The American Solar Energy Society has named a distinguished 14-member advisory committee to guide programming at the 42nd annual National Solar Conference in Baltimore. Advisory board members represent all aspects of renewable energy research, policy, financing, manufacturing and deployment.
Conference Chair: Dr. Eric D. Wachsman
Dr. Eric D Wachsman, Director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, is the William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research with appointments in both the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Stanford University, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society and The American Ceramic Society. In addition, he is Editor-in-Chief of Ionics, Editor of Energy Systems, formerly an Associate Editor of Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Chair of the New Technology Subcommittee and the National Capitol Section of The Electrochemical Society, former Councilor of the Florida Section of the American Ceramic Society, and a member of the American Chemical Society, the International Society for Solid State Ionics, and the Materials Research Society. He has more than 200 publications and 8 patents on energy related technologies. Dr. Wachsman is a frequent invited panelist on fuel cell and hydrogen energy research, ranging from the US Department of Energy “Fuel Cell Report to Congress” and “Basic Research Needs Related to High Temperature Electrochemical Devices for Hydrogen Production, Storage and Use,” to the National Science Foundation “Workshop on Fundamental Research Needs in Ceramics,” NATO “Mixed Ionic-Electronic Conducting (MIEC) Perovskites for Advanced Energy Systems,” and the National Academies “Global Dialogues on Emerging Science and Technologies.” He also serves on numerous boards and was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Directors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center.
Board Chair: David G. Hill
David Hill is a Managing Consultant for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). He has more than 18 years of experience as a policy and program design advisor for renewable energy (RE) and energy-efficiency (EE) initiatives at the national and state level. David is responsible for senior-level management and leadership of projects involving the design, delivery and evaluation of EE and RE measures, programs and policies. He frequently leads major consulting assignments, and has played a pivotal role in coordination and negotiations to help multiple parties work collaboratively on efficiency and renewable initiatives. David has been an active ASES member and annual conference participant since 1998, and has been a member of the ASES Board since 2008. He resides in Charlotte, Vt.
Raghu Belur is the Co-Founder, Vice President of Products and Strategic Initiatives at Enphase energy. Raghu Belur has more than 16 years of experience in the clean energy and high technology industries. Prior to Enphase, he developed high-speed optical communication technology for Cerent, which was later acquired by Cisco Systems for $7 billion. Before Cerent, Raghu was an engineer at the Indian Institute of Science, where he played a key role in the development of an alternative energy gasification system. He co-founded Enphase Energy with Martin Fornage in 2006 and continues to lead the development of solar industry-leading microinverter hardware and software technology. Raghu holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkeley.
Dana Christensen is the Deputy Lab Director of Science and Technology at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He previously served as Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Engineering Services at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, and as Principal Associate Laboratory Director for Threat Reduction at Los Alamos National Laboratories. He has 29 years of management experience in materials science, fossil and renewable energy, and scientific research in support of the U.S. DOE and other government agencies. Dr. Christensen attended New Mexico State University, graduating with baccalaureate and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering. He also holds a master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Mexico. He is the author of numerous publications on the science and technology of plutonium chemical processing.
Tony Clifford is the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Solar, Inc. Since 2007 Mr. Clifford has led Standard Solar’s rapid growth into a nationally known PV developer/ EPC. Mr. Clifford began his career at Solarex Corporation, later acquired by British Petroleum and known as BP Solar. Throughout his career, Mr. Clifford has served as chief executive officer or chief financial officer of three high growth technology companies that were acquired by major corporations. He is an elected board member of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), serves on SEIA’s Executive Committee and is also the president of the regional chapter of SEIA, MDV-SEIA. Mr. Clifford is the author of a DOE report entitled Tax-Advantaged Investments in Renewable Energy Projects; and received a “Special Achievement Award for Technology Demonstration” from the U. S. Secretary of Energy. He was awarded the 2011 Industry Leader Award by the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC), for his contributions to the advancement of solar and other clean energy resources in the state. Mr. Clifford earned his MBA at University of Virginia’s Darden School and his undergraduate degree at Penn State.
Michael T. Eckhart serves as Managing Director of Institutional Clients Group at Citigroup. Mr. Eckhart served as the President of Solar International Management, Inc. He works with Citi’s corporate, investment, public and private sector clients to better understand their challenges and objectives related to environmental matters and to take advantage of market opportunities.He was the Founding President and a Director of the American Council On Renewable Energy. Mr. Eckhart was the Co-Head of the North American Secretariat of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership. He has over 25 years experience in renewable energy, power generation and finance. From 1989 to 1996, Mr. Eckhart served as the President of United Power Systems. He is also a Member of the Steering Committee of the REN 21 global policy network. Mr. Eckhart serves as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Solar Energy Society, and the International Solar Energy Society. He serves as a Director of SIM’s SolarBank Program. Mr. Eckhart also serves as a Director of Advanced Energy Systems Ltd. and Co-Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. He is a Member of Advisory Board of Hudson Clean Energy Partners, since April 23, 2009. Mr. Eckhart holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Chuck Kutscher is a Principal Engineer/Group Manager of the Thermal Systems Group at NREL. His projects have included the design and construction of a solar cooling test laboratory; production of NREL’s solar industrial process heat design handbook; modeling of advanced power cycles and cooling systems for geothermal power plants; and development of transpired solar air collectors, which won an R&D 100 Award and a Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award. He currently leads NREL’s parabolic trough R&D activities. He served as Chair of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) during 2000–2001 and was General Chair of the SOLAR 2006 National Solar Conference and Program Chair of the 2012 World Renewable Energy Forum. He is editor of the 200-page ASES report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S., and writes a monthly column on climate change for SOLAR TODAY magazine. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he recently developed and taught a course entitled Climate Change Solutions. He received the 2006 Charles Greeley Abbot Award, the highest honor given by ASES, for “outstanding contributions in the research and development of solar thermal technologies.” He recently received the 2008 Colorado Governor’s Excellence in Renewable Energy Individual Award. He has published more than 70 papers and chapters in several books and has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Solar Energy.
