California, USA — Great industry achievements happen when dynamic visionaries step up and spearhead efforts to bring about the changes they envision. Whether it is pioneering the development of solar power training networks, creating a financial vehicle that will vastly speed up the adoption of solar energy, or working tirelessly to integrate renewable energy onto the grid, these leaders know that it takes years of hard work to move an industry forward.
Editors from the Renewable Energy World network, which includes five print magazines and four websites, selected these leadership winners from among five finalists in each the categories of technology, finance and policy. “We interview change-agents like these people each and every day in our work covering the renewable energy industry. It’s an honor to finally be able to give them the positive recognition that they deserve for the work that they do,” said one network editor.
The award winners were announced and recognized on Tuesday night at the Renewable Energy World North America Conference and Expo, in Long Beach, California. Video interviews will be conducted with many of the winners during the show and will be posted on RenewableEnergyWorld.com in the coming weeks.
Leadership in Policy
For almost 30 years, Jane Weissman has been instrumental in meeting the needs of alternative energy industries. As the Executive Director of IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Weissman has cemented herself as a thought leader in renewable energy policy.
You have likely read or participated in one of the many missions Weissman has created or been an integral part of: Have you received an IREC newsletter? Interested in becoming a certified solar installer? Weissman’s role in building the foundation for sustainable renewables policy in the U.S. cannot be overstated.
A pillar in the industry since 1985 when she directed the Massachusetts Photovoltaic Center, her work with the national solar industry and utilities led to the creation of the PV-COMPACT and the PV for Utilities State Groups (UPVG). As executive director of IREC since 1996, she oversees the operation of IREC’s current activities, including the highly regarded Connecting to the Grid, DSIRE, Small Wind Energy, Workforce Development, and Training Accreditation programs for clean energy.
Among her many titles, Weissman is a Fellow for American Solar Energy Society (ASES), Vice Chair of North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and the chairperson for the Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference — a position she has held since 2006.
Due to her vast experience and insight in the industry, Weissman has been invited by the U.S. Congress to provide expert insight on workforce development and training issues before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. And in 1998, ASES awarded Weissman with the Rebecca Vorhies award, and in 2010 with its prestigious Charles Greely Abbott Award, given to those who have made a significant contribution to the field of solar energy.
Leadership in Finance
Martin Klepper has emerged as a preeminent force in renewable energy, having played a key role in the financing of several major solar installations in the past year alone. You may have read the headlines about significant financial achievements in the solar industry, including the 2012 Innovation in Finance winner Project Amp. More likely than not, Martin Klepper played an integral part in these deals.
As a project finance lawyer, Klepper led landmark solar merger and acquisition and financing deals that totaled over $7 billion. These groundbreaking projects include: Desert Sunlight PV project (the largest solar PV project in the world), where he represented First Solar; the Antelope Valley Solar Ranch One PV project; Agua Calient, the largest solar power financing project in the world; Crescent Dunes Solar Project where he represented SolarReserve; and Project Amp (the world’s largest distributed rooftop solar generation project) where he represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Not only is he orchestrating major developments in renewable energy today, he was also a pioneer in bringing renewables and energy efficiency to the forefront. From 1981-1983, he consulted the U.S. Department of Energy, where he led a team that researched and wrote the multi-volume report “Innovative Financing For Energy Efficiency Improvements.” He has also advised various state and federal government entities on energy financing matters and helped them develop and implement programs that would lead to increased investment in energy conservation and renewable energy.
Due to his vast experience in solar financing, Klepper is an advisor to the SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) Working Group on Financing Utility-Scale Solar Projects, and a member of the Executive Committee of USPREF (the U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance).
Leadersip in Technology
Lawrence E. Jones, PhD
Transmission is always a hot topic in the renewables industry. What is the best way to integrate renewables into the grid? Will it be able to withstand intermittent power? How can we make renewable power transmission more consistent? What is the best method for creating a smart grid?
Dr. Lawrence E. Jones has made an impressive career answering these questions. He is recognized on an international level as an authority on integrating renewable energy into the grid, and co-founded the Stockholm, Sweden-based International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power and Transmission Networks for Offshore Wind Farms.
He served recently as Principal Investigator on a U.S. Department of Energy survey of global best practices in renewable integration. The first to assemble insights from such a large global sampling of grid operators, the report accounts for more than 72 percent of wind generation installed worldwide. Due to this work, operators will finally have an opportunity to learn how peers have navigated the challenges of maintaining reliability with increasing levels of intermittent generation.
His work allows for more accurate forecasting technology, advanced decision-making tools in control room operations, the creation of policies that support wind infrastructure, flexible energy supply management, and innovations in workforce management.
Because of his efforts, he was appointed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Smart Grid Advisory Committee.