms. Christine Lins

Christine Lins was appointed as Executive Secretary of REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century, in July 2011. REN21 is a global public-private multi-stakeholder network on renewable energy, headquartered at UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris/France. Between 2001 and 2011, Ms. Lins served as Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council, the united voice of Europe’s renewable energy industry in Brussels. Previously, she worked in a regional energy agency in Austria promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. She has a Masters degree in international economics and holds more than 20 years of working experience in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Regional progress and programs in renewable energy - Tuesday plenary

Dr. Rodrigo Palma

Turki Al Shehri

Turki Al Shehri is Head of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (MEIM) in Saudi Arabia. Reporting to the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Al Shehri is responsible for the delivery of Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The program targets 9.5GW of renewable energy by 2023. Prior to joining MEIM, Al Shehri was Head of Power Investment at Saudi Aramco, a role he assumed after nearly a decade working as an advisor to Saudi Aramco on power, water systems and strategy. He began his career with Saudi Aramco in 2002 as an electrical engineer, after graduating from the University of South Florida with a B.Sc. in electrical engineering. Al Shehri brings to REPDO over 15 years of experience in power systems and renewables. He has strong expertise in energy strategy and policy, integrated resource supply planning, market regulations, cogeneration, efficiency enhancements, and power system analysis for renewable energy forms.

Prof. Ali Sayigh

UK Citizen, Graduated from London University, & Imperial College, BSC.AWP, DIC, PhD, in 1966. He is Fellow of the Institute of Energy, and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, Chartered Engineer, Chairman of Iraq Energy Institute.

He is the Editor-in-chief of Comprehensive Renewable Energy coordinating 154 top scientists, Engineers and researchers’ contribution in eight volumes published in 2012 by Elsevier which won 2013 PROSE award in USA. He is the founder of Med Green Forum and in 2016 he established peer review international open access journal called “Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability” which published in English on line by EDP publisher in Paris. He was one of the organizers of UN World Energy Forum in Dubai in charge of Renewable Energy section in 2012. He Run Symposium in Trieste Centre for theoretical Physics from 1977-1999 including UNESCO Forum in Energy in 1997. He is Chairman of Iraq Energy Institute since 2010.

Ms. Helvi Ileka

Ms Helvi Ileka is a Centre Head at the Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (CREEE) of the Namibia Energy Institute, Namibia University of Science and Technology. She initiates  and  conducts  research  in  Renewable  Energy  and  Energy Efficiency, develops  fundraising strategies, advises   government on clean energy policy, generates  income  from  other  sources  than  government,  creates  local  and  international research networks & partnerships. Helvi has a strong foundation in the hands-on technical and practical side of Solar Energy Systems since 1994. She coordinates and   manages the following projects at CREEE: Off-grid Energisation Master Plan;  Regulations for procurement of grid connected PV plants through bidding from Independent Power Producers,  Concentrated Solar Power full feasibility study for the establishment of 50-100 MW by 2018, Namibia Energy Efficiency Programme in Buildings – Energy Audits, Revision of building codes, Green Building Council of Namibia (GBCNA); Namibia Wind Resource Assessment Project;  Regional SOLTRAIN - Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative; National Integrated Resource Plan; Regulatory Framework for Namibia.  She  managed  the  preparation  of  the  submission  of  the  SADC  Centre  for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREE) bid to the SADC Secretariat, of which Namibia was selected as host, on 24 July 2015. She holds MSc Master of Energy and Environmental Management degree from the University of Twente (The Netherlands), a High Certificate in Photovoltaic Engineering (InWEnt, Germany) and a Diploma in Electronics (Namibia).

