2017 California-Germany Bilateral Energy Conference Speakers

Speaker Biography
Portrait of Amory Lovins

Amory Lovins

CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute

Lovins is Cofounder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has served as an energy advisor to major firms and governments in more than 65 countries for more than 40 years. He is the author of 31 books and 600 papers. Lovins is an integrative designer of superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles. Time named Lovins as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, while Foreign Policy named him one of the 100 top global thinkers.

Portrait of Andrew McAllister

Andrew McAllister

Commissioner, California Energy Commission

McAllister was appointed to the Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in May 2012, and reappointed in January 2017. He worked on clean energy deployment and policy for 25 years, beginning in the early 1990s in project engineering and development, evolving into program design and implementation, and then moving into the policy arena.

Portrait of  Antonella Battaglini

Antonella Battaglini

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI)

Battaglini is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI). RGI was born in 2009, when nongovernmental organizations and transmission system operators from across Europe came together to promote transparent, environmentally sensitive grid development to enable the steady growth of renewable energy and the energy transition.

Portrait of Christoph Jugel

Christoph Jugel

Director of Energy Systems, Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena)

Jugel is Director of Energy Systems at dena, which is the German Energy Agency, since 2016. He is responsible for projects on the further development of electricity grids, continuing convergence of all energy consumption sectors, digitalization of the energy sector, urban energy transition, and decarbonization of the energy system. He leads the dena study on the integrated energy transition. Before joining dena, he ran a consulting firm since 2008, giving strategic advance on the digital transformation of the energy industry. He has also held various positions in the Arvato Bertelsmann group of companies since 2002. He graduated in business administration from the WHU-Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management and spent exchange semesters in the United States and Spain.

Daniel Sperling portrait

Daniel Sperling

Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis (ITS-Davis)

Sperling is Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy and founding Director of the ITS-Davis. He holds the transportation seat on the California Air Resources Board and served as Chair of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies in 2015 to 2016. He served twice as lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (sharing the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize), has testified seven times to the U.S. Congress, and provided 40 keynote presentations in the past five years. He has authored or co-authored over 250 technical papers and 12 books, including Two Billion Cars. His next book is Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Electric and Shared Vehicles to a Better World.

Daniel Witt portrait

Daniel Witt

Senior Manager, Business Development and Policy, Tesla

Witt is the Senior Manager of Business Development and Policy for Tesla. He has been with the company for six years. Before that, he spent four years in the office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein working on transportation legislation and municipal infrastructure and goods movement projects. In his current role, he works with legislators, industry partners and other decision makers to address state and local policy issues, as well as a myriad of business development projects, related to promoting electric vehicles, renewable infrastructure deployment, and energy storage.

Portrait of  Dietrich

Dietrich Schmidt

Head of Power-Heat-Systems Department, Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology

Schmidt is affiliated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES). He works in the research and development division on energy economy and grid operation. He studied engineering thermodynamics and building services at the University of Kassel in Germany and continued his education at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, where he earned a PhD in building physics/building technology.

Portrait of Drew Bohan

Drew Bohan

Executive Director, California Energy Commission

Before joining the Energy Commission, Bohan served in a number of capacities in state government, including as Assistant Secretary for Policy for the California Environmental Protection Agency, Deputy Cabinet Secretary at the Governor’s Office, Executive Policy Officer for the Ocean Protection Council, and Chief Counsel for the California Department of Conservation. Prior to joining state service, he worked as Executive Director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Chief Counsel to the House of Delegates in the Republic of Palau, and litigation attorney at Heller Ehrman in San Francisco.

Portrait of Felix Matthes

Felix Matthes

Research Coordinator, Energy and Climate Policy, Öko Institut

Matthes graduated as an electrical engineer from Leipzig University of Technology in 1985 and received his doctoral degree in political science from Free University of Berlin in 1999. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in research and consultancy, concentrating on energy and climate change issues. He has published numerous studies and publications on German and international energy policy, as well as on environment and climate policy.

