Off-Grid Conference Program

October 5, 2021 | Online Event

Has been postponed from July 20th to October 5th, 2021.

What does it take to secure affordable, clean energy and water for rural people in low-and medium income countries by 2030? For sure, it is a combination of concerted political effort and technological progress. Watch out how to reduce costs and de-risk off-grid renewable energy projects. Find out how digital, control & monitoring solutions can play a decisive role and where water and off-grid solutions can combine to maximum effect.

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Session 1: Rural Electrification – Experience and Perspectives

October 5, 2021 | 9:00am–10:30am

Time is running out to achieve SDG 7 by the envisaged deadline of 2030. Though global electrification continues to rise, ensuring universal access to affordable and reliable energy services still requires concerted political effort and major investment in energy technologies and public infrastructure. What can we learn from our experiences to date? What are the key challenges? Where are the pitfalls to avoid in future?

Speakers in this session will share their experience of rural electrification and discuss the lessons to learn for future project development, planning and financing.

Line-up and Speakers

9:00am – 9:05am Welcome by the Organizer

Dr. Florian Wessendorf, Managing Director, Solar Promotion International GmbH

9:05am – 9:10am Welcome by the Moderator

Prof. Peter Adelmann, Founder and Chair Board of Directors of fothermo AG

9:10am – 9:30am How Bangladesh became the most successful market for Solar Home Systems

Dr. M. Fouzul Kabir Khan, Independent Director, United Power Generation & Distribution Company Limited (Invited)

9:30am – 9:50am Fall of a Star? - Development and Status of the SHS Market in Bangladesh

Dr. Sebastian Groh, Founder & CEO of ME SOLshare

9:50am – 10:10am Key success factors for electrification with Solar Home Systems

Russell Lyseight, General Manager, VITALITE (Invited)

10:10am – 10:45am Panel Discussion

  • Moderator: Prof. Peter Adelmann, Chief Executive Director, id-eee Institut
  • Dr. Sebastian Groh, Founder & CEO of ME SOLshare
  • Dr. M. Fouzul Kabir Khan, Independent Director, United Power Generation & Distribution Company Limited (Invited)
  • Russell Lyseight, General Manager, VITALITE (Invited)

Session Partner

Session 2: Off-Grid Innovation – Digital, Control & Monitoring Solutions

October 5, 2021 | 11:00am–12:30pm

Innovation is a key driver of economic growth, development, as well as climate mitigation and adaptation. In emerging markets, new high-quality and modular technologies, such as AI, advanced GIS mapping, remote monitoring, new control software and systems, as well as innovative energy storage solutions are helping drive last-mile rural electrification with off-grid renewable energy.

In particular, digital, control and monitoring solutions offer promising avenues to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and de-risk off-grid renewable energy projects.

This session will include presentations from selected private sector companies offering innovative digital, control and monitoring solutions and will be followed by a moderated discussion along with audience Q&A.

Line-up and Speakers

11:00am – 11:10am Welcome Remarks and Session Moderation

Rebecca Sleegers, Marketing Manager, Africa GreenTec and Board Member, ARE (Invited)

11:10am – 11:15am Introduction to GET.invest – 5 minutes

Ms. Lisa Poisson-Quinton, Technical Advisor, GET.invest (Invited)

11:15am – 11:25am

Yoann Le Fol, Regional Manager West & Central Africa, Victron Energy and Board Member, ARE (Invited)

11:25am – 11:35am

Warren Scott-White, Vice President, Sales, SteamaCo (Invited)

11:35am – 11:45am

Edirin Aghogovbia, Head of Business Development, AMMP (Invited)

11:45am – 11:55am

Piper Wilder, Founder / CEO, 60Hertz Microgrids (Invited)

11:55am – 12:05pm

John Zamick, CEO, Smarter Microgrid (Invited)

12:05pm – 12:15pm

Rebecca Bregant, CMO, PineBerry and Board Member, ARE

12:15pm – 12:30pm Q&A Round and Closing Remarks

Rebecca Sleegers, Marketing Manager, Africa GreenTec and Board Member, ARE (Invited)

Session 3: The Water-Energy Food Nexus – A Technical Status Report

October 5, 2021 | 2:00pm–3:30pm

In the last decade, the interrelation of water and energy has been identified as a core element of sustainable development, with rapidly growing demand for finite resources. Ensuring efficient use of water is vital, particularly in key high-consumption sectors such as agriculture, food production, energy generation, manufacturing, and construction.

