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​Keynote speaker

 

Liebrich 

 

 

 

 

Michael Liebreich
Founder and Chairman of Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
Michael Liebreich is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the world’s leading provider of research for senior decision-makers in clean energy and transportation. Mr. Liebreich serves on the High-Level Advisory Group for the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy and holds a variety of other directory and advisory positions in business and the non-profit sector. In June 2015, he was presented with the Renewable Energy Association’s Judges Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of renewable energy. He is also co-author of three peer reviewed academic papers on energy-related topics. Mr. Liebreich graduated in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and earned his MBA from Harvard, where he was a Harkness Fellow and Baker Scholar and earned first and second year honours. Michael lives in West London with his wife and three young children.

 




Speakers and panelists

 

Steve Berberich 

Steve Berberich
President and Chief Executive Officer, California ISO

Steve Berberich is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent System Operator (ISO). In his twelve year tenure and six years as CEO, Mr. Berberich has navigated the ISO through a series of major changes, including the world’s most expansive integration of renewable resources into the power grid. His vision for reducing the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels has been a catalyst for many significant new programs including the nation’s first Energy Imbalance Market, which welcomed several western states into the ISO’s bulk power markets. He has over 25 years of experience in the utility, consulting, banking and finance sectors, and holds an undergraduate degree in finance and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa.

 

  

Steve Chadima
Senior Vice President External Affairs, Advanced Energy Economy

Steve Chadima leads AEE's efforts to promote the advanced energy industry in the western US and provides strategic direction for AEE's transportation initiative as well as communications, marketing, membership and online activities nationally.

A serial entrepreneur with nearly 30 years experience, Chadima has been involved with a wide variety of technology start-ups through his work at tech incubator Idealab and several of its companies. He served as vice president of external affairs for Suntech Power Holdings and served two terms as chairman of the board of the Solar Alliance, a state-policy-focused association of the leading solar companies. He was also on the board of the Large-scale Solar Association (LSA), which focuses on federal and state policies that affect utility-scale solar installations. Chadima earned his BA from UC Irvine and MBA from Stanford University. ​

 

  

David W. Danner
Chairman, Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission

Gov. Jay Inslee appointed David W. Danner chairman of the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission in February 2013. Danner had been the agency’s executive director since 2005 and secretary since 2008. Before that, he served as executive policy advisor to Washington Gov. Gary Locke on energy, telecommunications, finance and elections issues. In 2004, Gov. Locke named Danner to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shoreline Hearings Board, where he served before moving to the commission.

Danner has also been a telecommunications attorney in private practice, counsel to the Washington Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, and senior policy advisor at the Washington State Department of Information Services. Danner currently serves on the Energy Resources and Environment (ERE) and International Committees of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is a member of the State Technology Services Board, the Board of Directors of the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI), and the Advisory Council of the Center for Public Utilities at New Mexico State University. In 2016, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation appointed him to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Gas Pipeline Advisory Committee, which he currently chairs. Danner has a B.A. from Columbia University, an M.A. in communications from the University of Washington, and a law degree from George Washington University.

John Danner 

 

John Danner
Senior Fellow, UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business

John Danner is a thought leader, trusted advisor and teacher at the intersection of leadership, innovation, strategy and entrepreneurship. He teaches at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and Princeton University. He is Faculty Advisor to the Global Social Venture Competition and has launched a number of initiatives on both campuses. John consults widely for senior executives in a variety of organizational settings, is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world and anchors various executive education programs for companies and universities. He is also a senior moderator with the Aspen Institute’s executive and global leadership programs, as well as to the Federal Executive Institute. He created the idea for TED University and has appeared on TEDGlobal and TEDx stages. In 2015, he published the book, “The Other ‘F’ Word”, which focuses on how effective leaders address and leverage failure to drive innovation and accelerate growth. He received his J.D, MPH and MAEd degrees from UC Berkeley and his BA from Harvard.

