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Plenary Speakers

This is a preliminary overview of the ISES Solar World Congress Pleanry Sessions - any changes will be announced here.

Session: 100% Renewable Energy as a Solution to Climate Change - Tuesday, 5 Nov.

Dr. David Renné, International Solar Energy Society, USA

How do we define 100% Renewables...and when do we know we have achieved this goal?

Dr. Renné has served as President of the International Solar Energy Society since 2010.  From 1991 until his retirement in 2012 Dr. Renné managed the solar resource assessment activities at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  In 2012 he formed the consultancy Dave Renne Renewables.  He is dedicated to the concept of urgently achieving 100% renewable energy to meet all of our end use energy requirements as the best solution to the climate crisis.

Mike Eckhart

Global Status of Solar Energy and the Important Role of ISES in Preparing the World to Address the Climate

Michael Eckhart is an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Finance at Columbia University in New York City. Until mid-2019, he was Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance of Citigroup, Inc.  Mr. Eckhart led the banking industry development of  the Green Bond Principles (GBP), opening the green bond markets globally.
Previously, he was founding President of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).  Earlier, in the 1990s, he worked with leaders in Europe on the development of the Feed-in Tariff, and developed financing for solar energy under the SolarBank Initiative in Europe, Africa and India.  Earlier in his career, he held management positions in the power industry, and was a Principal with the energy practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton where he conducted many of the original U.S. national studies on the new energy technologies, including solar energy, for President Jimmy Carter.
He has received several professional awards including Renewable Energy Man of the Year of India in 1998, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2008, and the International Solar Energy Society’s Global Leadership Award in 2013.  
He received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and served in the US Navy Submarine Service.


Duncan Gibb - REN21, France

Renewable Energy as a Solution to Climate Change - The Status of Renewables in 2019

Duncan Gibb is a project manager and analyst at REN21, a global policy network on renewable energy, where his main focus is on producing the annual Renewables Global Status Report (GSR). The GSR is REN21’s annual publication that tracks worldwide trends and developments in renewable energy policy, markets and industries, energy access and contemporary issues, including system integration of renewables. Duncan holds a Masters in Renewable Energy Management from the University of Freiburg and a Bachelor of Engineering from Dalhousie University.

Werner Weiss - IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme / AEE, Austria

Solar Heat Worldwide - Market developments, promising applications and challenges

Werner Weiss isfounding member and director of the Austrian research institute AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC) and is working in national and international solar thermal and energy efficiency projects since the beginning of the 1980ies. Since 2009 he is board member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling and the Austrian representative in the Executive Committee of theSolar Heating and Cooling Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Since 2007 he is lecturer at Vienna University of Technology.

Session: Sector Coupling and Technology Integration - Wednesday, 6 Nov.

Paula Estevez - International Division Ministry of Energy, Chile

Regional Energy Integration as a Key Component of Secure and Flexible Systems

Paula Estévez is the Head of International Affairs at the Chilean Ministry of Energy where she is responsible for directly advising the Minister of Energy on international relations, as well as leading the design and implementation of the Ministry’s international activities. Previously, she worked at Vestas Wind Systems, a global leader in manufacturing and sale of wind turbines, where she was in charge of the environmental processes of several projects in South America and business development in the Sales Department. Her background also includes consulting on the development of waste-to-energy projects in Latin America for the Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University, private companies and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others. Ms. Estévez holds a Master of Science in Earth Resources Engineering from Columbia University, as well as an Engineering Degree in Civil Construction from the Pontífica Universidad Católica de Chile.

Alina Gilmanova - Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

The role of CSP in the Global Energy Interconnection

Alina Gilmanova is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Electrical Engineering at the Chinese Academy of Science. Her research focus covers Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) policy and the role if CSP in the global energy interconnection. She received a PhD from Unicamp (Brazil) on Solar Energy Policy, a Master from UPMF (France) on International Development and a Bachelor degree in Finance in Russia.

Claudio Seebach - Generadoras, Chile

Climate change, energy and electricity: An electric and renewable future for a carbon neutral Chilean economy

Claudio Seebach is an Industrial Electrical Engineer from the Catholic University of Chile with a Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. He has worked in the public and private sector, academia and civil society, in a broad range of areas, from public management, government reform, education, public private partnership, poverty, infrastructure to energy. He is currently Executive Chairman Generadoras de Chile, the business association of Chilean electricity generators. He is cofounder of Enseña Chile (part of the Teach for All network); Elige Educar; the B company Próxima Servicios; and the infrastructure developer Nueva Vía. He is member of the council of SOFOFA, Chile industry association; ambassador of Hay Mujeres; member of the COP25 Presidential Advisory Council; and member of the advisory councils of the School of Government of the Universidad Católica, the Research Center for integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN), and the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES). He has served as Head of the Interministerial Coordination Division in Chile’s Ministry of the Presidency; Executive Director of the Public Policy Center and the Catholic University of Chile; advisor in the cabinet of the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Telecommunication; and is the National Director of the NGO Un Techo para Chile.

Session: Best practice Policies and Actions at the regional and global level - Thursday, 7 Nov.

Marcio Takata - ABSOLAR, Brazil

Solar PV in Brazil - A Success Story

Marcio Takata is Board Member of ABSOLAR - the Brazilian Association of Photovoltaic Solar Energy,  as well as Director of Greener, a research and consulting company which focusses on the strategic support of companies to become more competitive in the renewable energy sector.

Francisco Martínez-Conde del Campo - Ministry of Energy, Chile

Solar Energy in Chile: Opportunities for a sustainable power system

Francisco is an Electrical Engineer and Master in Electrical Engineering from the University of Chile. He worked as Engineer at the Energy Center of the University of Chile, dedicated to research about the integration of renewable energy to the power systems through the development and application of expansion and operation models. Currently, he is the Head of the Regulatory Support Unit of the Sustainable Energy Division at the Ministry of Energy, in charge of the improvement of the legal and regulatory framework for the appropriate integration of sustainable energy resources.

Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes - European Renewable Energies Federation, Belgium

From Ambition to Implementation? Ambiguous Policy Development for Renewable Energy in Europe

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).

Arnaud Susplugas - Kyotherm, France

Solar Energy as a Service - The financing of a 14.500 m2 SHIP project in France with a 20-year Heat Supply Contract

Arnaud SUSPLUGAS, CEO and Investments Director of Kyotherm, has worked for several years in the investment team of a leading energy services company, a joint company of VEOLIA and EDF. He was involved in the project financing of large biomass CHP, geothermal plants and district heating networks. At Kyotherm, Arnaud is leading the development and funding of ESCO financing solutions in all thermal energy sectors: solar thermal, geothermal, biomass, waste heat recovery, district heating networks, energy performance contracts. He is an alumnus of the Ecole Polytechnique, the Ecole des Mines de Paris and has published two papers while at the University of California, Berkeley

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