40 influencers leading Europe’s solar power revolution
Record high energy prices in Europe are helping to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, with corporate agreements for solar and wind energy supply rising by around 70% to a record in 2021.
Renewable industry professionals are taking the lead in promoting the benefits of solar energy and its uses. They are playing a critical role in helping companies and government institutions across Europe make the transition as the region looks to meet its ambitious environmental protection targets.
Here’s our list of 40 influencers in the European solar market. This is not intended as a ranking but aims to highlight industry experts who are spearheading some of the biggest projects and initiatives in the region.
Michael is the founder and senior contributor to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and a thought leader on clean energy, climate, and sustainability. He is the CEO of Liebreich Associates and Managing Partner at EcoPragma Capital. You can also find him on Twitter: @MLiebreich
Thomas is managing director of boutique clean energy consultancy THEnergy, which is focused on microgrids, minigrids, and off-grid energy. He is also a member of the board of advisors for the Africa Solar Industry Association.
Volker is a professor of renewable energy systems at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) in Berlin, Germany. He is an expert on renewable energy and sustainability modelling and simulation. You can also find him on Twitter: @VQuaschning.
Kees is a strategic consultant for governments and companies on the renewable energy transition. His advisory firm Common Futures specializes in analysis and engages in dialogue with policy makers. He was project director of The Energy Report published by WWF, providing analysis of how to reach the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. You can also find him on Twitter: @Sustainable2050
Clotilde is Chief Executive Officer at French law firm UrbanLaw Avocats. The firm specializes in environmental law, real estate and town planning, providing services to public and private organizations. You can also find her on Twitter: @Cazamajour
Francesco is Vice President at the Kyoto Club, a non-profit consortium of businesses and governments working to reach the targets for greenhouse gas reduction set out by the Kyoto Protocol. He is also Vice President at Coordinamento FREE, an association in Italy that promotes renewables and energy efficiency. You can also find him on Twitter: @FranFerrante
Gianni is a solar technology and energy policy researcher and scientific director at the Kyoto Club as well as Italian sustainable energy portal QualEnergia.
Lisa is a director at RiEnergia, an Italian online portal providing thought leadership and stimulating debate in the energy sector.
Claudia is a German economics expert with a focus on environmental protection and energy research. She is head of the department of energy, transportation and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). You can also find her on Twitter: @CKemfert
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Connie is a Danish politician who has made climate action a centerpiece of her political career. She was European Commissioner for Climate Action from February 2010 through October 2014 and currently chairs several foundations and executive boards. You can also find her on Twitter: @CoHedegaard
Sonia is Vice President of Global Sales at Chinese solar cell producer Talesun Solar Technologies. Based in France, Sonia works on bringing together Asian suppliers with customers in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, bridging a gap between cultural differences.
Claire is an experienced solar project developer. After almost 11 years working on renewable projects at French utility ENGIE, she has recently joined independent renewable energy provider ZE ENERGY as Business Development Director.
Katrin has been marketing manager for solar projects at German renewable energy developer BayWa.r.e for more than five years. She previously worked on EU PVSEC, the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, which covers scientific, technological, industrial and application-related issues in the PV sector.
Betül is Business Development Manager at Turkish utility Entek Elektrik Üretimi. She previously worked in business development at Italian utility Enel Green Power in Tukey and as a project engineer at PV equipment manufacturer Renko Energy.
Amina is a solar photovoltaic systems engineer at engineering and installation firm SOLAR23 in Germany. Amina has a passion for solar energy engineering and rural electrification.
Dana is based in Spain as a Business Development Director at Chinese solar module manufacturer LONGi Solar. She was previously a marketing manager and legal counsel at Chinese solar manufacturer Jinko Solar.
Gabrielle is an energy industry professional with more than 11 years of experience within renewables. She recently made the move from a role as Head of Operations at Nordic Solar to Lead Portfolio Analyst at Danish energy firm Orsted.