 

Ralph DiNola 

 

Ralph DiNola
CEO, New Buildings Institute

Ralph DiNola is the CEO of New Buildings Institute, a national nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon that is shaping the future with innovation, research, design guidance, and advanced building energy policy. For more than 25 years Ralph has served as an advisor and consultant to developers, governments and Fortune 500 companies seeking quantum advances in their building practices and projects. He was founding Board Chair of the International Living Future Institute and is currently focusing getting zero energy buildings to scale and supporting advanced jurisdictions as they seek to achieve their climate goals through transformation of the building sector.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Felicia Federico
Executive Director, California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA

Dr. Felicia Federico is the Executive Director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA within the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She has over 26 years of experience in environmental and sustainability work though academia, consulting, and the private sector, including 13 years in the petroleum industry. Her current research focuses on urban water and energy systems, climate impacts, and social equity. Felicia manages a California Energy Commission grant for planning an Advanced Energy Community around existing buildings in a disadvantaged area within Los Angeles County. She was lead author on UCLA’s 2015 and 2017 Environmental Report Cards for LA County, which provide an in-depth look at the region’s sustainability efforts. Dr. Federico received her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and both her Master’s in Geography and her Doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA.

 

 

 

 

Mark Ferron
California ISO Board of Governors

Governor Jerry Brown reappointed Mark Ferron on January 7, 2016 to the California Independent System Operator Corporation Board of Governors to a term that expires on December 31, 2018. Mr. Ferron, of Mill Valley, served as a member of the California Public Utilities Commission from 2011 to 2014. Before that, he was a partner at the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund from 2010 to 2014 and held several positions at Deutsche Bank from 1996 to 2009, including that of managing director and chief operating officer at the Global Markets Division in London. He served as vice president at Salomon Brothers and at Security Pacific/Bank of America from. Mr. Ferron holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University. A well-known advocate for solar energy, he was awarded recognition in 2014 as a “Solar Champion” by the nonprofit organization VoteSolar. In May 2015, he participated in the “Climate Ride California 2015”, a five-day charitable bicycle ride down the California coast to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes through cycling.

 

 

 

 

Angelina Galiteva
California ISO Board of Governors

Governor Jerry Brown reappointed Angelina Galiteva on January 17, 2017 to a third term to the California Independent System Operator Corporation Board of Governors that expires on December 31, 2019. Ms. Galiteva, of Fountain Valley, was first appointed on April 29, 2011. Ms. Galiteva is currently President for NEOptions, Inc., a renewable energy and new technology product design and project development firm. Her experience includes Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and head of its Green LA, Environmental Affairs and New Product Development Organization. Her career includes working with the California ISO and Power Exchange on their initial launches and she also worked as a power analyst for the New York Power Authority. Ms. Galiteva graduated from Pace University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1993 and a LL.M. degree in 1994 in Environmental and Energy Law. She specialized in electric utility strategic policy analysis and decision making focusing on pending industry transition and deregulation issues.

 

Martha Guzman-Aceves 

 

Martha Guzman Aceves
Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission

Martha Guzman Aceves was appointed Commissioner at the CPUC by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Dec. 28, 2016. She previously served as deputy legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011, focusing on natural resources, environmental protection, energy and food and agriculture. She was sustainable communities' program director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation from 2005 to 2011. From 2006 to 2008, she worked with Swanton Berry Farm on human resources issues including a new employee-stock ownership program. She was legislative coordinator for United Farm Workers from 1999 to 2005, working on labor and environmental issues. In 2010 she co-founded Communities for a New California, a charitable organization promoting increased civic engagement of underrepresented communities. Guzman Aceves earned a Master of Science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis



Libby Jacobs
President The Jacobs Group LLC and former Iowa Utilities Board member and Chair

Libby Jacobs is president of The Jacobs Group, LLC, an Iowa-based consulting firm specializing in the energy and regulated utilities industries. Company focus is on business development, strategic communications, and public policy. Jacobs formerly served on the Iowa Utilities Board, including four years as chair. Previously she had a 20-year career with the Principal Financial Group, serving as Community Relations Director for the last 14 years of that career.