In this session, speakers with first-hand experience of international projects will discuss the cost trends in new technologies, examine progress made to date, and highlight areas where water and off-grid solutions can combine to maximum effect.

Line-up and Speakers

Off-grid Water, From Theory to Practice

Hamed Beheshti, PhD, MSc., Chief Executive Officer, Boreal Light GmbH, Germany

Solar Pumping Technology Solutions: Delivery, Purification, Storage, Distribution, Management and Water Desalination

Jürgen Raach, Owner, RAACH SOLAR, Germany

Further Speakers:

  • Dipal Chandra Barua, Co-founder of the Grameen Bank, Founding Managing Director of the Grameen Shakti, Founder and Chairman of the Bright Green Energy Foundation, President of the South Asian Network for Clean Energy (StANCE), Bangladesh
  • Volker Korrmann, Chief Executive Officer , ewind Betreiber- und Vertriebs- GmbH, Germany

Session Partner

About the Speakers

Prof. Peter Adelmann

  • since 1983 active in PV
  • 1988 (ongoing) Lecturer and Professor (since 2003) at “University of Applied Science Ulm”
  • Guest Professor in various Asian and African Universities
  • 1990-2000 Manager and GM of Steca. Founder of Steca solar department
  • 2000-2008 Founder and CEO of Phocos AG
  • 2005 (ongoing) Member of IEC norming committee (WG3 – solar components)
  • 2008 (ongoing) Senior Consultant of GIZ, Worldbank, UN and other donors
  • 2010-2015 Visiting Professor for “Off grid Solar Systems” in SERIS/NUS Singapore
  • 2011 (ongoing) Founder and Chair Board of Directors fosera GmbH & CoKGaA
  • 2012 (ongoing) Founding director and CEO of the Institute for Decentralized Electrification, Education and Entrepreneurship (id-eee)
  • 2014 (ongoing) Founder and Vice Chair Board of Directors of BOS AG
  • 2020 (ongoing) Founder and Chair Board of Directors of fothermo AG

Edirin Aghogovbia

Edirin Aghoghovbia is the Head of Business Development for AMMP Technologies.

At AMMP, he enhances the adoption of renewable energy in Africa by partnering with leading local developers across the continent, and economizing their scaling efforts through the use of remote monitoring and management technology.

He possesses both technical and business expertise from working as an Electrical engineer at German Industrial engineering company, GEA Westfalia, and in Business Development at GE Power.

He holds an MBA from IE Business School and a Master of Advanced Management from Yale School of Management

Dipal Chandra Barua

  • First Zayed Future Energy Prize Winner 2009
  • Founder & Chairman, Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF)
  • President, Bangladesh Solar & Renewable Energy Association (BSREA)
  • Member, Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA)
  • Ambassador, Global 100% RE
  • Member, Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), Green Climate Fund (GCF)
  • Councilor, World Future Council (WFC)
  • Founding Managing Director, Grameen Shakti, Bangladesh.
  • Co-Founder & Former Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Grameen Bank, Bangladesh.

