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26 - 29 November 2018
11:00 - 19:00 DAILY


The 3rd edition of Global Solar Leaders' Summit (GSLS) will be held on the 27 November 2017 alongside The Big 5 Solar at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This year, the conference will be highlighting the global vision on renewable energy. Once again, GSLS will offer lively debates, clear business-relevant focus groups and very high degree of interaction.

The summit is designed to ensure ample opportunities for one-on-one meetings and networking, alongside thought-provoking discussions to explore and nurture the new partnerships between business in the MENA region.

10:00 - 10:40
Registration and Refreshments
10:35 - 10:40
Opening Remarks by Organiser
10:40 - 10:45
Chairman's Opening Remarks by Rania Ali, MC, Public Speaker, TV and Events Presenter - Middle East Region

Chairman’s Opening Remarks:

Rania Ali,

MC, Public Speaker, TV and Events Presenter - Middle East Region.  

10:45 - 10:55
Opening Keynote: Ministry of Energy, United Arab Emirates

Opening Keynote:

His Excellency Dr. Matar Al Neyadi,


Ministry of Energy, UAE

10:55 - 11:05
Award Ceremony
11:05 - 11:15
Keynote - SEWA

SEWA Keynote:

His Excellency Dr. Rashid Alleem,



11:15 - 11:25
Keynote - Minsitry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (Egypt)

His Excellency Dr. Khaled M. Eldestawy, First undersecretary for Minister’s Office Affairs Sector, Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy(Egypt)


His Excellency Dr. Khaled M. Eldestawy,

First undersecretary for Minister's Office Affairs Sector, Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (Egypt)

11:25 - 11:30
Keynote - Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality Keynote for Engineer Hessa Humaid Alshamsi, Head of the Applied Sustainability and Renewable Energy Section, Dubai Municipality

Engineer Hessa Humaid Alshamsi,

Head of the Applied Sustainability and Renewable Energy Section,

Dubai Municipality


11:30 - 12:10
Policy and Regulation Panel: Recent Trends in Renewable Energy Policies and Emphasizing the Role of Auctions in Electricity Markets

It is no secret that Global Solar Demand is on the rise, and MENAT is ready to keep up with the pace.

The contract for DEWA’s phase III awarded by DEWA to Masdar was the world’s lowest unsubsidized solar power price in the first half of 2016 at 2.99 US$ cents per kWh. It was not a one-off occurrence. By September 2016, we witnessed another world record low tariff in Abu Dhabi with a new record-low levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for large scale solar power at 2.42 US$ cents per kWh. These world record low tariffs have provided solar with an important jump-start of more large scale solar projects in the Middle East (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan) and will drive even more large-scale project announcements and executions in other countries (e.g. Oman and Tunisia). These low prices have caused a stir in the market and changed the perception of policymakers and industry leaders alike. This session will bring together policymakers, key stakeholders and leading solar industry experts in active dialogue to share experiences and best practice with the aim of driving renewable energy growth and development in MENA.

  • What more can regional governments do to diverse their energy mix and create a regulatory framework that incentivizes and enables renewable energy development?
  • Which are some of the most progressive policies and regulations on a national and international level to drive solar market transformation?
  • Turning point: What are the after effects of the competitive auctions in the Middle East?
  • How can MENA region join forces and embrace a collaborative approach to attract inward investments in solar projects?
  • Feed-in-tariffs versus competitive bidding? Weighing the pros and cons




Tim Armsby,

Partner, Head of Energy and Infrastructure - Middle East,




Ahmed S. Nada,

President, MESIA and

Vice President & Region Executive, First Solar Middle East

Ali Mohammed Al Jassim,


Etihad ESCO

His Excellency Dr. Khaled M. Eldestawy,

First undersecretary for Minister's Office Affairs Sector,

Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (Egypt)

His Excellency Dr. Nasser Saidi,


Clean Energy Business Council

Sami Khoreibi,

Founder and Chief Executive Officer,

Enviromena Power Systems

12:10 - 12:40
Networking and Coffee Break
12:40 - 13:20
The Next Big Thing Panel: How the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Top Trending in Solar Energy?