Global focus and innovation in renewable energy - Wednesday plenary

Jodie Roussell

Ms. Roussell serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Solar Council. Previously she served as Head of Public Affairs for Europe, Africa & Latin American for Trina Solar, as  well as Vice-President of the Board, Solar Power Europe, on the  E15 Experts Group on Clean Energy Trade Policy, and the International Energy Agency’s Energy Business Council. Previously she was Head of Energy Utilities & Technology at the World Economic Forum, where she was a Global Leadership Fellow. She co-founded and served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a Washington, DC based non-profit association. where she won the organizational honour of the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurs. She began her career in solar strategy consulting, providing research & strategic advisory services to leading global solar corporations. Ms Roussell holds a B.S. in Chinese Studies from Georgetown University, an MBA from IMD, and executive education with INSEAD, Wharton, and London Business School.  She speaks English, German, Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish.

Mr. Werner Weiss

Werner WEISS is founding member and director of the Austrian research institute AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) in Gleisdorf and is working in national and international solar thermal and energy efficiency projects since the beginning of the 1980ies. He headed numerous national and international projects – especially in the framework of EU, IEA and UNIDO programs. Since 2009 he is board member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling and since 2010 the Austrian representative in the Executive Committee of the Solar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA). From 2010 to 2014 he acted as chairman of this IEA programme. He is member of the Scientific Council of EURAC Research in Italy and member of the Peer Review College of the Danish Council of Strategic Research.

Since 2007 he is lecturer at Vienna University of Technology and the University of Applied Sciences - Technikum Wien.

Mr. Michael Eckart

Michael Eckhart has been involved in the solar energy field since 1978 when he managed the first national assessment of PV technology, markets, industry and policy for the Carter White House.  Following 15 years in nuclear, coal, and gas-fired power generation, he returned to solar and renewable energy in 1995, founding the SolarBank Initiative, pioneering the financing of solar PV in Europe, India and South Africa.  In 1997-2000, he trained 1,000 bankers in India on financing solar and introducing solar financing to the microfinance industry there.  In 1998-2001, he organized the first off-grid solar company, the Shell-Eskom Solar Energy Company in South Africa that installed over 10,000 solar home systems in KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape, where President Nelson Mandela inaugurated the program.  In 2001, he founded the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and went on to build it until 2011.  In the period 1998-2004, he worked with the late Hermann Scheer and other German leaders on drafting the Feed-In Tariff and calling for the Bonn Renewables 2004 event, the first global conference of governments on renewable energy, from which came the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century (REN 21) in 2005 and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2009.  In 2004, ACORE convened the first U.S. renewable energy finance conference, which became the “Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Wall Street”. He co-organized the Great Wall Renewable Energy Conference in Beijing in 2006, kicking off China’s assent on renewable energy.  He organized the WIREC 2008 world meeting in Washington, DC which ACORE co-convened with the Bush White House and State Department, attracting 8,600 attendees, including 1,100 foreign government officials, which contributed to momentum for the subsequent adoption of the ITC in September 2008 and the renewable energy loan guarantee program, cash grants and RD&D funding in February 2009.  Currently, at Citi, he has been working with Citi’s bankers in the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America to advance Citi’s client services in renewable energy, energy efficiency and related sectors.  In capital markets, he instigated and co-authored the “Green Bond Principles” that have been adopted by bond markets as a globally-accepted voluntary guideline.

Increasing quality of life through renewable energy - Thursday plenary

Mr. Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes

Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes is an experienced renewable energy expert.  After having served as the President of the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF) from 2010 to 2014, he is one of the association’s Vice-Presidents now. He is representing EREF as a Steering Committee Member of REN21.  Rainer is also a Board Member of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). He is the Chairman of BEE’s European and international affairs Committee.  Rainer is a Member of the Advisory Council and the Head of the Policy Committee of the World Renewable Energy Network (WREN). And he is a lifetime member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Before joining the renewable energy sector, from 1998 to 2005, he was a Director General in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Dr. Harish Hande