In addition, Jacobs served seven terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. She was elected by her peers to serve seven years as Majority Whip. Jacobs earned her B.A. “With Distinction” in political science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and her Master of Public Administration from Drake University.




Travis Kavulla
Vice-Chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission

Travis Kavulla is the Vice-Chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission and the immediate past President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute.

Kavulla also serves as co-chairman of the Northern Tier Transmission Group (NTTG) Steering Committee and is a member of the California ISO’s Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) Transitional Committee. Mr. Kavulla previously has led Western state utility regulators’ efforts on the creation of efficient wholesale markets, emissions allowance trading, and the reliability of the bulk electric system. Mr. Kavulla received his bachelor’s in History at Harvard University, and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a Gates Scholar.


Richard Maulin 

 

  

 

 

 

Richard Maullin
Chair, California ISO Board of Governors

The California State Senate confirmed Richard Maullin as a member of the California Independent System Operator Corporation Board of Governors on July 6, 2015. Governor Jerry Brown re-appointed Mr. Maullin on January 2, 2015 to a term that expires December 31, 2017. Mr. Maullin, of Santa Monica, has held high-level state government and corporate leadership positions since the 1960s. Currently, he is a founding partner of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, a public opinion research and consulting firm. Previously, he was a member of the social science staff of the RAND Corporation (1965-1971) and later president and chief executive officer of MCR Geothermal Corporation (1980-1985). Mr. Maullin also served as chairman of the California Energy Commission (1975-1979) and as Deputy Secretary of State (1971-1974). Mr. Maullin was awarded bachelor, master and doctorate degrees in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.



Karen Norene Mills
California Farm Bureau Federation Associate Counsel

Karen Norene Mills since 1988 has represented the California Farms Bureau's members interests on myriad energy issues, which arise at the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission, as well as the California Legislature. Such issues range from analysis and advocacy about the management and cost of electricity for agricultural customers to issues arising from greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy policies, including pressure on agricultural lands to support energy infrastructure. The current focus on renewable energy has created impacts to and opportunities for farmers and ranchers in California. Karen has and continues to participate in a variety of collaborative initiatives and boards that consider issues impacting energy in California. Karen is also an active participant in her family’s walnut, rice and cattle ranch in Northern California..




Dr. Laura Nelson
Energy Advisor, State of Utah

In May 2016, Governor Gary R. Herbert appointed Dr. Laura Nelson to serve as his energy policy advisor, a position essential to ensuring the state’s on-going success in providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to its citizens. Under this role, Dr. Nelson provides an integral perspective in strategically shaping Utah’s local and state priorities in advancing wise policy options for all forms of responsible energy and minerals development, including the innovations fueling the future. She is dedicated to working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to deliver market solutions at home, as well as building bridges abroad to foster market expansion and foreign direct investment. Ever-committed to the success of Utah’s energy and minerals future, Dr. Nelson also continues to serve as the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, a position she has held since July 2014.




Mary D. Nichols
Chair of the California Air Resources Board

Mary D. Nichols is Chair of the California Air Resources Board, a post she has held since 2007. She also served as Chair of the Air Resources Board from 1979-1983. Nichols has devoted her entire career in public and nonprofit service to advocating for the environment and public health. In addition to her work at the Air Board, she has served as Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation program under President Clinton, Secretary for California's Resources Agency from 1999 to 2003 and Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Her priorities as Chair include moving ahead on the state's landmark climate change program (AB 32), steering the Board through numerous efforts to curb diesel pollution at ports and continuing to pass regulations aimed at providing cleaner air for Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. She values innovation, partnerships and common-sense approaches to addressing the state's air issues.