Morgane is Technical Manager at wind and solar developer European Energy in Denmark. She was previously product manger at Chinese solar module manufacturer JA Solar and engineer at Chinese solar panel developer QSolar.
Lucy is Senior Project Development Manager at Norwegian hydropower company Statkraft in the UK and was previously a project manager at BELECTRIC, which develops and constructs ground mounted and rooftop solar installations.
Carmen is a UK-based entrepreneur who founded renewable energy consultancy Circular Synergies. The firm aims to collaborate with governments, non-profit organizations, associations, corporates, financial institutions, renewable energy developers, technology and service providers on the energy transition.
Kristina has been Managing Director of the German Energy Agency (DENA) for more than six years. She was previously Head of the Department for Economic Affairs at Germany’s Permanent Representation to the European Union.
Miguel is Director of Expansion in the US and Latin America at Energyeffi in Spain, specializing in promoting energy efficiency through the implementation of renewables and new technologies.
Robert is Managing Director at the German Renewable Energy Agency (Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien).
Matthias is director of European Policy at Agora Energiewende.
Hans-Josef is president of the Energy Watch Group and the co-author of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).
Andreas is Chief Executive Officer at Aerial PV Inspection, a firm that uses automation to classic and preventive inspections of solar power plants with tripod and drone-based sensor systems.
Steve is a Director and co-founder at Gridmode Grid Connections, which provides solar and wind developers in the UK with grid connections through a new network of substations.
Janos manages power purchase agreements for BayWa r.e.’s solar and onshore wind projects, primarily in the Netherlands and the UK.
Sven has more than 25 years of experience in the PV Industry, especially in the engineering of PV power plants. He is co-founder and Managing Director/CEO at PI Berlin, a technical advisor, risk manager and quality assurance provider for the industry.
Stanislas is a Senior Solar Power Consultant in Multiconsult, Norway. He has been working in the solar industry since 2008 and he is currently undertaking an Industrial Ph.D. (2019-2022) with Multiconsult and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology looking at the design and optimization of hydropower-connected floating PV plants.
Carlos has been working in leadership positions across the solar PV industry since 2004. He is currently Renewable Energy Director at Portuguese energy firm Galp.
David is Hydrogen Business Director at renewable energy firm Solarig in Spain, which has launched development of green hydrogen production from PV-generated electricity and water electrolysis.
Felix is Vice President of Sales at German PV system supplier SOLARWATT and was previously sales and project manager at SBW SachsenSolar.
Nicolas leads global business development at VOLTEC SOLAR, an ultra-low carbon solar module producer at the French/German border.
Christian is a senior sales manager at China’s LONGi Solar, working with utilities in Europe. He also has experience at RECOM SOLAR, Hanwha Q Cells and LL Solar.
Juan Pedro is Managing Director at Univergy Solar. He has more than 24 years of experience as Managing Director, Chief Commercial Officer and Commercial and Marketing Director, spending more than 14 years in the renewable industry.
Aravinda works on utility-scale project developments, acquisitions and investments at NaGa Solar Deutschland.
Emilio has worked at ISIGENERE since 2018, a Spanish engineering and product development company focused on floating solar PV systems. He was CEO at the company for 10 years and most recently as Engineering and Development Director.
Alexander is Director of Renewables & Cleantech at Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services in the Netherlands, supporting commercial and industrial organizations with power purchase agreements, national and international renewable energy certificates, and other clean energy solutions.
As the experience of these industry professionals shows, there is a broad-based shift to renewables throughout the energy industry.
Oil and gas companies have been expanding into renewables as they look to position themselves for the future. As an example, Danish energy firm Danish Oil and Natural Gas (DONG) Energy moved to exit the oil and gas business and took on a new corporate identity as Orsted in 2017. The hydrogen industry is developing projects to shift from gas consumption to renewables to produce green hydrogen for energy intensive industries like construction, transport and chemical production. And large multinationals like Amazon and Apple are securing their electricity supplies from renewable sources to reduce their carbon footprint.
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