Live Day MEA


With continuously surging demand for clean energy in the Middle East and African countries, the SSDC Live Day „SOLAR GIANTS IN MEA” shed light on the renewable energy opportunities in the region. Expert speakers representing companies across the whole value chain presented best practice examples, new emerging business models, game-changing technologies (incl. storage) and shared their visions to achieve sustainable growth path for all segments. Special focus was put on lessons learned and optimization potential to overcome current challenges – delegates were able to gain a profound understanding of the different market dynamics and received valuable first-hand information from industry players of all sizes:

  • Factors for sustainable solar market growth: Balancing segments (DG/Utility Scale)
  • Development of an Eco-System of multi-stakeholder groups
  • Learning curves: Game-changing technologies and real-life examples
  • Mega projects: What is a reasonable price for solar? Comparability between segments
  • Emergence of the C&I segment in the GCC – Status-quo and future outlook

Moderated by Daniel Fuchs, Vice President, JF4S/IBESA

8:00 AM (CET) – 8:10 AM (CET)
Welcome Remarks
Daniel Fuchs, Vice President, JF4S/IBESA

8:10 AM (CET) – 8:30 AM (CET)
Emergence of the C&I Segment in the GCC – Status-quo and Future Outlook
Marin De Montbel, Managing Director, Total Solar ME DG

8:30 AM (CET) – 8:50 AM (CET)
Smart Logistics 4.0: Revolutionizing Solar Supply Chain through Digital Transformation
Torsten Nimtz, Regional Director Americas, Hellmann Renewable Logistics

8:50 AM (CET) – 9:10 AM (CET)
Solar Markets and Conditions in MEA – Sharp Energy Solutions Europe – A PV Pioneer for your Business in MEA 
Barbara Rudek, Business Development Manager MEA, SHARP Electronics GmbH

9:10 AM (CET) – 9:30 AM (CET)
PV TRACKER SPECIAL | From Conception to Implementation: Best Practice Guide for Mega Projects in the MENA Region
Hans Jürgen Sauter, CSO, IDEEMATEC Deutschland GmbH

9:30 AM (CET) – 9:40 AM (CET)

9:40 AM (CET) – 10:00 AM (CET)
Maximizing the Green Investment Potential in KSA
Turki Mohammed Alshehri, Chief Executive Officer, ENGIE in Saudi Arabia

10:00 AM (CET) – 10:20 AM (CET)
Solar PV Technology Trends in Module Manufacturing
Jalel Hamila, Vice President Sales MEA, JA Solar

10:20 AM (CET) – 10:40 AM (CET)
Bifacial, Jumbo PV Modules – More Power, New Challenges
Steven Xuereb, Director Sales and Project Delivery, PI Berlin

10:40 AM (CET) – 11:00 AM (CET)
Overcoming Challenges of Large Scale Solar Power Plant with Solarify
Refik Günaydın, Sales Marketing Engineer, Loggma

11:00 AM (CET) – 11:10 AM (CET)

11:10 AM (CET) – 11:30 AM (CET)
Driving Sustainable Impact in Africa through Renewable Energy
Jesse Gerstin, Director of Sustainable Business Development, SimpliPhi Power

11:30 AM (CET) – 11:50 AM (CET)
Energy Storage Systems to empower the energy transition in MEA
Simay Akar, Chief Commercial Officer & Co-founder, Innoses

11:50 AM (CET) – 12:10 PM (CET)
Solar, Batteries and Beyond
Georg Hotar, CEO, Photon Energy Group

12:10 PM (CET) – 12:30 PM (CET)
The Future of Renewables in the GCC
Khaled Sharbatly, Managing Director, Desert Technologies

12:30 PM (CET) – 12:50 PM (CET)
Green Hydrogen as a Booster of the Energy Transition in MEA 
Cornelius Matthes, Senior Vice President, Dii Desert Energy

12:50 PM (CET) – 1:30 PM (CET)

PANEL DISCUSSION: The GCC’s Drive Towards a Diversified Energy Mix
Moderated by Karin Zangerl, Head of Abu Dhabi Office, German Emirati Joint Council for Industry & Commerce (AHK UAE)


Dr.-Ing. Hasan AlBusairi, Senior Technical Advisor, Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) Germany

Dr. Sausan Al Riyami, Renewable Energy Researcher, Research Council in Oman

Quentin Blommaert, Manager Industries, GTAI (Germany Trade & Invest)

Rene Matthies, CFO at the Emirates Water & Electricity Company (EWEC)

Total Solar ME DG

Marin De Montbel, Managing Director

Marin De Montbel

With over 15 years of experience within Total across multiple branches worldwide, Marin de Montbel has proven that he has the skills to be a trusted leader. Since 2018, Marin has had the chance to guide a team for Total Solar Distributed Generation Middle East as a Managing director, developing multiple solar PV projects for local and multi-national businesses in the GCC region.

ENGIE in Saudi Arabia

Turki Mohammed Alshehri, Chief Executive Officer,

Turki Mohammed Alshehri

Turki Al Shehri is the Chief Executive Officer for ENGIE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al Shehri is responsible for ENGIE’s vast business that covers renewables, conventional power, green hydrogen, gas storage, smart city applications, and downstream LNG. Currently ENGIE in Saudi Arabia has over $5 billion in investments and nearly 2,000 employees.


Hans Jürgen Sauter, CSO

Hans Jürgen Sauter

After holding various Senior Mgm positions for BASF and ABB, Hans-Jürgen is now 10 years active in the Solar business, as CEO at Krinner and now CSO for IDEEMATEC. Already in 2012, he built the first and largest PV plant in Mauretania for Masdar finalized in 2018 by the world’s largest PV plant in East-West structure of app 1,2 GW in Sweihan, AbuDhabi.

