New Partnerships for Rural Electrification

New Partnerships for Rural Electrification
Side Event – June 19th, 2015, 17.00 – 18:15
Vienna Energy Forum
Event Description and Panellists Bios
Event Description and Panellists BiosRural electrification remains the key challenge for achieving universal access to energy in Africa. Substantial additional investment by public and private sources must be leveraged. The access gap cannot be closed without decentralized solutions in terms of mini-grids and stand-alone systems. New business models, new policies, and new support instruments are needed, brought to bear by new partnerships for rural electrification in Africa. 
The event will feature a panel of successful entrepreneurs in discussion with representatives from the policy and the financing realm. It is addressed to practitioners from public and private sector, financiers and development partners. The objective is to highlight the linkages between innovative business models, policy and regulatory frameworks as well as financing and other support instruments, taking stock of recent developments.

Michael Franz – Senior Adviser, EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility
With his extensive experience in advising on sustainable energy issues in international development cooperation, Mr Franz has been closely working with donors, European Commission, private sector, development agencies and financing institutions towards mobilising investment in renewable energy and energy access projects. His work centers around the nexus of energy project development, policy frameworks and financing, with a geographic focus on Sub-Sahara Africa. Mr Franz is currently EU Liaison and Project Manager at the EUEI PDF, based in Brussels. He holds an MA degree in political science and geography, where he specialised on climate change as well as energy governance and policy-making. In previous functions, he was employed as energy advisor with a regional portfolio covering East Africa, based in Kenya. Key results of his work include the first two on-grid solar PV projects and the first on-grid biogas project in Kenya, as well as contributions to numerous other initiatives, including qualification and training programmes for local entrepreneurs. In addition, Mr Franz was advising policy makers and regulators on the energy investment framework, including contributions to the Kenyan and Ugandan renewable energy regulations.

Keynote Speaker: 
Roberto Ridolfi, Director EC DEVCO C (Sustainable Growth and Development)
Twice Ambassador/ Head of delegation to the European Union, Mr Ridolfi was first in Suva where he was in charge of all the relations of the European Union with 15 countries and territories as well as with the Pacific Forum from 2005 to 2007. Later, in 2011 he was appointed in Uganda by High Representative/ Vice President C. Ashton where he served till September 2013. In between, during his duty as head of unit of Europe Aid F3, he managed programmes dealing with environment, food security, migration and asylum as well as the One-Billion-Euro Food Facility in 50 countries. Mr Ridolfi joined the European Commission in 1994 and took up duty in the European Delegation to Malawi as infrastructure and development advisor dealing with infrastructure, transport and health.

Caroline Nijland – Director Business Development at Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES) & Vice-President of the Alliance for Rural Electrification
Since 2007 Ms Nijland’s principal responsibilities have been to find funding for the implementation of rural electrification activities in Sub-Saharan Africa (solar home systems and solar/hybrid mini-grids), to supervise activities of FRES companies in 5 countries in Africa and to start activities in new countries. She works closely with international/national government and development institutions in Africa to implement the activities. She was raised in various countries, including Crete, Cameroun and France. She holds Master’s degree in the field of Education and International Relations from the Netherlands. From 2002, she became involved in the field of rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa and sustainable development and has extensive experience in setting up and managing small scale electricity companies in this field. She is specifically interested in the topic of providing electricity to rural areas through the use of solar energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her main interests are legal, regulatory, financial and operational topics.

Thomas Duveau, Head of Business Development, Mobisol
„Thomas Duveau joined Mobisol as Head of Business Development in June 2013. With his team, he is responsible for market entry strategies and strategic partnerships. Thomas worked as an officer for renewable energies for WWF Germany from 2008 to 2013. Prior to that, he served as Vice President at Global Capital Finance (Investment with a focus on renewable energies) and advisor to CMC Markets from 2005 to 2008. From 1997 to 2004 he worked in the Corporate Strategy Department of REUTERS in Germany, UK and USA. Thomas graduated in Economics and environmental management.

Guilherme Collares Pereira – Director of International Relations – Access to Energy at Energias de Portugal (EDP) & Board member of the Alliance for Rural Electrification
With his 28 years of successful business experience at the management, marketing and commercial level in competitive, dynamic and first line sectors, and leading various business associations in Portugal and abroad, Mr Guilherme Collares Pereira became the Social Innovation Director of the EDP Foundation in 2007. Since 2013 he is the International Relations Director – Access to Energy, at the EDP and he is a representative in the Network of Experts Access to Energy in EURELECTRIC – Electricity for Europe; and on the Energy Access Practitioner Network of UN Foundation / SE4ALL.
He graduated in Management at ISCTE and holds a postgraduate degree in International Economics from the University of Nancy, France, to which he added an Executive Master in Corporate Sustainability, Business and Environment INDEG / ISCTE. He is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.

Benon Bena – Head of Off‐Grid Renewable Energy Development, Rural Electrification Agency, Uganda
Benon Bena holds Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Makerere University in Uganda and a Masters in Engineering from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He has worked on household energy, energy policy, energy planning and renewable energy for 20 years in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Rural Electrification Agency where he is currently the Manager responsible for Off-Grid Renewable Energy Development. He has designed and managed a number of grid and off-grid energy access projects. The Rural Electrification Agency is a semi autonomous agency of Government responsible for facilitating access to electricity in rural areas.

Dr Daniel Schroth – SE4ALL Africa Hub Coordinator, African Development Bank (AfDB),
Dr Daniel Schroth is a Principal Energy Specialist in the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the coordinator of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Africa Hub hosted by the AfDB in partnership with the AU, NEPAD and UNDP. Daniel has extensive experience in energy policy. Prior to joining the AfDB, he worked for several years for the European Commission in both headquarters and the field, for the natural resources team of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London and in the private sector. Daniel holds a PhD and Masters in International Relations with a focus on international energy policy from the University of Cambridge, and business degrees from Reim Management School and the European School of Business (ESB) Reutlingen.


Jun 19 2015


5:00 pm - 6:15 pm