COVID-19 has dramatically changed the socioeconomic context for clean energy transitions worldwide. With the global economy heading into a recession and possibly a financial crash, strengthening health systems, minimizing job losses, preventing supply chain breakdowns, and managing return of business to the “new normal” are immediate priorities for governments. Simultaneously, government actions and pledges remain insufficient to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and how electricity is produced and consumed remains key deliverable in supporting climate change reversal measures.
In this context, EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network is organising the webinar COVID-19 Recovery: Accelerating Energy Transitions in EU & GCC Power Sector which will facilitate dialogue amongst businesses and governments from the EU and the GCC nations on the recommendations of a Policy Brief titled:‘Covid-19 recovery: How the G20 can accelerate sustainable energy transitions in the power sector by supporting the private sector’, issued by T20 Saudi Arabia. The Policy Brief outlines recommendations on how governments can support the private sector to deliver economic growth, create jobs, and support climate action. The proposed measures involve (1) coordinating on sustainable recovery measures in the G20, (2) expanding renewable energy generation, (3) accurately reflecting environmental externalities and ensuring just transitions in the fossil-fuel sector, and (4) promoting efficient electricity consumption and faster electrification.
Welcome, Opening Session
- Frank Wouters, Director, EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Patrick Illing, Head of Trade and Economic Affairs, EU Delegation in Saudi Arabia
- Dr. Mohamed Al Rashidi, Director of Electricity & Water Department and Acting Director of Energy at The Gulf Cooperation Council - General Secretariat
Presentation on Paper, Dr Mari Luomi, Independent Expert
Panel discussion with business and government, moderated by Tanzeed Alam, Climate Change Convener, EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
- Dr Noura Al Mansouri, Lead Co-chair of Task Force 2 Climate Change and Environment, Think 20 Saudi Arabia
- Dr Irina Kustova, Researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies
- Caspar Herzberg, President Middle East and Africa, Schneider Electric
- Turki Al Shehri, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE Saudi Arabia
- Ahmed Baghoum, Executive Director, Human Capital & Services, Masdar
- Q&A with the audience
Frank Wouters, Director, EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
Mr. Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy projects, transactions, and technology development for over 25 years. He has played a lead role in development of renewable generation projects valued at over $4.5 billion. These range from small scale PV solar electrification in Uganda to the 100MW Shams I Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in the UAE, and strategic equity investment in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind project. His transactions have received multiple project finance “Deal of the Year” awards. As Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organisation dedicated to all renewables, he managed a US$350 million IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development project facility for RE. He appraised over 80 projects a year and recommended projects for funding, including solar PV projects in Africa. Furthermore, he coordinated with government ministers and other stakeholders to promote private sector investment for RE projects as part of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor Initiative. Mr. Wouters has served on the board of several energy companies, including Torresol Energy (Spain and USA), WinWind (Finland and India), Masdar cvua (Netherlands), NICE (Netherlands and The Gambia) and Gorestreet Capital (UK). Qualified with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University, he is fluent in English, German and Dutch.
Dr. Mohamed Al Rashidi, Director of Electricity & Water Department and Acting Director of Energy at The Gulf Cooperation Council - General Secretariat
Coordinate the Water electricity activates and supporting policymaking and decisions related to joint economic work in the Gulf Cooperation Council through preparing studies, plans and programs, coordination and preparing for meetings of committees related to joint economic work. Supervising the preparation of studies and research necessary to enhance joint work between member states in the electric, water and clean energy fields. He did his PhD research at Brunel University in Mechanical Engineering.
Dr Mari Luomi, Independent Expert
Dr. Mari Luomi is a policy-oriented social scientist with 15 years of experience with think tanks, academia and consulting. She is best known for her work on climate change policy in the Gulf. In her other core area of expertise, global climate governance, she has a decade of hands-on experience having participated in UN climate change negotiations in various capacities, including capacity development and reporting.
She has worked for leading sustainable development and foreign policy research institutions: the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Georgetown University and Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Most recently, she led a research programme at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy on energy, climate change and sustainable development.
Mari holds a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from Durham University and MSSc in international politics from the University of Helsinki.
Dr Noura Al Mansouri, Lead Co-chair of Task Force 2 Climate Change and Environment, Think 20 Saudi Arabia
Dr. Noura Mansouri is the Lead Co-chair of Task Force 2 Climate Change and Environment, Think 20 (T20), a Research Fellow at King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC), a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an Expert at the World Energy Council (WEC). Previously, Dr. Mansouri has worked at AREVA, then then global leader in nuclear energy and fuel cycle. She earned her MBA and PhD degrees in sustainability and energy transitions from University of London. She is the author of ‘Greening the Black Gold: Saudi Arabia’s Quest for Clean Energy’. Dr. Mansouri
completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at MIT, and she is a recipient of the Ibn Khaldun Fellowship from the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy at MIT and the King Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). Dr. Mansouri was selected as a young scientist to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate 2017 Meeting in Economic Sciences, she was also selected as a member of the Zayed Sustainability Prize Review Committee for 2018 and the Selection Committee for 2019, 2020, and 2021, and received the 2015 Women Excellence Leadership Award under the category "Rising Stars", she is also a board member at Women in Clean Energy under the Clean Energy Business Council for the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr Irina Kustova, Researcher, Centre for European Policy Studies
Irina Kustova is Researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, where she works on various issues concerned the energy transition and energy security. Prior to joining CEPS, she worked at the Energy Charter Secretariat on the transit provisions and regional electricity cooperation. She also held assignments at the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators and the Delegation of the European Union to Russia. Irina received her PhD cum laude in International Studies from the University of Trento (2015) and her MA in European Studies from Maastricht University (2009). During her PhD, she has also spent periods as a visiting research fellow at the King’s College London and the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her work has been published in such journals as Journal of Contemporary European Research, Cooperation and Conflict, Journal of European Integration, and Journal of World Energy Law and Business.