David Olsen
California ISO Board of Governors

Governor Jerry Brown reappointed David Olsen to the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors in January 2016, to a term that expires December 31, 2018. The California Senate confirmed Mr. Olsen’s reappointment on August 31, 2016. Mr. Olsen, of Ventura, was first appointed in April, 2012. Mr. Olsen served as Managing Director of Western Grid Group (2003-2013), an organization of former western state energy officials advocating grid modernization, transition to a clean energy economy and creation of an Energy Imbalance Market in the western U.S. He organized and led California’s Renewable Energy Transmission Initiative (2007-2010), and served as coordinator of the Tehachapi Collaborative Study Group (2005-2007, and of the Imperial Valley Study Group (2004-2005). In 2000-01, he led creation of the California Climate Action Registry, the first state registry of greenhouse gases and foundation for The Climate Registry that now includes 31 states. As a business leader, he helped pioneer the clean energy industry in the U.S. and led development of wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power projects in more than 20 countries. Mr. Olsen is an honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (1968) and received a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts (1974).




Michael Picker
President, California Public Utilities Commission

Michael Picker was named President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 23, 2014, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who first appointed President Picker as a Commissioner on January 29, 2014. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014. He was a principal at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications from 2000 to 2009, Deputy Treasurer in the Office of the California State Treasurer from 1998 to 1999, Chief of Staff to Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1992 to 1999, and Deputy Assistant for toxic substance control in the Office of the Governor from 1981 to 1982.

President Picker was a member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors from 2012-2014. President Picker is a former lecturer at UCLA’s Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and instructor at Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policies Institute. He holds an MBA from UC Davis, specializing in marketing, social marketing, and nonprofit management.




Colleen Regan
Head of U.S. Utilities and Market Reform, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Colleen Regan is the Head of U.S. Utilities and Market Reform at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, based in San Francisco. In this role, Colleen directs the team’s analysis of utility strategy, power sector business models, and electricity market design within the U.S. She also oversees BNEF’s research on state and federal climate change efforts, including regional cap and trade schemes.

Prior to joining BNEF, Colleen researched climate-related finance for developing countries at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. She also worked at Credit Suisse AG, where she assisted hedge fund clients with capital raising. Colleen has a BSc in International Political Economy from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and an MA in International Economics and Energy Policy from Johns Hopkins University




Catherine Reheis-Boyd
President, Western States Petroleum Association

Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was with Getty Oil and Texaco working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California.

She currently manages a broad range of Association activities, including legislative and regulatory issues associated with transportation fuels policy, air and water quality, climate change, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues, crude oil and natural gas production and many other issues in WSPA’s five states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad. Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.




Mark Rothleder
Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration

Mark Rothleder is Vice President, Market Quality and Renewable Integration at the ISO. Mr. Rothleder has held several key positions at the ISO after joining as one of its first employees in 1997. He is now the longest serving ISO employee. Before being named vice president, he was Executive Director of Market Analysis and Development. His previous positions included Principal Market Developer and Director of Market Operations.

In spring 2009, Mr. Rothleder led a multifunctional team in designing and implementing market rules and software modifications related to the ISO’s Market Redesign and Technology Upgrade (MRTU). Since joining the ISO nineteen years ago, Mark has worked extensively on implementing and integrating the approved market rules for California’s competitive wholesale energy and reserves markets.




Judith Schwartz
President and Founder, To The Point

​Judith Schwartz is President of To the Point, a human-centered design consultancy identifying and prototyping best practices for consumer engagement with sustainability, Smart Grid, renewables, time-variant pricing, low-income programs, and the digital home. Working at the nexus of public policy, technology, communications, and business; she consults to utilities, national organizations, and research companies and organizes outreach programs, cross-stakeholder workshops, and community summits.

