Keynote Speakers

Mike Eckhart

Michael T Eckhart is a Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance for Citi Corporate and Investment Banking in New York City. Mike will present a keynote addressing 'Global Investment in Renewable Energy'.

In his role at Citi he supports their goal to be the leading financial services firm in renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean water and related areas, serving clients with corporate banking, investment banking, equity and debt capital markets, global transaction services, trade finance and private banking.

In international work, Mr Eckhart serves on the Renewable Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency, and on the governing bureau of the REN 21 global policy network. He has been an Observer for the formation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and served on the Advisory Committee to Prince Charles’ Rainforest Project. He has strong working relationships in renewable energy in China, India and Europe. He served on the Board of Directors of the US-New Zealand Council from 2005-2011.

Prior to his role at Citi, from 2001 to 2011, he was founding President of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), a Washington DC-based nonprofit organization with members in wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal, biomass, biofuels and waste sources of electricity, thermal energy, hydrogen and fuels.

Previously, he developed financing for solar energy under the SolarBank Initiative through which he trained over 1,000 bankers in India on the financing of solar PV, and for which he was named Renewable Energy Man of the Year of India in 1998. He also worked extensively in South Africa, creating the Shell-Eskom solar PV joint venture in 1999 which implemented PV on over 10,000 rural homes.

Earlier, he was Chairman & CEO of the power generation development firm United Power Systems, Inc.; Vice President of the venture capital firm Areté Ventures, Inc.; a strategic planner of General Electric Company’s power systems sector; and a Principal with the energy practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton where he conducted many of the original national studies on the emerging new energy technologies in the 1970s.

He is a 2009 recipient of the Corporate Responsibility Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a 2008 recipient of the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, a 2006 recipient of RSF’s Good Deal for All Award, and a four-time invited participant in the Clinton Global Initiative.

Mr. Eckhart served in the US Navy Submarine Service. He received a degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mike will also participate in the panel discussion that will follow the keynote addresses.

Tom McDaniel

Tom McDanielTom McDaniel has worked in the energy industry as a safety, environmental and quality professional for 34 years, including 26 years with Siemens Energy (formerly Westinghouse Energy). He is currently the Global Manager Zero Harm and Human Performance.

Mr McDaniel has led efforts to achieve the goals of Zero Harm for Siemens employees, customers and the public by bringing together the concepts of Loss Control, Human Error Management, Resilience, Just Culture, and Safety Culture, with measurable results.

His extensive practical experience around the world has included the development of models for many organisations and companies to enhance their safety, quality and reliability programmes.

The place of the individual in achieving safety goals is a key interest and focus for Mr McDaniel, who strongly believes that people need to be empowered to take responsibility for health and safety. His keynote will address enhancing safety, quality, and reliability programmes and achieving measurable results.

A popular speaker, Mr McDaniel recently presented at the US National Academy of Sciences on the concepts of Zero Harm and the need for the continuation of Safety Maturity, and spoke at the American Nuclear Society on the application of Human Performance.

In addition to his keynote speech, Mr McDaniel will give a more detailed presentation in the health and safety stream.

Dr Jenny Reisz

Jenny is a research associate with the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM), at the University of New South Wales. Jenny’s research examines high penetration renewable power systems, with a particular focus on the design and operation of electricity markets. Jenny’s keynote speech ‘Wind as the New Baseload’ will focus on market design and the adjustments needed to ensure that the immense flexibility available from variable renewables can be harnessed and rewarded on a level playing field. She will also discuss the feasibility of a 100% renewable power system. Jenny will anchor the markets stream at the conference.

Jenny has provided advice to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), transmission network service providers such as Powerlink, Western Power and ElectraNet, the Independent Market Operator of Western Australia (IMO WA) and the Clean Energy Council.

Kobad Bhavnagri

Kobad BhavnagriKobad Bhavnagri is the Head of Australia for Bloomberg New Energy Finance and developed the company's economic modelling expertise in solar PV and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target. Kobad has worked in the energy and finance industries since 2003 as an engineer, management consultant and analyst. He has an academic background in engineering and environmental studies and specialises in energy economics, markets and policy..

Kobad's presentation is titled "Change On Its Way: The Future of the Global Energy Sector" will discuss the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance research, including an overview of trends in the global eneegy sector, with an examination of the technologies and forecasts that are shaping it. He will also update the conference on the wind industry internationally and forecast what we can expect over the upcoming years.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance provides information about the transformation of the energy industry to business and financial professionals. It employs some 200 analysts and sector specialists around the world to deliver research, forecasts, investment data, analytical tools and news on clean energy, power, gas, water and the carbon markets.

Manuela Huso

The keynote speaker for the Wind and Wildlife stream is Manuela Huso, a statistician from the United States who specializes in experimental design and the application of generalised linear mixed models to address ecological questions. Her keynote will concentrate on the impact of wind generation on wildlife internationally.

Manuela Huso serves on the National Wind Coordinating Committee's Wildlife Working Group, and the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Wind-Wildlife Federal Taskforce. She works for the United States Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) in Corvallis, Oregon as a Research Statistician addressing statistical issues involved in determining the effects of wind power development on wildlife and habitats.

Chris Karamea Insley

(Te Whanau a Apanui and Ngati Porou) Chris is highly active in working nationally with Maori to develop scalable sustainable economic development strategies in response to climate change. In particular he works with Iwi to develop medium to long-term strategies that will engage the best research, innovation and technology capabilities available. He also does similar work with other indigenous peoples of the world. Chris will speak about ‘Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Maori Development’.

Chris is a Director on several Government, private sector and Maori boards, including the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group, Scion, Ngati Porou Seafoods Group, Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau Holdings Limited, Geothermal Assets Limited, and the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment’s Smart Ideas Advisory Panel.