Portrait of  Hal Harvey

Hal Harvey

CEO, Energy Innovation

Harvey is the CEO of Energy Innovation, a San Francisco-based energy and environmental policy firm. Since 2012, Energy Innovation has delivered high-quality research and analysis to policymakers around the world and across a range of jurisdictions to help inform their energy policy decisions. Harvey was Founder and CEO of ClimateWorks Foundation, a network of foundations that promote policies to reduce the threat of climate change. From 2002 to 2008, he served as Environment Program Director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. From 1991 to 2002, Harvey served as Founder and President of the Energy Foundation, a philanthropy supporting policy solutions that advance renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Portrait of Hanno Butsch

Hanno Butsch

Head of International Cooperation, (German) National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology

Butsch studied environmental planning with a focus on technological issues at the Umwelt Campus Birkenfeld (Trier University, Germany). He earned his PhD in material science in liaising with Freudenberg Fuel Cell Component Technologies KG from the Technical University of Darmstadt in 2012. He began his professional career at Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership where he managed the fuel cell laboratory in Plymouth, Mich. In June 2012, he joined the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. He is responsible for international affairs including development of intergovernmental and industrial exchange.

Portrait of Jan Aengenvoort

Jan Aengenvoort

Head of Communications & Market Research, Next Kraftwerke

He heads the Communications & Market Research Department for Next Kraftwerke as its CCO. He provides information about the integration of renewable energy into existing grid structures and energy markets using Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) and short-term trading. He is an expert on the German VPP market and is looking to expand his knowledge of overseas energy markets. Since joining Next Kraftwerke in 2010, he has helped turn a small startup into one of Europe’s largest Virtual Power Plants with more than 130 employees.

Portrait of Janea A. Scott

Janea A. Scott

Commissioner, California Energy Commission

Scott was appointed to the Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in February 2013 and reappointed in January 2016. She is the Energy Commission’s public member, and is the lead commissioner on transportation and Western regional planning. Scott also leads adoption of recommendations by the Energy Commission’s Senate Bill 350 Barriers Study to expand access to the benefits of clean energy and transportation for low-income Californians, including those in disadvantaged communities as well as small businesses in disadvantaged communities.

Portrait of Jay Dickenson

Jay Dickenson

Chief Consultant, California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee

Dickenson is Chief Consultant to the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications. Over the past 17 years, he has worked in a variety of capacities for both the legislative and administrative branches. His public sector experience has included analyzing the annual budgets of the state’s environmental and energy agencies for the Legislative Analyst’s Office and advising Assembly leadership on bills affecting natural resources, environmental protection, and renewable energy as a consultant to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. Before joining the Senate, Dickenson served as Director of Governmental Affairs for the California Energy Commission. His professional experience also includes a stint in advertising and teaching English at Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Portrait of Jesse Bryson

Jesse Bryson

Vice President and Head of Global Market Development, Advanced Microgrid Solutions

Bryson is responsible for identifying and developing new market opportunities for the company in both domestic and international markets. He also leads efforts to customize product offerings to ensure both utility and customer needs are met. Before joining the company, he held multiple roles at Southern California Edison (SCE), including overseeing the development of SCE’s corporate strategy for distributed energy resources.

Portrait of Katharina Grave

Katharina Grave

Principle Issues of Electricity Unit, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Grave works for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in the Principle Issues of Electricity unit. After studying energy economics and European politics in Cologne and Istanbul, she worked as a research associate in the power market unit at the Institute of Energy Economics in Cologne, Germany. She conducted and coordinated studies about transmission grid expansion, security of supply, demand side management potentials, and the impact of different storage facilities on the European electricity market.

Portrait of  Martin Schöpe

Martin Schöpe

Head of Division, International Cooperation on Energy, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

He has been working in the energy policy field since 2003. Until 2013, his focus was on international cooperation in the field of renewable energy for the Federal Environment Ministry. Since 2014, he has been with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, where he continues working on international energy policy.

Portrait of  Mario Ragwitz

Mario Ragwitz

Professor, Deputy Head of Competence Center Energy Policy and Energy Markets, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

He serves as deputy head of the department for energy policy and energy markets at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI). His current work focuses on developing and evaluating policies for renewable energy technologies and modeling energy systems with renewable sources. He has coordinated more than 40 research projects on renewable energy policy development and authored more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems, and as a visiting researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Portrait of  Nancy Sutley

Nancy Sutley

Chief Sustainability Officer, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

In July 2014, Sutley was named Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) where she oversees energy efficiency, water conservation, economic development, and electrification of the transportation network. Before joining LADWP, she served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality from January 2009 to February 2014.