Her publications include reports and meta-analyses for the U.S. Department of Energy, Edison Foundation, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, and most recently studies of community solar for the Low-Income Energy Issues Forum. Schwartz serves as a Commissioner on the Palo Alto Utility Advisory Commission. After management roles at Apple Computer, Schwartz specialized in systems consulting, organizational alignment, and strategic marketing for leading high technology companies. She co-founded a start-up that developed a novel water purification technology. Schwartz is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.




Parin Shah
Senior Strategist, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Parin leads up and advances the Asian Pacific Environmental Network’s (APEN’s) environmental justice policy portfolio. While at APEN Parin has worked to advance equitable energy and climate justice policy – including SB 350, AB 197, SB 32, AB 693 and AB 1288. Prior to APEN, Parin was with Green For All where he worked with cities and counties across the US on environmental equity policies. In 2004, he founded the Urban Accords Institute, which in 2005 co-hosted the UN World Environment Day in San Francisco out of which was developed the Urban Environmental Accords – a road map for creating green cities. From 2000-04 as the President of the Commission on the Environment for the City and County of San Francisco, he co-authored ground-breaking legislation on climate change, environmental justice, wetlands conservation and restoration, zero waste, green buildings as well as food security. Parin has also developed and managed habitat restoration projects, horticultural education and job-training programs for formerly incarcerated youth and adults in San Francisco. He began is community work in Tunisia as a Peace Corps Volunteer.




Kevin Smith
Chief Executive Officer, SolarReserve

​A founding executive, Kevin Smith drives SolarReserve’s continued growth and global expansion through developing, financing, owning and operating large scale solar energy projects which include $1.8 billion of projects currently in operation worldwide. Under Smith’s leadership, SolarReserve has assembled a development portfolio of over 13,000 megawatts in more than 25 countries, and has commercialized its California-developed ThermaVault™ technology, now one of the leading energy storage technologies worldwide.

Smith brings 30 years of energy industry experience to his role as SolarReserve’s CEO. He has held senior executive positions with many successful energy companies aimed at developing solar and wind energy projects as well as natural gas, oil and biomass-fueled electricity facilities. Throughout his career, Smith has actively led the development, financing and construction of privately-owned energy projects in fifteen countries and five continents around the world. Smith is an appointed member of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of U.S. renewable energy.




James (Jim) Sweeney
Director, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University

Jim Sweeney's professional activities focus on economic policy and analysis for energy and the environment, especially energy efficiency. He is senior fellow of the US Association for Energy Economics, California Council on Science & Technology, Hoover Institution, Precourt Institute for Energy, and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Sweeney serves on the external advisory council of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and on California Energy Commission’s Petroleum Market Advisory Committee. 

Sweeney was editor (with Alan Kneese) of the three volume Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, author of The California Electricity Crisis – an analytical history of California’s electricity restructuring and subsequent crisis – and of Energy Efficiency: Building a Clean, Secure Economy. Jim earned an MIT bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Stanford PhD in engineering-economic systems.




Geof Syphers
Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Clean Power

Mr. Geof Syphers is the Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Clean Power, a position he has held since the program’s inception in 2013. Under his leadership, SCP now serves 600,000 people throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties with cleaner power at competitive rates. Prior to his current position, Mr. Syphers worked for 20 years as an energy consultant to utilities, public agencies and private companies. His work has spanned micro grid design, zero-carbon community design and energy efficiency program implementation. He served as the Chief Sustainability Officer for Codding Enterprises and was the founding Director of DNV’s Green Building Group.




Paul Thomsen
Executive Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Ormat Technologies

Paul Thomsen is Executive Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, for Ormat Technologies. Upon assuming this role in May 2017, he has taken the lead on Ormat’s legislative and regulatory programs related to project development in the United States.

Thomsen brings expertise in both the public and private energy sector, previously serving as Commissioner and Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, and Director of Policy and Business Development for Ormat. He also worked for the law firm of Lionel Sawyer and Collins, and United States Senators Harry Reid and Richard Bryan. He has advocated for meaningful energy policy as President of the Board of Directors of the Geothermal Energy Association and Chairman of the United States Clean Heat and Power Association. Thomsen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.




