Speakers for 2017 include:
Jemal Beker Abdula, BA, MA
Minister Counsellor for Economic Diplomacy at Ethiopian Embassy in Canberra, Australia
Prior to his current position, Jemal Beker Abdula held a number of positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. These include Director of Middle East in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, August 2013- July 2014 and Public Diplomacy Communication Officer in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia 2012-2013.
His career moved into diplomacy from the education sector, where he held roles such as Programme Coordinator for Somali Regional State Women’s Affairs and Technical Vocational and Training Chief Consultant of Somali Regional State Technical and Vocational Institute in the early years of the 21st century.
Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Ghana Deputy Minister of Energy
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam is a Deputy Minister of Energy (with responsibility for the petroleum sector). Before then, he was the Founder and Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP). He previously worked in other public and private organizations as – an Energy Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Energy in Ghana, Commissioner of Ghana’s Public Utilities Regulatory Commission; a former Deputy Minister of State for the Northern Region; and former Mayor of Ghana’s third city of Tamale. He was also the Africa Coordinator of extractives industries in Ibis.
Globally, he has worked extensively on extractive industries and resource management. He currently serves on two international advisory boards – the Open Contracting Partnership; and the Natural Resources and Community Review. He is a member of several global initiatives including the Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources under the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative of the United Nations; the Executive Session on the Political Economy of Extractive Industries, convened by the Columbia Centre on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) of Columbia University in the US; and the International Research Collaborative on Natural Resource Governance, Inequality and Human Rights, Law and Society.
Chief Executive Officer, Evosol Solar Solutions
Chiron set up his first solar company in 2009, under the name Capricorn Rising Pty Ltd, trading as Solar Imports Australia, later changed to the trading name Evosol. ?He then spent a year travelling throughout China visiting Renewable Energy Trade Shows, visiting factories and establishing secure contacts with 60 qualified Australian certified suppliers for all types of solar and LED lighting products.
In 2016, Capricorn Rising released the trading name Evosol to Australian Renewables Group Pty Ltd, a new company set up by Chiron to reflect his broader vision in the renewables industry.? Today Evosol has gained substantial traction and is becoming a recognised name in the solar industry. Chiron is the driving force and visionary behind Evosol and his goal is to see Evosol as a leading solar power company diversified into all areas of renewable energy.? His passion is to work with like-minded people to co-develop his model of Water and Light 4 Life, taking it into as many parts of the world as possible to help bring clean water and electricity to the world’s poor and underprivileged.?Chiron is passionate, motivated and a visionary with heart and soul.
Co-Founder and Director, Energy Farmers Australia
Originally a farmer from Mullewa, Western Australia, Euan holds a degree in Agribusiness, a diploma in Farm Management and has over 25 year experience in agriculture.
After leasing the farm at the age of 30 Euan travelled and worked throughout the world until an opportunity arose to work with the French aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors without Borders. Euan spent 3 years involved in various logistic, construction and coordination roles supporting medical teams responding to emergencies predominately in Africa and Asia.
Since returning home Euan has taken an active interest in carbon and has developed experience in the Australian carbon market and a strong knowledge of the renewable energy sector. He is Co-founder and Director of “Energy Farmers Australia”. Energy Farmers are developing mobile pyrolysis technology, conducting research using biochar in agriculture and horticulture and are working farmers and technology providers to integrate bioenergy and biochar into Australian farming systems.
Managing Director, Ekistica
Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical)
Lyndon Frearson is the Managing Director of Ekistica and since 2007 has overseen its development as a leading engineering consultancy providing technical services and advice in power systems engineering and remote area project management to clients throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific.
During his time at CAT Projects, Lyndon led the design and development of some of the largest renewable energy projects in remote Australia, including ‘Uterne’ (Australia’s first utility scale – 1 MW – solar generator); the Ti Tree, Kalkarindji and Lake Nash high penetration grid connect solar power stations; various roof-mounted solar power systems on commercial premises including hotels, airports and community centres; and the Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre, a whole-of-system demonstration facility in Alice Springs that has become a resource for the international PV industry among others.
General Manager, Project Delivery, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
Kirsty is a highly experienced commercial lawyer and corporate governance professional who joined ARENA in 2016 to take up the role of General Manager, Project Delivery. Prior to commencing work with ARENA, Kirsty was General Counsel for Indigenous Business Australia. In that role she provided advice on commercial matters and administrative law matters, including co-investment and incentive structures, company law, contracts and finance arrangements. She also played a key role in supporting the governance functions of the Board and overseeing IBA’S governance, compliance and legal risk management framework.