Saudi government has been talking a big game on renewable energy for several years now, and it looks like what was once known as the sleeping giant has risen with greater momentum and the government is taking progressive steps and solid actions to pioneer this market. It is said that the Kingdom will spend $50 billion on massive solar push and the move is intended to source at least 10 GW of electricity from Solar. Further, the Ministry of Energy has announced a target of 9.5 GW of renewables in the Kingdom by 2023. This session will bring together key players with a focus on harnessing the Saudi Arabian ‘solar powerhouse’ opportunity:

  • Developer: What are the key challenges for developing solar PV projects in Saudi Arabia? How do they plan to integrate local content to generate employment opportunities? What are the likely pricing trends to be observed?
  • Government: What are the progressive steps taken by the Saudi government to accelerate and develop the solar energy road map? How is the Kingdom’s vision 2030, through its diverse initiatives and programs, is seeking to ease the business and the country’s investment climate?
  • Investor/ Finance: What are the evolving renewable energy investment strategies in Saudi Arabia? What finance structure need to be in place to facilitate capital for the 700 MW of renewable energy?    
  • Legal:  What are the relevant policies and initiatives related to the renewable energy program? How to better understand the legal framework of clean energy in the Kingdom?
  • Consultant: What are the key challenges and opportunities facing the KSA solar industry in the immediate, medium and long-term?



Tim Armsby,

Partner, Head of Energy and Infrastructure - Middle East,





Dr. Martin Stickel,

Executive Director Photovoltaics,

Fichtner Consulting Engineers

Mona Hammadi,

Legal Consultant,

DLA Piper;

Vikas Bansal,

Head - International Business Development, Solar Vertical,

Sterling and Wilson Pvt Ltd

13:20 - 14:00
Top Technology Panel: Innovations, Advancements and Recent Breakthroughs in the World of Solar Technology

It is vital to be updated with the latest technological advancements and breakthroughs in Solar even more so, owing to this ever-changing and rapidly growing industry. We are progressing at an even more rapid pace toward a community where Solar Energy becomes more and more affordable, integrated and a default power source in the coming year. Are we on track to achieving this anytime soon?  Can solar indeed become an affordable alternative to fossil fuels? This panel will open up a new platform on – the latest, the most useful, the most innovative and necessary solar technologies that you need to use in your project. This discussion is bringing together the biggest or the most distinct players who are writing a new era in the solar industry by unravelling some of the most cutting edge technologies.

  • Integrating PV into building architecture: BIPV. Where can BIPV be installed? What is the technology involved? What is the outlook for the BIPV market?
  • How close are we to realizing economically viable battery storage and electric vehicles? When can we see the advent of self-driving cars?
  • What are the latest advancement in CSP and PV technologies? What is the potential for CSP in this region?
  • How drones are helping design the solar power plants of the future?
  • How solar cell performance be improved using perovskite solar cells to record efficiency? How bifacial solar module takes advantage of direct and reflected sunlight?


Gurmeet Kaur,

Marketing - Communication,

Board Member, MESIA




Alireza Mehrtash,

Vice President- Global Sales and Marketing,


Frank Wouters,


EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network

Kevin Robinson,

Technical Services Manager-Middle East and Africa,

JinkoSolar and Founding member,

South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA)

Dr. Nicholas Calvet,

Assistant Professor,

Chair of the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP), iEnergy Centre, Department Mechanical and Materials Engineering

14:00 - 15:00
Lunch Break
15:00 - 15:40
Popular Finance Panel: Exploring Solar Finance and Investment Opportunities

Renewable energy will contribute to nearly $19 trillion in the world economy and create 6 million jobs, according to statistics from a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The GCC has been witnessing an increase in the use of renewable energy, making way for a new generation of energy production using solar innovations. Driving this growth is the investments opportunities in the solar sector. This session will gather leading regional and global financiers and investors to discuss and share their ideas on renewable energy financing and the role of Expert Credit Agencies.

  • Delving into alternative and innovative financing models for solar - project finance – PPA’s, lease, loan, refinancing and crowd funding. Which model is best suited where in the MENA region?
  • How to attract capital in a mature market? How to find new partners in new countries?
  • What are the global and regional investment trends?
  • What capital is being invested into the markets and which regions is it coming from? 
  • How is the value proposition from the investment community changing? 
  • Discussing emerging business models for solar
  • Energy pricing update – How high are prices currently and what can each market absorb? 