Jennifer Marrapese serves as Executive Director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), where she practices a philosophy of openness and collaboration to grow a large network of practitioners involved in sustainable energy in the Northeastern U.S. Prior to joining NESEA, Jennifer served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Cox Communications, and as Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island. Jennifer is known for her strategic sense and for her ability to forge strong partnerships among staff teams and collaborators alike. She earned her BA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and her MA in Organizational Management and Development from Fielding University. She lives in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, where she and her family just completed a deep energy retrofit of their 1977 ranch house.
Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn, USN (retired) is the president of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), a 501(c)(3) membership non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. Admiral McGinn is a naval aviator, test pilot and national security strategist. He has served as Director of the Air Warfare Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; the Commander of the U.S. Third Fleet; and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Warfare Requirements and Programs in the Pentagon. Admiral McGinn brings to ACORE his significant national experience in efforts to highlight the close link between energy, climate and national security. He is a strong advocate for innovative government policy, public and private partnerships, and investments that will promote clean energy growth and innovation.
Michael H. Nicklas
Michael Nicklas has been the President of Innovative Design since 1977. Innovative Design is responsible for over 4,750 energy‐efficient, environmentally sound solar buildings, saving our owners the equivalent of 124 megawatts of peak electricity, total energy savings in excess of $130 million and total rainwater harvesting savings of 260 million gallons. He served on the board of directors of the NC Solar Energy Association, American Solar Energy Society or the International Solar Energy Society every year from 1979 to 2005. While Chair of NCSEA, twice Chair of ASES and President of ISES, he led many of these societies’ most significant efforts – from solar tax credits in the NC Legislature to having language supportive of energy‐efficiency and solar energy included within the United Nations Earth Summit’s Agenda 21. To promote solar energy, Nicklas has met with the Heads‐of‐State of eight countries. He has presented or organized over 350 lectures and conferences attended by 75,000 people around the globe to educate and encourage sustainable energy.
Delette Olberg is U.S. Director of Public Affairs for Trina Solar where she is responsible for the company’s public affairs, government relations and CSR activities. Prior to joining Trina Solar, Olberg worked as Director of Public Affairs for Edison International. She has over 20 years experience working in and around the California State Legislature where she served as special advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and senior advisor to two Assembly Republican Leaders. Olberg also has served as chief of staff to two members of the California legislature, director of law and government affairs for AT&T and director of energy and technology for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA). Olberg earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento.
Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by solving the challenging issues of our time. Shah has recognized this as “The Impact Economy,” also the subject of his upcoming book. Shah has noted that a global “Impact Economy” is one in which mainstream investors team up with corporations, entrepreneurs, and governments at scale to solve the big environmental and social problems of our time while generating compelling financial returns – not just average returns. Today, he is a partner at Inerjys, a $1 billion fund that invests in clean energy via growth capital and project finance, CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting, and a board member of the Carbon War Room. He works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement solutions for global warming and sustainability that will unlock that next trillion dollar impact economy.
Fred Zalcman is SunEdison’s Managing Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Eastern United States. His work focuses primarily on creating robust, self-sustaining state-based markets for solar energy. Zalcman has over 20 years of experience in the energy field as an attorney and policy analyst. His career has centered on promoting market structures and regulatory policies that are supportive of energy efficiency, renewable resources and clean distributed generation. Prior to joining SunEdison, Zalcman was the Executive Director of the Pace Law School Energy and Climate Center, one of the nation’s preeminent sustainable energy research, education and advocacy groups. He has served on a number of gubernatorial, legislative and agency advisory boards providing guidance and counsel on clean energy policy and program development. He has also taught energy and natural resources law, and has written and lectured extensively on energy and environmental matters. The Association of Energy Engineers named him the Northeast Region’s Renewable Energy Innovator of 2009. Zalcman received a B.A in History from Washington University in St. Louis, and a joint degree in Law and Public Administration from Indiana University.
Leading for more than 50 years: Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals & advocates. Our mission is to inspire an era of energy innovation and speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy. We advance education, research and policy.ASES leads national efforts to increase the use of solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies in the U.S. We publish the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference and lead the ASES National Solar Tour — the largest grassroots solar event in the world. ASES is the U.S. section of the International Solar Energy Society.
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