Speakers

Other speakers are in the process of being confirmed.

Welcome speech

SCHÄFER Klaus

Klaus Schäfer

President of Eurogas/CEO of Uniper

Klaus Schäfer has been Chief Executive Officer of Uniper since January 2016 ahead of the planned spin-off from the E.ON Group. Uniper is a major international energy company and operates in Europe, Russia, and a number of other markets around the world in power generation, gas up- and midstream, global commodities and engineering. With 20 years of experience in the energy sector, Klaus has held a number of top management positions in the E.ON Group before the split. He was Member of the Board of E.ON, CEO of E.ON Global Commodities and E.ON Ruhrgas, and he held senior executive positions in E.ON Italia, E.ON Sales & Trading and Thüga. Klaus obtained his master degree in management from the ESCP Europe School of Management in Paris, Oxford and Berlin.

A new paradigm for energy

Speaker

Stephan Singer

Senior Advisor Global Energy Policies - Climate Action Network International

Dr Singer leads activities on the scientific work for policies to foster the 1.5 C objective and support the renewable energy expansion.

Prior to joining CAN, Dr Singer has been driving the global move to 100% renewables in WWF. He is a strong supporter of full transition to renewable energy in all countries, coupled with significant public and private financial shifts away from fossil fuels and nuclear, towards a much more equitable world.

Additionally, Dr Singer is a regular and invited peer-reviewer of the annual IEA World Energy Outlook.

Dr Stephan Singer has spent the last 23 years with WWF Germany, WWF Europe and WWF International. His last role, starting in 2009, was ‘Director Global Energy Policy’. Before joining WWF he was a strong anti-nuclear activist in Germany, a journalist, and he also worked for four years for GIZ in India and Kenya on poverty alleviation with subsistence farming in semi-arid tropics.

Dr Singer has a PhD in soil physics on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in poverished Indian soils.

 

Panel 1: What is renewable gas? Why renewable gas?

Jan Štambaský

President – European Biogas Association (EBA)

Dr. Štambaský received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Glasgow in 2008. He then created his own company, NovaEnergo Ltd, focusing on advanced biochemical approaches to enhance the overall efficiency of the biogas and biomethane production processes. Jan Štambaský is a member of the Czech Biogas Association and was appointed a member of the executive board of the European Biogas Association in 2009. He became a President of EBA in 2014.

Andreas Frömmel

Vice President Sales & Marketing - Sunfire

With more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, Mr Frömmel’s role as Vice President of Sales & Marketing focuses on the global coordination of sales processes such as business development, marketing, sales and customer relationship management. His background is in engineering and he also has a degree in business administration and economics.

Sunfire’s key technology focuses on converting chemical energy from a gaseous fuel into electricity and heat.

José Cotta

Head of Unit Advanced Energy Production – European Commission, DG Research and Innovation

José Cotta graduated in Mathematics from the University of Lisbon, Portugal in 1978 and has a PhD in Logic Programming. He was researcher in the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering in Lisbon and joined the European Commission in 1986 where he has held various management positions. He is currently the Head of Unit for Advanced Energy Production within the Directorate-General Research and Innovation of the European Commission.

Axel Wietfeld

Managing Director – Uniper Energy Storage

Dr Axel Wietfeld joined Uniper, previously E.ON, in 2002. He held a number of senior project manager and executive positions in its gas supply and renewables business in Germany and further afield.

As Vice President LNG Regasification from 2006 to 2008, he played a leading role in establishing E.ON’s regasification portfolio in Europe. Having done a stint in the Middle East, in 2011-2013 he served as Member of the Board and CEO of E.ON Storage Hungary and oversaw the gas storage business. After that, he was CEO of E.ON Southern Africa, in charge of utility-scale wind and solar projects.

Dr Wietfeld holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Management and a PhD in Economics.

Dries Acke

Head of Energy Union Programme - European Climate Foundation

Discussant

Dries works as Head of the Energy Union Programme at the European Climate Foundation in Brussels. Dries carried forward the ECF’s flagship Roadmap 2050 project and now heads ECF’s activities on EU energy policy and the Energy Union. Previously, Dries worked at Apple, Inc. where he worked for five years in the EMEA Public Affairs department. He holds an M.A. in Contemporary History from the Catholic University of Brussels and Leuven, Belgium, and was awarded a post-graduate degree in International Relations from the Karl-Rüprecht University in Heidelberg, Germany. As a Belgian and native Dutch speaker, Dries also masters English and French and has a good level of German and Italian.

