Brussels, 13 March 2014 - The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) announces the election of five new members to its Board by its 2014 General Assembly: Guilherme Collares Pereira (EDP - Energias de Portugal, Portugal), Matteo della Volta (Siemens, Germany), Caroline Nijland (FRES, Netherlands), Anthony O. Ighodaro (KXN Nigeria, Nigeria) and Tobias Zwirner (Phaesun, Germany).

In addition, Ernesto Macías Galán (SFC Business Partners, Spain) was re-elected as President of the Board, and Claude Ruchet (Studer Innotec, Switzerland) and Michael Wollny (Wollny Consulting, Germany) were re-elected as Board members. Two of the previous Board members maintain their positions: Balthasar Klimbie (Dutch Small Wind, The Netherlands) and Xavier Vallvé (Trama TecnoAmbiental, Spain).

“The Alliance is delighted to welcome its five new board members. With their strong commitment and expertise in rural electrification the association will be best positioned to further enhance the development and implementation of off-grid technology innovations.” says Marcus Wiemann, Secretary General of ARE.

The new members bring to the Alliance an extensive and wide-ranging experience in energy access through renewables:

Guilherme Collares Pereira, after 28 years of successful business experience with responsibilities at the level of general management, marketing and commercial, in competitive, dynamic and or first line sectors, and heading various Business Associations in Portugal and abroad He became the Social Innovation Director of the EDP Foundation in 2007. Since 2013 he is the International Relations Director of A2E - Access to Energy, at EDP - Energias de Portugal S.A. and its representative on the Network of Experts Access to Energy in EURELECTRIC - Electricity for Europe; and on the Energy Access Practitioner Network of UN Foundation / SE4ALL.

Matteo della Volta is part of the Strategy & Business Development Bureau of Siemens’ Energy Sector, in Brussels, Belgium. He has extensive technical knowledge of the energy sector in general – acquired during his Physics and Economics studies in Italy and Russia – and of the field of renewable energies in particular.

Caroline Nijland is the Director Business Development of the Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES), based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The organisation consists of a network of five small scale electricity companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, whose core business is providing off-grid rural households and small and medium businesses with clean electricity (solar energy) on a fee-for-service basis.

Anthony O. Ighodaro is a Nigerian entrepreneur who has founded and managed solar engineering companies in the UK and Nigeria, since 1999. He has experience in project development, market research, international marketing and early-stage businesses in Europe, USA, and Nigeria. He is the Founder and Managing Director of KXN Nigeria and Founding Chairman of the Steering Committee of the African Renewable Energy Alliance.

Tobias Zwirner is the Founder and Managing Director of Phaesun GmbH, a company that focuses on Off-Grid photovoltaic and wind energy systems for rural electrification, solar water pumping systems and the use for industrial applications. He works closely together with international NGOs, Governments and local partner companies in the target countries with the aim to provide energy for areas without electricity.

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