Previous speakers


Christoph Bals

Christoph Bals, Policy Director at Germanwatch

Christoph Bals is the Policy Director of the environmental and development organization Germanwatch. In 1991 he was a founding member of this NGO and has been engaged since then in the politics of climate and development. He is a board member of the „Stiftung Zukunftsfaehigkeit“ (Foundation for Sustainability), the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) which is pushing for insurance for the people of developing countries against climate risks, and the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI). Bals studied theology, economics and philosophy in Munich, Belfast, Erfurt and Bamberg.


Antonella Battaglini, CEO of Renewables Grid Initiative

Antonella Battaglini is founder and Executive Director of the Renewables Grid Initiative, a forum for transmission system operators and environmental NGOs. In addition to the RGI activities, she is a senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) where she leads the SuperSmart Grid (SSG) process, a concept she developed together with her team to reconcile different approaches to renewables. By adopting a holistic approach, the SSG addresses the challenges of the transformation of the power sector considering generation, transmission and demand management. In this concept both centralized and decentralized generation play an undisputed role. Ms. Battaglini holds an MBA from the Berlin School of Economics.

Ariel Brunner, Head of EU Policy at BirdLife Europe

Based in Brussels, Ariel Brunner is Head of EU Policy with the environmental NGO BirdLife Europe. He coordinates work on a wide range of EU policies ranging from nature and biodiversity conservation, to budget, energy, fisheries and agriculture. Over the last decade he has been very active in debates over the sustainability of renewable energy and in particular of bioenergy where he has been one of the pioneers in criticising EU support to biofuels. He has been involved in numerous studies, policy developments and political processes linked to the EU Renewable Energy Directives, the sustainability criteria for biofuels, the Indirect Land Use Change controversy etc.
Before moving to Brussels he was following the implementation of EU nature conservation legislation in Italy and has been instrumental to the designation of the country’s Special Protection Areas network (sites protected under the EU Wild Birds Directive). He has been involved in species conservation projects, legal battles for the conservation of protected sites and in efforts to improve implementations of hunting legislation.
Born in Israel, he holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at Milan University.


Isabelle Buscke, Head of Brussels Office, Federation of German Consumer Organisations

A German and French national, Ms. Buscke holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and Linguistics from the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Ms Buscke is Head of the Brussels office of the German Consumer Federation vzbv where she deals with the entire breadth of consumer policy ranging from financial services, energy digital, mobility and consumer rights. Along with energy policy, internet and media policy are one of the focus areas for vzbv. She is also the German member of the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG).
Before joining vzbv in 2012, Ms Buscke has worked for different Public Affairs consultancies focussing on energy and digital topics. Before moving to Brussels, she worked for a German architecture firm in Freiburg where she was responsible for ensuring smooth cross-border operations.

Colas Chabanne, WG Market Design & RES Convenor at ENTSO-E

Colas Chabanne is Convenor of the ENTSO-E Working Group on Market Design and Renewable Energy Sources (MD&RES), which is responsible for developing and promoting ENTSO-E’s positions on long term market design and RES integration. Colas is Senior Market Designer at RTE’ Markets Department, involved on several topics related to Market Design and Regulatory issues (Demand Side Response, Capacity Market, Balancing,…). He is Project Manager on Demand Response for Retail Supply, and also performs high-level consultancy missions as Senior Advisor for RTE international.

Ivana d’Alessandro, Secretary of the Bern Convention, Council of Europe

Ivana d’Alessandro holds a degree in international law and a Master in Human rights; she is working at the Council of Europe since 2004 and has integrated the Directorate of Democratic Governance, to serve in the Biodiversity Unit in 2009. In 2010 she was appointed Secretary of the Bern Convention and she is also heading the Biodiversity Unit since 2013.


John Doyle, DG CNECT, European Commission

John Doyle works as Policy Officer at the European Commission in the area of Knowledge Sharing. His focus is “ICT for Everything”: How can we as ICT experts contribute more pro-actively to Policy formation across all areas of EU competence? What are the perhaps poorly understood effects that „ICT creep“ is already having in many areas? How can we directly contribute to the great challenges of the day? His main interests are better decision making, equality, diversity and sustainability.

Marie Donnelly, Director for New and Renewable Sources of Energy,Energy Efficiency and Innovation at DG Energy, European Commission

Within the Directorate General for Energy, Marie Donnelly is responsible for the development of policies and actions on energy efficiency and renewable energy, the coordination of research activities in the field of energy as well as actions aiming at supporting the achievement of the 20-20-20 targets. Previously, she worked with the European Commission, in the Employment and Social Affairs Directorate General as Director for Resources and Communication.