Portrait of  Niklas Schirmer

Niklas Schirmer

Head of Energy, ubitricity

Schirmer heads ubitricity’s energy market activities with responsibility for business strategy and product management of the company’s B2B energy services. He is in charge of market operations of the ubitricity mobile metering and virtual power grid platform and is responsible for regulatory affairs. Before joining ubitricity in 2014, he worked for three years as a Senior Management Consultant at the Berlin-based Cleantech Advisory Apricum, with a focus on strategic growth projects along the value chains of the solar and storage industry.

Portrait of  Peter Hoffman

Peter Hoffman

Senior Manager System Operations, TenneT

Hoffmann started his business career in 1994 with the E.ON Group focusing on strategic development in Central and Eastern Europe. Beginning as project manager for the privatization process in Hungary, he worked as a board member for the West Bohemian distribution company ZCE in 2002 and director of sales & trading of E.ON Czech in 2004. He has lived two years in Hungary and four years in Czech Republic, where he built relationships with decision makers and developed an empathy for Central and Eastern Europe.

Portrait of

René Mono

Managing Director, 100% Renewable Foundation

Mono joined 100 Prozent Erneuerbar Stiftung in 2011 as its managing director and was appointed executive board member in 2015. In addition, he is a board member with Bündnis Bürgerenergie and Veolia Stiftung and a project consultant with the independent think tank Stiftung Neue Verantwortung. After graduating in communication science, he worked in public affairs at the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce in Santiago de Chile, German–African Business Association in Hamburg and CNC AG in Munich. From 2004 until 2011, he worked for Ketchum Pleon in Berlin und Bruxelles, first as a communications consultant before becoming board member and manager of global energy-practice. He holds a PhD in communications and has published numerous articles, including on citizen participation in the German Energiewende.

Portrait of Robert B. Weinsenmiller

Robert B. Weisenmiller

Chair, California Energy Commission

Weisenmiller was appointed as member and Chair to the Energy Commission in January 2011 by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and re-appointed in January 2015. He fills the engineer/scientist position on the five-member Energy Commission where commissioners must come from and represent specific areas of expertise: engineering/science, environment, economics, law, and the public at large. He has more than 30 years of energy experience, including expertise in electricity and gas markets and California regulatory policies.

Portrait of Ronald O. Nicholas

Ronald O. Nichols

President, Southern California Edison

Nichols is president of Southern California Edison (SCE). He is responsible for external affairs, compliance, power production and procurement, and other operations. He is a member of SCE’s board of directors. Nichols has more than 35 years of experience in the electric and water utility industry. He has been a strategic and operational advisor to utilities, state and local government, power suppliers and the financial community on complex energy and utility matters throughout the United States, particularly in the West.

Portrait of Simon Müller

Simon Müeller

Head of Unit System Integration of Renewables, International Energy Agency

Müeller is responsible for International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis as part of the Grid Integration of Variable Renewables (GIVAR) program, which aims at identifying global best practices for integrating renewable energy into power grids and the wider energy system. He served as the analytical and managerial lead of the last GIVAR phase, a two-year project assessing the technical and economic implications of large scale wind and solar grid integration. Since joining the IEA in 2010, he has authored numerous publications on grid integration, market and policy design as well as renewable energy technologies.

Portrait of Stephen Berberich

Stephen Berberich

President and Chief Executive Officer, California Independent System Operator

Berberich is President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which is one of the world’s largest transmission organizations, managing the electric grid and wholesale power markets for 30 million Californians. Berberich, who has been with the ISO for 12 years, has navigated the organization through a series of major changes underway in the energy industry, including the transformation of the power grid to lower its reliance on fossil fuels.

Portrait of Wang Zhongying

Wang Zhongying

Director, China National Renewable Energy Centre

He is the Director of the China National Renewable Energy Centre and Deputy Director General of the Energy Research Institute at the National Development and Reform Commission. He serves as Executive Director of the China Rural Energy Industry Association, China Energy Society, and China Biogas Society. He also is the Vice Secretary-General of the Rural Energy Committee of China Renewable Energy Society, the China Renewable Energy Association and Renewable Energy Industry Committee, and the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association.