Panel 2: The economics of renewable gas

Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Director – European Commission Directorate General for Energy, in charge of renewables, research and innovation, energy efficiency

As the European Commission Director, Ms Wörsdörfer is currently in charge of renewables, research and innovation, energy efficiency. Between 2014 and 2017, she was a DG Energy Director responsible for energy policy, international relations, legal aspects and economic analysis. She managed the development of the Energy Union Framework Strategy, the Governance and external aspects. Prior to that Ms Wörsdörfer worked as head of the policy unit in DG Energy, in particular on the 2030 Energy and Climate Framework.

Before, she pursued a long career at DG Enterprise & Industry in the area of competitiveness and SME policies. Between 1999 and 2004 she worked in the Cabinet of Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise Policy and Information Society. Ms Wörsdörfer studied Economics at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Montpellier and completed her studies with a Master in European Economics at the Free University of Brussels.

Steinar Eikaas

Steinar Eikaas

Vice President Low Carbon Solutions – Statoil

Steinar Eikaas has been heading up the Low Carbon Solution unit in Statoil since spring 2017. His responsibilities include strategy and business development within the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, as well as hydrogen solutions based on natural gas reforming with CCS. These activities are key for Statoil to deliver on its vision of ‘Shaping the future of Energy’.

Steinar has 25 years of experience in oil and gas industry. He has been working for Statoil his entire career, leading on several major international O&G acquisitions. His educational background is a Master of Science in Finance.

François-Xavier Létang

Managing Director & Founding Partner – Létang Biogaz

François-Xavier Létang is the Founding Partner and Managing Director of Létang Biogaz. He is in charge of leading the expansion of the company in the field of renewable energy. Mr Létang studied finance at ICS Bégué Paris and agriculture at Sainte Maure School of Agriculture. He owns and operates farms in the greater Paris area and in the north of France.

Létang Biogaz produces biogas using intermediate, cereal and vegetable crops. Biogas is then injected into the French gas distribution network. The company currently operates three biogas and three photovoltaic sites in the greater Paris area and in the north of France.

Tobias Block

Expert – Sustainable Product Development Department – Audi

Tobias Block is responsible for integrating Audi e-gas methanation plant into the energy grid, creating a pathway for the further development of the power-to-gas technology. This includes schedule management as well as the economical optimization of the first industrial power-to-gas plant.

Mr Block is the right hand in Audi’s department dealing with “sustainable product development”. He is also involved in developing new A4/A5 g-tron model and the new Audi e-gas balancing concept.

In addition, he is writing his PhD at the University of St. Gallen on “Business models of the power-to-gas technology”.

Marcel Keiffenheim

Head of communications and politics – Greenpeace Energy

Discussant

 

Mr Keiffenheim worked as a journalist for 20 years, including for the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Greenpeace magazine. He joined Greenpeace Energy as press officer in 2007. Mr Keiffenheim has background in political science and international law.

Keynote speech

Patrick Child

Deputy Director-General – European Commission, DG Research and Innovation

Mr Child’s specific responsibility at DG RTD is for research and innovation into clean energy technologies. With a background in the UK Finance Ministry, he joined the European Commission in 1994, where he started in the Economic and Monetary affairs Directorate General before becoming Commission press spokesman for economic and monetary union from 1995-2004. In his career, he held various positions such as director in the External Relations Directorate General in the European Commission responsible for the management of the network of Commission delegations, head of cabinet for External Relations Commissioners Chris Patten and Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
Mr Child studied mathematics at Cambridge University.

Moderator

Sasha Twining

Sasha Twining

BBC Presenter & Journalist

Sasha is a well respected television and radio presenter. She’s worked in international news for many years. She was an anchor on Sky News in the UK and lead presenter for the world-wide news channel, Russia Today. Sasha has also worked as a correspondent for both local ITV in the UK, and Network Nine in Australia. As a debate moderator and conference host she works in many areas including energy, telecommunications, transport, retail and manufacturing. She currently presents for BBC radio.