Baard Eilertsen, Founder, Maingate

Baard Eilertsen is the founder of Maingate Enterprise Solutions, a company that focuses on solutions for smart grids, smart enterprise and smart homes, delivering end-to-end network control for energy and industrial companies. Baard has over 20 years of international business experience and a broad European business network. His specialities are turn arounds and growth through innovations and strategic customer partnership as well as sales management and strategic sales of complex solutions.


Andreas Flamm, Director Regulatory Affairs Europe, EnerNOC

Andreas Flamm is an experienced energy economist with a focus on power market design and regulation. He has successfully led international projects and teams in industry, consulting and the public sector. Andreas holds an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Business Information Systems from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Currently Andreas works for EnerNOC as Director Regulatory Affairs Europe. In this position Andreas acts as EnerNOC’s primary liaison to EU governments, the European Commission and the relevant regulators and trade bodies. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Smart Energy Demand Coalition (SEDC). Andreas strongly believes in demand response as a key enabling technology of a well-functioning power market.

Monica Frassoni, President of the Energy Efficiency Alliance

Monica Frassoni is an Italian politician and Member of the European Parliament from 1999 until 2009, when she was also co-chair of the European Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament. Previously she served for 10 years as an officer of the Greens group in the European Parliament and was Secretary General of the Young European Federalists. In late 2010, Frassoni took up the role of President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, a business organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency across Europe. Furthermore, she currently serves as Co-President of the European Green Party.


Paul-Georg Garmer, Senior Public Affairs Manager, TenneT

Paul-Georg Garmer works as Senior Manager Public Affairs at TenneT TSO GmbH since April 2013. Mr. Garmer joined TenneT after he held the position of the deputy lead of the business section for energy and environmental policy at the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) after it was founded in 2007. Prior he worked as head of energy politics and regulation at the “Bundesverband der deutschen Gas- und Wasserwirtschaft” (BGW), the predecessor institution of the BDEW since 2003. Previously he worked as the office manager for the German Member of Parliament Peter Weiß (CDU) in Bonn and Berlin. Mr. Garmer holds a degree in political science, anglistics and history from the universities of Münster and Freiburg. He is politically and voluntarily involved as member of a regional parliament, the lead of his party faction as well as member of the supervisory body of Caritas-Krankenhilfe Berlin e.V., funding organization of three hospitals in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Tor Eigil Hodne, Senior Vice President for European Affairs Statnett

Tor Eigil Hodne is currently the Senior Vice President for European Affairs in Statnett. He holds a master degree in political science (cand. polit.) from the University of Oslo and the University of Århus, Denmark, and has worked extensively with research and internet policies, both in Norway and internationally. From 2000 to 2005 he worked for the European Commission in Luxembourg. From 2005 to 2010, Hodne was responsible for research, education and culture at the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Brussels. He started up the Statnett Brussels office in September 2010 and is currently heading this office. He also was a board member of the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) 2012 – 2014.

James P. McDougall, CEO of Younicos

James P. McDougall is Chief Executive Officer at Younicos, a global industry leader for intelligent grid and storage solutions with almost 100 MW installed storage capacity worldwide. James is an industry veteran and entrepreneur with global experience commercializing new technologies and positioning companies for rapid growth. During the last 25 years he has held several senior management positions and CEO assignments in North America, Asia and Europe. James has also co-authored several patents.

Patrick Oelze, Certified Auditor and Certified Tax Advisor MAZARS

Patrick is a Certified Auditor and Certified Tax Advisor in Germany and holds a university degree in Business Economics. After university he worked several years with PwC before he joined MAZARS in 2006. In his role as the signing CPA he is responsible for the audit of several companies in the utilities and manufacturing sector in Germany. Besides audit and advisory, he brings his particular expertise in utilities and renewables to seminars and lectures.


Chris Peeters, CEO, Elia

Chris Peeters is the new Chief Executive Officer at Elia. He obtained a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium. For the past years, he ran the Business Consulting activities of Schlumberger in Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East. Prior to that, he was 14 years with McKinsey & Company (of which seven years as Partner), specializing in the energy sector. The first ten years of his career, he created an engineering firm and subsequently started a manufacturer of building materials, before joining Hoogovens Aluminium as Sales & Technical Manager for part of Europe.