Photon Energy Group

Georg Hotar, CEO

Georg Hotar

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Photon Energy, an integrated downstream solar energy company with offices in Amsterdam, Sydney, Zurich, Berlin, Milano, Prague and Bratislava covering the entire life cycle and value chain of PV power plants from project development and turnkey EPC to operations & maintenance services and IPP.


Karin Zangerl, Head of Abu Dhabi Office

Karin Zangerl

Karin Zangerl, Head of the Abu Dhabi Office of the German- Emirati Joint Council (AHK), supports German companies, mainly SME companies, in entering the UAE market since 2012 and is the local project partner responsible for the execution of the Emirati-German Energy Partnership.

GTAI (Germany Trade & Invest)

Quentin Blommaert, Manager Industries

Quentin Blommaert


Simay Akar, Chief Commercial Officer & Co-founder

Simay Akar

PI Berlin

Steven Xuereb, Director Sales and Project Delivery

Steven Xuereb

Steven Xuereb is a renewable energy professional who has twenty years of experience both in the wind and solar industries. Currently he is a member of the executive management team, leading the sales and project delivery departments at PI Berlin, focusing on delivering independent engineering services for large scale solar plants.

SHARP Electronics GmbH

Barbara Rudek, Business Development Manager MEA

Barbara Rudek

Barbara is an economist and focused on renewable energies since her studies. She works in the solar industry for more than 30 years and spent also some years in China, South America and Africa. She worked as PR manager, lobbyist and business developer. Today she is Business Development Manager responsible for Middle East and Africa for Sharp Energy Solutions Europe.

Desert Technologies

Khaled Sharbatly, Managing Director

Khaled Sharbatly

Khaled is an elevating international entrepreneur, investor, and influencer of sustainability. He joined dt in early 2018 as a Managing Partner, and led business development and capital markets, assisting in increasing the company value by securing multiple investments, partnerships, and projects across 24 countries.

Hellmann Renewable Logistics

Torsten Nimtz, Regional Director Americas

Torsten Nimtz

Torsten is been part of the Hellmann Renewable Logistics team for over 10 years. He started as a Project Manager working on Solar Projects all over Europe. In 2014 when the US marked stared to grow significantly Torsten moved to the USA and took on his current role as Regional Director for the Renewable Energy Logistics division of Hellmann.

JA Solar

Jalel Hamila, Vice President Sales MEA

Jalel Hamila

Jalel Joined JA Solar in 2012 and has been responsible for Sales & Business Development in West Asia – Middle East and Africa regions. Prior to JA Solar, and from 2009 to 2011, he was VP Sales EMEA with Lumeta™ Solar, a leading developer of innovative Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solutions.


Dr. Hasan AlBusairi, Senior Technical Advisor

Dr. Hasan AlBusairi, Senior Technical Advisor

With more than 35 years of experience in the field of Photovoltaic since early 80’s, and scientific publications since 1984, Dr. Hasan AlBusairi earned the distinction as one of the photovoltaic pioneers in the Middle East.

Simpliphi Power

Jesse Gertin, Director of Sustainable Develoment

Jesse Gerstin

Prior to joining SimpliPhi Power Jesse headed the Clinton Climate Initiative, leading efforts to accelerate utility-scale renewable energy in island nations and increase sustainable economic growth for Native American nations. Previously, he worked for an impact investor in Indonesia. Jesse has a B.A. in International Development and an MBA in Sustainability.

Dii Desert Energy

Cornelius Matthes, Senior Vice President

Cornelius Matthes

Cornelius is a well-respected leader and investor in the renewable energy industry and built several successful clean energy businesses and start-ups within Middle East and Africa. He has extensive board level experience from 10 years in Deutsche Bank (among others, youngest board member in Deutsche Bank Italy Group) and several renewable energy associations.


Daniel Fuchs, Vice President

Daniel Fuchs

Daniel is a universalist in the energy industry and a born networker. For the agency Daniel is the expert for business development and finances. His talent for facts and figures makes him an unswerving advisor in the team for the intelligent handling of budgets.


Refik Günaydın, Sales Marketing Engineer

Refik Günaydın

Refik Günaydın, a global mind set seniour level engineer with compelling analytical know-how that has undertaken various roles in brand&product development, sales &marketing. Highly successful at problem solving and possionate about sailing. He is currently responsible for Sales&Marketing of Loggma.

Research Council in Oman

Dr. Sausan Al Riyami, Renewable Energy Researcher

Dr. Sausan Al Riyami, Renewable Energy Researcher

Sausan Al-Riyami has completed her degree in Physics with minor in Geology in 2007 from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), in Oman. She has a Master’s degree of Science & Engineering with honor (IGSES Awards) and her Doctorate of Science in Applied Science for Electronics & Materials in 2013 from Kyushu University, Japan.


The energy partnership between the UAE and Germany was established in January 2017 between the BMWi and the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the UAE (MoEI). The purpose of the energy partnership is the exchange between senior Government officials and experts from the private and public sector from both countries.

We interviewed AHK UAE about the benefit of the partnership for both countries considering their different appraoches and energy sources and also spoke about the impact of recent pirce developments.

It is safe to say that the UAE has been the pioneer in the Middle East when it comes to transitioning to renewables energies. Solar PV is by far the leading technology with energy storage, energy efficiency and others only recently moving into the focus of planners as an integral part of sustainable energy systems. Still, the UAE is only at the beginning of making ambitious visons a reality.

Read this article by Cornelius Matthes, Senior Vice President at Dii Desert Energy MENA.