Frank Wouters,


EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network


Brendan Cronin,

Head of Management Consulting - Middle East,



Clint Dempsey,

Partner - Baking & Finance,


Cornelius Matthes,

CEO,Kuwekeza Holdings and

Senior Vice President, Dii Desert


Jaikishin Asnani,

Investment Officer,

IFC - International Finance Corporation

Marc Norman,


Covington & Burling LLP

15:40 - 16:05
Keynote - Designing & Implementing Innovative Tools, Through Industry Collaboration – To Promote Competitive Solar Power, as a Decisive Tool to Address the Global Power Needs, Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change

Keynote: Designing & Implementing Innovative Tools, Through Industry Collaboration – To Promote Competitive Solar Power, as a Decisive Tool to Address the Global Power Needs, Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change

  • Contracts/Business Practices: Redesigning the template of contracts for solar assets in order to reduce transaction costs and development time
  • Regulations: Help countries, governments & policy makers to better understand the correlation between regulations and cost of electricity
  • Common Risk Mitigation: Developing a new common risk mitigation mechanism to cover major structural risks, exclusively for the benefit of the global solar industry



Ms. Nicole Iseppi,

Project Director- Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) and Co-Leader of TWI and IRENA’s

“Global Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative”

16:05 - 16:45
Thought Leaders' Speak (Panel): Powering Solar Market Transformation to Create a Sustainable Future

By 2020, Morocco aims to increase its renewable power generation capacity to 42%, up from 31% in 2013. The Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to provide 7% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy sources by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 75% by 2050. Egypt plans to raise its share of renewable energy capacity to 20% by 2022. Jordan has been looking at increasing its share of renewables to 10% by 2020, which includes a goal of reaching 600 MW of solar PV. The Middle East and North Africa region’s growing commitment to develop renewable sources of energy has lifted sentiment on the outlook for economic development. There has never been a better time for regional governments to converge and actively discuss the way forward for Solar in the region

  • Setting deployment goals: Focus on renewable energy targets of some leading nations and how they plan to achieve them? – Morocco, U.A.E., Egypt, Jordan
  • What are the main challenges facing the region in terms of infrastructure limitations, grid integration, investment and financing, and how these can be overcome?
  • What is the role of off-grid renewable solutions to achieve universal electricity access by 2030? A closer look into the growing need and popularity of PV hybrids and mini-grids
  • Setting of sustainable benchmarks for solar tariffs and pricing and what are the effects of low oil prices on renewable energy markets?
  • How to build a green economy? How can developing ‘Public Private Partnerships’ for green initiatives ensure a sustainable future?  


Karel De Winter,

General Manager,

Alsa Solar Systems Limited



Faisal Rashid,

Director, Demand Side Management,

Supreme Council of Energy

Nicole Iseppi,

Project Director - Terrawatt Initiative (TWI) and Co-Leader of TWI and IRENA's "Global Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative"

Paul Pan,

General Manager,

Smart PV Business-Middle East and Africa, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Steven Geiger, 


Innova Partners

16:45 - 17:25
Distributed Generation of Power: How to Effectively Structure and Finance DG Projects?

The global annual market for the deployment of distributed solar PV plus energy storage is expected to exceed $49 billion by 2026, and reach 27.4 gigawatts, according to a new report from Navigant Research. Deploying distributed PV can reduce transmission line losses, increase grid resilience, avoid generation costs, and reduce requirements to invest in new utility generation capacity. Projects such as Shams Dubai, which began in 2015, will continue to grow in 2017, while countries such as Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt will also develop their own distributed solar programmes. This session will discuss how regulations, like net metering, or deployment targets started by Dubai has led to rethinking of the existing systems, and opened up a big question on solar choice?

  • What are the incentives empowering distributed solar markets?
  • Focus on utility plans and prospects for distributed solar (+storage)
  • How to capitalize on the disruption in the distributed solar marketplace?
  • What is the market potential for solar micro-grids and storage?
  • Future forecast: Distributed solar market forecast for 2017 and beyond



Marc Norman,


Covington & Burling LLP



Daniel Zywietz,



David Auriau,



Karel De Winter,

General Manager,

Alsa Solar Systems Limited


H. Pirouz Kavehpour, Ph.D.,

Professor and Vice Chairman- Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, UCLA 

Erik Voldner,

Chief Commercial Officer,

Enviromena Power Systems LLC

17:25 - 17:30
Closing Remarks and End of Global Solar Leaders’ Summit by Rania Ali, MC, Public Speaker, TV and Events Presenter-Middle East Region

Closing Remarks and End of Global Solar Leaders’ Summit by Rania Ali, MC, Public Speaker, TV and Events Presenter-Middle East Region.

17:30 - 18:00
End of Global Solar Leaders' Summit