A committed development specialist, Kirsty’s previous experience includes working with the Northern Land Council, NSW Native Title Service, North Australian Aboriginal Legal Service and NSW Legal Aid Commission. She has also worked as an investigator with the NSW Ombudsman and a mediator of complaints for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
In addition to her legal qualifications, Kirsty has postgraduate qualifications in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Law Society of the ACT. She recently completed her Masters in Public and International Law at the University of Melbourne.
CEO, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)
Mr. Yofi Grant is a renowned Ghanaian investment banker with more than 30 years’ of extensive work experience in banking and finance. Having served in various capacities in corporate finance, credits, marketing, and investment banking, Mr. Grant has broad knowledge and exposure in the African financial markets and has cultivated strong relationships with international private equity funds, portfolio investment managers and brokerage funds. He was responsible for the development and implementation of AAF SME Fund LLC, one of the largest agriculture funds in Sub-Saharan Africa, and helped them achieve their first close of US$30 million.
Yofi Grant is partner and co-founder to a number of companies including Grant Dupuis Investment Limited, an investment advisory firm and Coldwell Banker Ghana a company which holds the master franchise license for Coldwell Banker (of the Realogy Group in New Jersey, USA, the world’s largest real estate organization) for Ghana and Nigeria. In addition to this, he recently co-founded Praxis Fortune Calibre, a firm that offers general business and investment advisory and consulting services across the continent.
Charlie is an Australian and UK qualified lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience in the energy, projects and infrastructure sectors.
Charlie has worked at several leading law firms, and prior to working at PwC was in-house at a global solar energy company, where he worked on various solar projects in Africa, including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.
Dr James Hamilton
University of Tasmania
James has held a number of executive level and managerial roles with the renewable and off-grid sectors. He is currently both a director of Renewable Ready and a Research Fellow within the Center for Renewable Energy and Power Systems, through the University of Tasmania.
James is also currently leading the King Island Low Load Diesel Pilot, a collaboration between Hydro Tasmania, the University of Tasmania and the US Office of Naval Research, as well as developing a number of IPP projects within Tasmania.
Prior roles have seen James contribute to over 1GW of commissioned renewable assets across Africa, India, China and Australia. His inclusive experience covers project development, financing, operations, maintenance and repowering, offering investment, insurance and ownership perspectives.
Executive Chair, UON
Mr. Mark Keogh founded UON Pty Ltd. in 1998 and serves as its Executive Chairman and Member of its Advisory Board. Mr. Keogh has grown UON Pty Ltd. from servicing power to mine sites to now extending its product and service offering to power, air and water energy solutions for the mining, oil and gas, construction and commercial industries. In 2010 he rebranded UON, in line with his mission to “keep you on; keep you operational”. He is a qualified A Grade Electrician.
His Achievements include National Winner of the Telstra 2013 Commonwealth Bank Medium Business of the Year Award, Telstra 2012 WA Business of the Year, in addition to being the 2011 and 2012 finalist in the goods category for Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Supplier Recognition Program and 2011 Quality Customer Service winner in the Hanson Swan Business Award.
Managing Director, Uniflow Power
Mr Michael McCann is an environmental entrepreneur who has been involved in new technology and renewable energy for more than two decades. As new business manager for leading Canberra-based energy and greenhouse consulting firm Energy Strategies for more than 12 years (1996 – 2008), Michael was closely involved in Australian energy markets at a time when energy efficiency and renewable energy markets developed rapidly in Australia. His close relationship with Mr Ted Pritchard led to his being a director of the stationary engine project from its instigation.
Professor Chem Nayar
Director, Regen Power Pty Ltd
Professor Chem Nayar received his PhD degree in electrical engineering specialising in wind electrical power generation from the University of Western Australia in 1985. In 1996, he became the first Personal Chair and Professor in Electrical and Renewable Energy Engineering at Curtin University where he currently holds the position of Emeritus Professor. He held academic and industry appointments in India, Singapore, Australia, China, UAE and Thailand and is currently the Founder and the Managing Director of Regen Power Pty Ltd in Australia and Director of Radiant Solar Pvt Ltd , India.
Professor Nayar was winner of two prestigious Sustainable Energy Industry Excellence and Innovation Awards (the Ambassador Award and the Product and Technology Award for the Variable speed diesel/bio-diesel generator).
Professor Nayar is a chartered professional engineer and a Fellow of Engineers Australia, Fellow of Australian Solar Council and Editor in Chief of Renewables: Wind,Water and Solar , a Springer Open Access Journal.