Caspar Herzberg, President Middle East and Africa, Schneider Electric
Caspar Herzberg is the President of Schneider Electric Middle East & Africa. Caspar manages SE’s operations in 80+ countries, with several thousand employees across Middle East & Africa including Central Asia and Turkey. Schneider Electric serves its customers with integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software in Power Management and in Industrial Automation Systems. Prior to joining Schneider, Caspar Herzberg was the Vice President of Cisco Consulting Services for Asia Pacific, China and Japan. He previously held various executive positions within Cisco and Accenture in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Caspar is recognized as a thought leader for Smart Cities, Digital Transformation and IoT, pioneering the digital platform for the New Economic Cities in Saudi Arabia, Songdo in South Korea and the economic powerhouse of Chongqing in China. He is the published author of the book ‘Smart Cities, Digital Nations’ (Roundtree Press 2017). Ranked among the Top 100 executives in the Arab World by Forbes in 2017 and 2018, he is on the Board of Trustees of the NewCities Foundation and served as an advisor on the Chongqing Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Council. Caspar served as an officer in the German Army and holds a Master of Science in International Politics from SOAS, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts in Arabic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. He grew up in Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic, German, French and English.
Tanzeed Alam, Climate Change Convener, EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network
For over 15 years Tanzeed has promoted positive change on climate change, energy and environmental conservation across three continents within government, industry, businesses and communities. Tanzeed has recently led the work on the Zayed Sustainability Prize, a major global sustainability prize, awarded by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He has helped to develop Masdar’s report on renewable energy desalination and the Government of Dubai’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. He also assisted the WWF UAE with a study understanding private sector engagement with a Sustainable Blue Economy in the UAE. Tanzeed is a regular expert reviewer and writer for important government policy documents, with experience working on the DPSIR methodology for the EAD State of the Environment Report 2017. Previously, Tanzeed directed the WWF Climate Change, Energy, Sustainability and Policy work in the UAE and GCC region, representing WWF at UNFCCC and IRENA conferences. He led a team to develop UAE’s Climate Change Adaptation, communications and Data MRV strategies for the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050. He worked on studies on green economy, climate change risks, and led the team that worked with the UAE government to develop energy efficiency standards for lighting and vehicles. He also led the award winning ‘Heroes of the UAE’ awareness campaigns about climate change and sustainable living. Previously, Tanzeed was Science Policy Advisor for Energy & Climate Change at the UK’s independent scientific academy, the Royal Society, coordinating scientific reviews of the Stern Review on Economics of Climate Change, IPCC reports, studies on Sustainable Biofuels, Radioactive Waste Management and Energy Policy. He also worked with a think tank in the UK ‘Carbon Sense’, helping businesses develop strategies and plans to address climate change. Tanzeed has a post graduate MSc in Conservation from University College London and a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh.
Turki Al Shehri, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE Saudi Arabia
Turki Al Shehri is the Chief Executive Officer for ENGIE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Shehri is responsible for ENGIE’s vast business that covers renewables, conventional power, green hydrogen, gas storage, smart city applications, and downstream LNG. Currently ENGIE in Saudi Arabia has over $5 billion in investments and nearly 2,000 employees. ENGIE is a major contributor to the Country’s vision through foreign direct investments, local job creation, and knowledge transfer. ENGIE has strong ambitions to double its investments and employment in the next 3 to 5 years. Prior to joining ENGIE, Al Shehri was the Head of the Renewable Energy Project Development Office leading the Country’s renewable program, a role he assumed after nearly a decade at Saudi Aramco as the Head of Power Investments. He began his career with Saudi Aramco in
2002 as an electrical engineer, after graduating from the University of South Florida with a B.Sc. in electrical engineering. Al Shehri brings to ENGIE nearly 20 years of experience as a visionary leader in power systems
and renewables. He has strong expertise in energy strategy and policy, integrated resource supply planning, market regulations, cogeneration, efficiency enhancements, and power system analysis.
Ahmed Baghoum, Executive Director, Human Capital & Services, Masdar
Ahmed Baghoum is the Executive Director of Human Capital & Services. He has overall responsibility for talent acquisition and development at Masdar and optimising its UAE national workforce. He also leads the
company’s corporate services activities. Mr. Baghoum was previously Director of the City Zone at Masdar City, with a focus on improving the customer experience. He also oversaw the Special Economic Zone functions within Masdar City including registration, licensing and permitting. Before joining Masdar City, Mr. Baghoum was Executive Director – Customer Operations for the Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority, which includes Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village. His role was to provide leadership to the client interface and support departments functioning under the Customer Operations Division, ensuring that they were industry leaders in production efficiency, quality, service and cost-effective management of resources. Thereby promoting revenue enhancement, profitability and growth in the organization. He also led the reengineering of the Government Service Operations Department, where he helped develop and implement new concepts within the online services and devised innovative value-added services by creating new partnerships and alliances with key government entities. Mr. Baghoum holds an MBA from Texas Tech University. He also holds a Masters Certificate in Project Management and Management Concepts from Regis University in the United States.
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