Dipal Chandra Barua, Founder & Chairman, Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF) is a bright innovator, passionate and a proactive entrepreneur. Mr. Barua is the pioneer of Solar Energy in Bangladesh. Mr. Barua is the Former Deputy Managing Director (DMD) & Co-Founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Mr Barua played a very active and participatory role to conceptualized the whole process on a daily basis from day one, which resulted to the initiation of Grameen Bank project in later part of 1976 from his own village Jobra in Chittagong district. From then Mr. Barua started his creative work as a co-founder of Grameen Bank and dedicated himself 35 years for building Grameen bank. As Co-Founders of Grameen Bank, he occupied the number two position as the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of Grameen Bank till December 2009. He designed and implemented Grameen II, heralding exponential growth and profitability of Grameen Bank.

Hamed Beheshti

Dr. Hamed Beheshti, known in East Africa as Dr. Water, is a Berlin-based entrepreneur creating a nexus of energy and water serving the bottom of the pyramid. Hamed is addressing the challenges of development for off-grid rural communities through his solar water desalination technology and WaterKiosk business model.

Rebecca Bregant

Rebecca Bregant is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of PineBerry, a German-Kenyan digital service provider offering an “Everything-as-a-Service” platform for energy access players.

Rebecca entered the rural electrification space back in 2016, working as IT manager at a solar home system manufacturing company. In the past years, she deepened her digitalization and off-grid expertise mostly from an entrepreneurial point of view, but also on an institutional level as researcher at the University of Neu-Ulm. In addition, she has been elected as Member of Board of Directors at the Alliance for Rural Electrification in early 2021. Rebecca has specialized in the fields of Strategic Marketing, Corporate Communications and User Experience Design, which is reflected in her responsibilities at PineBerry.

Her mission is to improve lives in emerging markets by unlocking the potential of digitalization and contributing to 14 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Sebastian Groh

Passionate to drive the 5D's fuelling our energy future: Decentralization, Decarbonization, Disruption, Democratization & Digitization! In line with these beliefs, together with his colleagues at SOLshare, Dr. Groh installed the world's first solar P2P energy exchange platform in a remote area of Bangladesh.

Dr. Groh is a 2013 Stanford Ignite Fellow from Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a PhD from Aalborg University and the Postgraduate School Microenergy Systems at the TU Berlin where he wrote his doctoral thesis on the role of energy in development processes, energy poverty & technical innovations, with a special focus on Bangladesh. He published a book and multiple journal articles on the topic of decentralized electrification in the Global South. Dr. Groh started his career and received his DNA at MicroEnergy International, a Berlin-based consultancy firm working on microfinance and decentralized energy. In 2014, Dr. Groh founded SOLshare, acting as its CEO since then. He is also an Associate Professor at BRAC University in Dhaka (Bangladesh). On behalf of SOLshare, he received numerous awards, among them Tech Pioneer ‘18 by the World Economic Forum and the best energy startup in the world by Free Electrons. SOLshare also received the UN DESA Powering the Future We Want USD 1M Energy Grant, along with Grameen Shakti, is listed in the Cleantech 100, and won the prestigious Ashden Award in 2020. Dr. Groh became Ashoka Fellow in 2018, & UBS Global Visionary in 2019, as well as received the 2019 Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award.

Yoann Le Fol

Yoann Le Fol is regional manager for West and Central Africa at Victron Energy, a renowned battery-inverter manufacturer. He started his career in the off-grid energy sector 10 years ago with experiences in different african countries as engineer and project manager. Since 2016, he oversees Victron activities in more than 20 African countries as well as the development of innovative PAYGo solar solutions. In 2021, Yoann joined the ARE (Alliance for Rural Electrification) board of directors. He holds a M.Eng in environmental engineering and a M.Sc in renewable energy management.

Lisa Poisson-Quinton

Lisa was born in France and studied in Lille and Münster in Germany. Lived in different cities within Europe and the world. She made her debut in the renewable energy sector in a GIZ project for access to energy and rural electrification in Togo for two years.

She joined the GET.invest team in 2020 to manage partnerships and the implementation of activities.