Oliver Rapf, Executive Director, Buildings Performance Institute Europe

Oliver Rapf is Executive Director of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe, a think-do-tank with a focus on energy and the built environment and represents BPIE in the Executive Committee of the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN). Before that, Oliver worked as Head of the Climate Business Engagement unit of WWF International, managing strategy and partnership development with the private sector. Leading an international team, he advised multinational companies on climate change and energy issues. His experience in buildings efficiency goes back to the late 90s when he was a project leader for several deep renovation projects on behalf of WWF in cooperation with housing companies across Germany.


Gerard Reid, Founder and Managing Partner at Alexa Capital & Bourbaki

Gerard Reid has over two decades‘ experience in equity research and fund management. He is also a leading energy expert as well as lecturer, author and monthly columnist for Biz Energy Today, the German energy industry publication. Prior to founding Alexa Capital, he was Managing Director and Head of European Cleantech Research at Jefferies & Co.
Before joining Jefferies Mr. Reid managed a renewable energy fund. Prior to this he was Head of Research at First Berlin where he expanded the equity research operation to cover 50 companies. Gerard Reid has broad relationships across the institutional and private investor communities as well as amongst government policy makers, utilities and technology providers to the energy area. He has developed a reputation as a leading global expert in renewable energy and the wider energy space through his work in the wind, solar, biofuels, natural gas, utility and European industrials sectors.
Mr. Reid is an Adjunct Professor at Imperial College, London and lecturer at the University of Applied Science in Berlin, where he has been lecturing in international business for over a decade. Mr. Reid holds a Higher Diploma in Education and MA Business & Economics from Trinity College, Dublin.


Jukka Ruusunen, President and CEO, Fingrid

Jukka Ruusunen has served as Fingrid’s President and CEO since 2007. During the years 1996 – 2006 he worked at Fortum Power and Heat Oy as Vice President of Business Development and in Imatran Voima Oy as Advisor of the Department of Strategic Planning. Since 1982 he has been working in various academic duties at Helsinki University of Technology and Helsinki School of Economics.
Jukka Ruusunen studied at Helsinki University of Technology where he completed his doctorate of technology at 1991. His key positions of trust are: Board Member of the Finnish Energy Industries, Member of the National Emergency Supply Council, Member of ENTSO-E Board, Member of Technology Academy Finland, Visiting Professor of Aalto University School of Science and Technology and School of Economics.

Pierre Schellekens, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Arias Cañete

Pierre Schellekens joined the European Commission in 1996 and is currently Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Arias Cañete, responsible for Energy and Climate Action. Previous to this, Mr Schellekens has been the Head of the Commission Representation in Sweden, Head of Unit in DG Agriculture and in DG Maritime Affairs. Mr. Schellekens was also the deputy Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner for Environment, Stavros Dimas, from 2004 to 2008 and member of Commissioner Wallström’s Cabinet during the firsthalf of 2004. Mr. Schellekens is a Swedish national and holds a Master’s Degree in Politics and Administration from the College of Europe (Bruges) as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Göteborg.

Boris Schucht, CEO 50Hertz

Boris Schucht, has been Chief Executive Officer of 50Hertz since 2010. He previously worked as Commercial Managing Director at WEMAG AG in Schwerin and held the position of Managing Director of Vattenfall Europe Venture GmbH in Berlin for five years. Additionally, Boris Schucht had, as Deputy Department Head, responsibility for Corporate Development at Vattenfall Europe AG. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the RWTH Aachen and is a member of the Assembly of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E).

Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission

Maroš Šefčovič is a Slovak career diplomat and since 1 November 2014 Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union. In this capacity, he leads the „Energy Union“ Project Team within the Commission which comprises of 14 commissioners.
From 2010 – 2014 he was Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration. In 2009-2010, he was European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth. From 2004 -2009, he was the Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the European Union. As diplomat by profession he served between 1992 and 2004 in Zimbabwe and Canada and as Ambassador to Israel.
He graduated from the University of Economy in Bratislava and the Moscow State Institute for Foreign Relations. He holds a degree as Doctor of Law and a PhD of European Law from the Comenius University, Faculty of Law, Bratislava. He also studied at Stanford University, USA.



Stephan Singer, Director of Global Energy Policy WWF International

Stephan leads WWF’s international work on promotion of 100% Renewables by 2050 since 2008. Before that he has been leading the WWF European Climate and Energy Policy Unit in Brussels since 1999. Previously he worked for WWF Germany and for GTZ/German ministry of economic co-operation in Hyderabad, India in co-operation with the World Bank on rural poverty alleviation. He is Honorary Chairperson of the Board of the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI). Stephan is also peer reviewer of the annual World Energy Outlook publications by the IEA and was a peer reviewer of the IPCC WG III (mitigation and economics).