Dr Michael Edward Ottaviano DBA, MSC, BENG
Managing Director and CEO of Carnegie Clean Energy
Dr Ottaviano has been with Carnegie since 2006 and during his time as CEO, Dr Ottaviano has led the Company’s development of its CETO Wave Energy technology from Proof of Concept, through to operation of the only grid – connected wave project in the world. He has been responsible for raising $86million in equity and $56million in Government grant funding. He also drove Carnegie’s recent acquisition of solar/microgrid EPC, Energy Made Clean, making Carnegie the only ASX-listed company with a dedicated renewable energy microgrid project delivery capability and the only microgrid company globally with a wave energy technology.
Dr Ottaviano’s previous work has focused on research and development – both in industry and consulting. He has advised companies on new product development, intellectual property, innovation portfolio management and technology commercialisation across various industries and ranging from start-ups to publicly-listed companies with market capitalisations in excess of $1 billion.
Antony Piccinini who has been a part of the Australian renewable energy industry for the past 17 years. During this time, Antony has helped develop multiple wind, wind /diesel, solar and bioenergy projects, operating across WA, interstate and overseas markets. Many of these projects have been off-grid and fringe-of-grid systems. Antony is the CEO of Renergi (www.renergi.net), a WA based bioenergy technology company, which is developing a suite of technologies spun out of Curtin University. These technologies encompass biomass pyrolysis, gasification and refining and are designed to overcome the main commercial impediments to the utilisation of biomass in the power generation industry, in both off-grid and utility scale applications.
Chief Executive Officer New Energy
Jason Pugh is the Chief Executive Officer for New Energy Corporation and has been with the company since 2010. Mr Pugh has led the development of two projects in Western Australia, including site selection, successful EPA & Development Approvals, project finance and community engagement for the Company.
The Pilbara Regional Waste to Energy Project in Port Hedland will be the first of its kind in Australia.
Jason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and has been successfully developing technology companies since 1993. Mr Pugh was previously the CFO of QED Limited a leading water treatment company and he managed the company’s Australian Stock Exchange listing in August 2001.
Prior to that he was the CFO of Underwater World International, a company that developed public aquariums in Australia, China and Spain.
Will Rayward-Smith PhD
General Manager, SunSHIFT
Dr Will Rayward-Smith is the General Manager of SunSHIFT. Will focuses on overcoming barriers that are limiting the adoption of clean technologies. He identifies opportunities, develops solutions and builds collaborations with technology, channel and finance partners.
With a PhD from Cambridge and previous employment placements with Arup, the UK Government Department of Energy & Climate Change, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the start-up Azuri Technologies, Will is a multi-disciplinary expert in renewable energy generation.
Manager Overseas Markets, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Department of State Development, WA
For more than thirty years John has worked with Western Australian industries to develop effective market entry strategies to access overseas markets.
Joining the Department of State Development in 2007, John has worked across many overseas markets including South East Asia, the Americas and China. Currently John manages trade and investment activities between Western Australia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Prior to working with the Department of State Development John undertook trade-related roles with the US Department of Commerce, the Mid West Development Commission and the Australian Trade Commission.
John has a Master of Business Administration and has applied this knowledge to several business management, finance and consultancy-based roles.
Chief Operating Officer, Regen Power, Manager of Sales and Business Development, Power Ledger
Vinod has more than 25 years’ experience in operations and senior sales and business development roles within the renewable energy and other engineering industries. He has a successful track record of building and defending market share, expanding product lines, developing renewable portfolio and developing and executing long term strategies to achieve challenging sales targets and influencing key stakeholders at board and senior management levels. Most recently, Vinod was General Manager Sales at Perth Energy (2007 – 2016) with responsibility for all gas and electricity sales. In this role, Vinod successfully grew the energy sales portfolio from $20 million annual turnover to more than $300 million.
Vinod was responsible for setting out strategy and tactical implementation plan for the team ensuring they diligently sought out high-value customers, responded to tenders and ensured commercial terms and conditions of contracts reflected the strategy set by the Perth Energy board. In this role, Vinod was also responsible for ensuring the highest level of quality applied to the onboarding and ongoing customer experience. The success of Vinod and his team’s achievements was brought out in a high retention rate of 95% of and around 20% year on year growth in energy sales.
Previous roles have included managing engineering, technical sales and business development for General Electric Company’s joint venture in India. .
Vinod has an extensive network within the Western Australian energy market built through his many years of interacting with industry stakeholder, clients and through participation in various industry bodies. This has included representing Perth Energy as a member of the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Energy Reference Group and its Climate Change Committee.
Vinod holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology (India) and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Australia. He participated at the Executive Leadership Program at University of California, Berkley.