Jürgen Raach

Jürgen Raach looks back on 30 years professional experience in photovoltaic power technology. He started as student to install grid tie photovoltaic systems in the German „1000 roof top project“ and since then maintained his enthusiasm for solar power. He accomplished his master thesis on „technology and economics of solar pumping systems in Indonesia“, before he joined the company SIEMENS SOLAR where is was delegated to Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) to manage the PRS-CILSS solar pumping project in West Africa and to build up the dealer network made out of independant African solar companies. In 1999 he was hired by the company STECA and elecronics manufacturer for charge controllers and inverters. He created in the year 2006 the private limited company RAACH SOLAR GmbH to combine his experience in technology and project management into his own EPC company (Engineering Procurement Commissioning).

RAACH SOLAR engineers, procures, delivers, installs and maintains turn-key and tailor made photovoltaic systems worldwide. RAACH SOLAR is a premium supplier for open area photovoltaic power plants, building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), carports, battery storage systems, AC mini grids, solar pumping systems, solar streetlights, charging stations and charging concepts for electric vehicles as well as consulting services for renewable energy projects.

Warren Scott-White

As VP Sales at SteamaCo, Warren heads up all off-grid sales and business development activities. Born in Zimbabwe and educated in Johannesburg, Warren has spent many years working around the world in a variety of hi-tech industries (RFID, Transportation Systems and Energy Management), but always holding a deep love for Africa and its people and its natural environment. This love brought him to SteamaCo and the DRE sector in 2019. He believes deeply that SteamaCo's advanced IoT smart metering platform, innovations in technology and thinking, and mentoring the next generation of African energy leaders will revolutionise the energy industry in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Rebecca Sleegers

As press and corporate spokesperson for Africa GreenTec, Rebecca is responsible for the external communication of the company. As a manager, she is also responsible for social media and marketing.

Rebecca was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Germany. Lived in different cities within Europe. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Business Communication in Berlin, Germany and obtained a Master degree in international Marketing and Media Management in Cologne, Germany. Her love for Africa brought her back every year to different countries all over the continent. Her passion and roots personally and professionally guided her to Africa GreenTec after many internships in the media industry. She believes in sustainable technology and the future in Africa.

Piper Wilder

Piper Foster Wilder is the Founder and CEO of 60Hertz Microgrids. The company develops software to maintain microgrids — from village infrastructure, to remote industrial sites, to resiliency microgrids on critical infrastructure. The company has won more than 7 national and international awards for their work. In 2020, Piper became a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow. Foster Wilder came to Alaska to serve as Deputy Director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project in Anchorage. There she became acquainted with the opportunity and challenges of project development, financing, and maintenance of remote power grids. Foster Wilder was previously the Vice President of Amatis Controls, an Internet of Things company. She was named in Aspen Magazine's Ten Women of Aspen. Foster Wilder is a Humboldt Fellow and worked at Ecologic Institute in Berlin for several years and authored several papers on siting of utility-scale renewables. She lives in Anchorage with her husband and 3 yr old daughter.

John Zamick

I am from the UK and have spent most of my professional career in a mix of technical and Bizdev roles in both the computer industry and latterly in renewable energy. Apart from 10 years working for major US computer corporations most of my nearly 40 year working life has been involved with 15 start ups in computing and renewable energy. In 2008 I founded Distributed Generation Ltd (DGL) which developed, installed and continues to operate six 500 kW wind turbines installed on sites spread across the UK. My mission now is to make a positive difference in the world by building and applying smart digital technology to help democratise access to energy globally.

In 2014 DGL changed its name to Smarter Microgrid Ltd (SML) to reflect its change in focus; we set out to design and build a smart digitalisation (IoT) platform for energy systems employing thoroughly modern digital software systems technology; our primary deliverable is a Unified System of Management for Microgrids. The need for such digital systems continues to grow as distributed energy systems become more numerous, individually larger, more heterogeneous, more complex and more interconnected. Our focus is on providing a solution that 'shields' their operators from much of the significant inherent complexity that these DER based systems would otherwise impose.