Jörg Spicker, Head of Market Operations, Swissgrid AG

Dr. Jörg Spicker is Head of Market Operations at Swissgrid AG and was appointed to his role in October 2013. As Member of the Executive Committee, he is responsible for market related tasks for the Swiss transmission network operations, system services, capacity management, regulatory affairs, stakeholder management and EU relations. Mr. Spicker has a strong executive track record in the energy industry. Prior to his relocation to Switzerland, he was Senior External Advisor to McKinsey Inc. in the field of energy trading, risk management, energy procurement and distribution. From 2003 to 2012, his career at the Board of Atel Energy Ltd – the German subsidiary of the Swiss Atel Group – was distinguished by managing origination, sales and production. Mr. Spicker holds a Master‘s degree in Physics from the Ruhr-University of Bochum and further gained a PhD from the same institution in 1988.


Konstantin Staschus, PhD, Secretary-General at ENTSO-E

Konstantin Staschus received a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Virginia Tech in the USA. After 9 years at Pacific Gas and Electric, USA, he held management positions in German utility associations, including 6 years as Managing Director of VDN, the association of over 400 German electricity transmission and distribution system operators. In 2009 he began his mandate as Secretary-General of ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity in Brussels. ENTSO-E is defined in the European Internal Energy Market legislation with legal mandates for the development of 10-year pan-European network development plans, enhancing operational coordination, R&D planning, and of network codes on connection conditions, market and operational rules. These codes become European binding regulations and complete the Europe-wide electricity market with necessary detailed cross-border rules.

picture wendel

Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network Europe

Wendel Trio is the Director of CAN Europe. Wendel is a Masters in Social Sciences. He has 30 years of experience in working for NGOs, including as political director for Oxfam in Belgium, as campaign director for Greenpeace Belgium and as Director of the Policy and Business Unit of Greenpeace International. In that capacity he managed the Greenpeace International climate policy work and led the Greenpeace delegations from the COP in Bali till the COP in Cancun. He started working as CAN Europe Director in September 2011. His main tasks include overall coordination and management of the office and the CAN Europe network, fundraising, strategic guidance and high-level political representation.

Claude Turmes, MEP, Group of the Greens/ European Free Alliance

Claude Turmes has been Member of the European Parliament since 1999, where he served as vice-president of the Green Group from 2002 until 2014. Energy policy is one of his main focuses: he is member of the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) committee, coordinator on energy issues for the Green Roup, and was rapporteur of the Directive on Renewable Energies and the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Before his mandate, Turmes worked for the NGO Friends of the Earth in Luxemburg on climate change, energy and the WTO. He studied sports studies at the Universtiy of Louvain la Neuve in Belgium.

Ben Voorhorst, COO of TenneT

Ben Voorhorst (1959) is COO of TenneT Holding B.V. and managing director of TenneT TSO B.V. in The Netherlands. In the past Ben Voorhorst held various management positions within TenneT and occupied various management positions in the software industry. Besides his position at TenneT he is also a member of the Board of the Dutch association Netbeheer Nederland, a member of the Board of the Netherlands Association for Energy Data Exchange (Nedu), a member of the Board of ENTSO-E, a member of the Supervisory Board of NOVEC B.V. and a member of the Supervisory Board of EPEX SPOT SE. Ben Voorhorst is a member of the Dutch National Cyber Security Council and represents the critical infrastructure sector. The Dutch National Cyber Security Council is installed to advise government and the private sector on relevant developments in the cyber security field.

Sir Graham Watson, President of The Climate Parliament

Sir Graham Watson is the Honorary President and co-founder of The Climate Parliament (, a global network of legislators working to speed up the switch from fossil fuels to renewables energies. An interpreter by training, his career has spanned the public and private sectors and for twenty years (1994-2004) he was a Member of the European Parliament. He now works as a freelance consultant through his company Bagehot Ltd.

Roberto Zangrandi, Special Advisor EDSO

Roberto Zangrandi, Special Adviser with EDSO for Smart Grids, has run the European Public Affairs office in Bussels for Enel between 2007 and 2014. Previously with Enel has been Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Identity and Image, Corporate Communication Plans. In his background 12 years with Fiat (Director of External Relations in Frankfurt and Head of International Media Relations) and 15 years as economic and financial journalist (last position, chief editor with Il Mondo, in Italy) are to be found. In addition he worked as oragnisational communication expert for a consulting company over some years. He studied Political Sciences and Sociology and held (2005-2007) a postgraduate professorship in Public Relations at Udine University.