Dr. Ryan Wartena
President and Director of Product, Geli

Ryan Wartena directs Geli’s collection of software products to create the Geli Internet of Energy platform to support all ecosystem partners to provide energy services from networked assets. Prior experience includes computational software development at UCSD and San Diego SuperComputer, UL/ETL validation energy storage products, organizing battery pack manufacturing in US and Japan, development of solid-state Li‐ion microbatteries, patenting novel energy systems, and integrating energy storage systems into grid networks.

Ryan holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from UC San Diego and the Georgia Institute of Technology where he earned his Ph.D. in 2001. His undergraduate and graduate research included computational methods in thermodynamics and analytic electrochemistry of molten salts. As a post-doctoral researcher at the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC, Ryan set up a battery development and testing laboratory and worked on energy harvesting and microbattery technologies. His development of micro- and nano-batteries continued at MIT where he co-led the engineering team that introduced the world’s first self-assembled battery under the Director of Central Intelligence post-doctoral program. After his post-doc at MIT, he relocated to California and began Growing Energy Labs, Inc. (Geli) where he worked with companies including Panasonic and the Anaheim Public Utilities. Ryan Wartena and Co-Founder Crispell Wagner founded Geli to bring Internet technologies and business models into the energy sector.




​Jürgen Weiss
Principal, The Brattle Group, Inc.

Dr. Weiss, an energy economist with 20 years of consulting experience, specializes in issues broadly motivated by climate change, such as the economics of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage, the interaction between electricity, gas and transportation, market and regulatory design for deeply decarbonized economies and electricity markets, carbon market design and the impact of decarbonization on existing assets, market structures, and long-term planning needs for electric utilities in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

Jürgen has advised clients and authored reports on the potential for electrification to lower economy-wide emissions, on the design of incentives for renewable energy, the impact of renewable energy on existing wholesale markets, the optimal choice of alternative approaches to lowering energy consumption and/or GHG emissions, and the implications of a changing energy system on wholesale market design. Jürgen has testified in U.S. state and federal courts, as well as in state regulatory proceedings on related issues. He holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from European Partnership of Business Schools, M.B.A from Columbia University, and Ph.D. in Business Economics and M.A. in Economics from Harvard.




Mark Widmar
Chief Executive Officer First Solar, Inc.

Mark Widmar became Chief Executive Officer of First Solar, Inc. in July, 2016. He joined First Solar in April 2011 as Chief Financial Officer, and oversaw all financial operations, including financial planning and analysis, treasury, internal audit, investor relations, accounting and tax. While in that role, he also served as CFO and as a director on the board of directors of 8point3 Energy Partners, the joint yieldco formed by First Solar and SunPower to own and operate a portfolio of selected solar generation assets.

Prior to joining First Solar, Mr. Widmar was CFO for Graftech International, and President of Graftech's engineering solutions business. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Widmar served as Corporate Controller for NCR Inc. Prior to his promotion to Controller, he was a business unit CFO for NCR, with responsibility for setting the financial vision and strategy for a $2 billion global enterprise.




​Carl Zichella
Director for western transmission for NRDC

Carl Zichella is the director for western transmission for NRDC. He is NRDC’s lead for western U.S. renewable energy transmission siting and serves on a nationwide team working on renewable energy development issues. He works with environmental organizations, renewable energy and transmission industries, local, state and national governments, regulators and the public to find renewable energy transmission solutions that accelerate renewable energy development while respecting wildlife and land conservation efforts.

Mr. Zichella is a director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT), environmental representative for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC) Reliability Assessment Committee, and vice chair of WECC’s Scenario Planning Subcommittee. He served on the Gridwise Architecture Council from 2013-January, 2017. He served as a member of the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market Transitional Committee through the market’s launch in 2015. He was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee in November 2013 by Energy Secretary Moniz. He currently serves as vice chair of the committee.