Harish Hande is an engineer and renewable energy entrepreneur with over 22 years of grassroots experience in meeting requirements of underserved communities. He is the co-founder of SELCO India, and under his leadership SELCO reached 4,50,000+ households across 6 Indian states, while focusing on Innovation and Ecosystem building, for which he was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2011. Harish, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and PhD from University of Massachusetts, US, returned to India to start SELCO in 1994-95 after experiencing benefits of solar energy in rural areas of Dominican Republic and Sri Lanka. Having installed the first 1000 home lighting systems on his own and over 4,50,000 households now through his company SELCO India, Harish is recognized as a pioneer of rural energy service across the globe. He and his company have received many national and international awards including the Ashden award (2005 and 2007), The tech museum award (2005), Khemka Social entrepreneur of the year 2007 and the Financial Times –Arcelor Mittal Boldness in Business award 2009. Harish was one of the 21 CEOs invited to meet US President Barrack Obama during his visit to Mumbai in 2014.

Prof. Liu Yanfeng

Professor Liu Yanfeng is the committee member of Chinese Renewable Energy Society (CRES). The Institute is committed to provide a communication platform for government decision-making, laws and regulations formulation, engineering application, product development and technology promotion; combine the buildings with solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind energy, biomass energy and photochemistry. Liu is in the first group of experts in Green Campus Committee, China Green Building Council and Energy Management Specialized Committee of China Association for Campus Management. Liu has been engaged in the study of renewable energy utilization since 2004. His study has effectively improved the life quality of the residents and protected the fragile environment in the west China. Liu was selected as the leader of science and technology innovation among young and middle-aged talents in the Ministry of science and technology, and the Academic leader of key scientific and technological innovation team in Shaanxi Province (The comprehensive utilization of solar thermal technology in rural areas of Northwest China). Liu is currently the vice president of Graduate School of Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, and the deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of green building.

Closing plenary

Mr. Hans-Josef Fell

Hans-Josef Fell, member of the German Parliament from 1998 – 2013 and spokesperson for energy policy of the Alliance 90/The Greens, is an internationally known political advocate for 100% Renewable Energy. He is President of the Energy Watch Group (EWG), Ambassador for 100% Renewable Energy and Senior Advisor at DWR eco GmbH. Hans-Josef Fell is the father of the German Renewable Energy legislation (EEG) which has been a model policy for almost 100 countries worldwide.

Since 2014 he is President of the Energy Watch Group, Ambassador for 100% Renewable Energies and Voluntary Senior Advisor DWR eco.

Awards banquet

Lawrence L. Kazmerski

Lawrence L. Kazmerski is Emeritus Research Staff Member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, having last served as Executive Director, Science and Technology Partnerships at NREL 2009-2013. He is currently Research Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, with the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). Previously, Kazmerski served as the founding Director of the National Center for Photovoltaics for the period 1999-2008. He received his B.S.E.E. (1967), M.S.E.E. (1968), and his Ph.D. degree (1970) in electrical engineering—all from the University of Notre Dame. He served in a postdoctoral position with the Atomic Energy Commission at the Notre Dame Radiation Research Laboratory, January through August 1971. He was on the electrical engineering faculty of the University of Maine before coming to SERI (NREL) in 1977. His research at Maine included NSF- and ERDA-funded work in thin-film photovoltaics and the report of the first thin-film copper-indium-diselenide (CIS) solar cell. He was SERI’s (NREL’s) first staff member in photovoltaics, hired specifically to establish efforts in the characterization of photovoltaic materials and devices; he led NREL efforts in measurements and characterization for more than 20 years.  Kazmerski has more than 320 publications and some 200 invited talks. He has been recognized with several national and international awards, including the World PV Prize, the IEEE William R. Cherry Award, the AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award, and the ASES Charles Greeley Abbot Award. In 2013, Kazmerski was presented the ISES Christopher A. Weeks Award for contributions in accelerating PV research, development, and deployment around the world. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the APS, a Fellow of the AVS, and a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).  In 2017, Kazmerski became a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE EDS. Kazmerski is a member (elected 2005) of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

Important Dates

Notification of acceptance June 16, 2017
Registration open June 26, 2017
Due date TCA forms August 15, 2017
Author registration ends August 15, 2017
Early bird deadline August 31, 2017
Late registration fee after October 27, 2017
Full paper submission October 15, 2017

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