Ask an Expert: Clean Energy Policy and Finance Technical Assistance (Webinar)

19 May 2016

The Clean Energy Solutions Center hosted this webinar to provide an overview and discuss the impacts of its Ask an Expert technical assistance program.

The Solutions Center provides a vital service by linking those seeking advice and information with a policy expert who can help them achieve their goals. The Ask an Expert service matches policymakers with one of the more than 50 global experts selected as authoritative leaders on specific clean energy finance and policy topics such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, energy access, regulatory issues and integrated planning.

Along with providing an overview of the Ask an Expert program, the webinar featured several experts who discussed the technical assistance they have provided to countries and the impact of their work. And, several recipients of Ask an Expert technical assistance detailed how they benefited from the program and applied lessons learned to their clean energy policies and programs.

Presentations were followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience.


Mahama KappiahMahama Kappiah, Executive Director, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Mahama Kappiah is the Executive Director of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). He was eminent in the establishment of the Centre which aims to ensure increased access to reliable, affordable and clean energy in the West African region. Under his leadership, ECREEE has attained international recognition as a unique regional renewable energy and energy efficiency promotion agency in sub-Saharan Africa, with other regional economic communities such as the EAC and SADC seeking to emulate. Prior to the establishment of ECREEE in 2010, Mahama Kappiah was Head of the ECOWAS Energy Division. Some of his achievements include the creation of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulation Authority (ERERA). Before joining the ECOWAS Commission, he worked in the Planning and Development Department of the Volta River Authority (VRA) of Ghana, where he served in various capacities. Mahama Kappiah is a member of the REN21 Board. He holds a Master of Science degree in Electromechanical Engineering from the Kharkov Polytechnic Institute, Karkov, Ukraine. He has over 20 years of experience working on issues related to energy, environment, climate change and sustainable development in West Africa and internationally.

Kathryn WrightKathryn Wright, Consultant, Meister Consultants Group

Kathryn Wright is a Consultant at Meister Consultants Group. She works with municipalities and the private sector on climate preparedness strategies, solar energy and energy efficiency projects. Ms. Wright currently serves as a technical assistance expert for the Clean Energy Solutions Center and has assisted countries with energy efficiency-related requests. In the United States, she also provides solar technical assistance to municipalities through the Department of Energy’s SolSmart program.

Toby CoutureToby Couture, Founder and Director, E3 Analytics

Toby Couture is Founder and Director of E3 Analytics, an international renewable energy consultancy based in Berlin, Germany. He works on a wide range of topics in renewable energy including policy and regulatory analysis, market research, strategy consulting, and finance. He has worked extensively with policymakers and regulators on renewable energy strategy and has advised over forty national governments around the world. He is the author of several reports on renewable energy policy, and has partnered with several leading international organizations working to support the scale-up of clean energy, including IRENA, the IEA, GIZ, UNEP, UNIDO, as well as the IFC. Prior to founding E3 Analytics in 2009, Mr. Couture worked as Energy and Financial Markets Analyst at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Colorado. Toby is a previous recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, has studied renewable energy finance in France and obtained a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Moncton in Canada, as well as an MSc. in Financial and Commercial Regulation from the London School of Economics in the UK. He currently lives in Berlin.

Lia NicholsonLia Nicholson, Department of Environment in Antigua and Barbuda

Lia Nicholson has been with the Department of Environment in Antigua and Barbuda since 2014, where her responsibilities include developing and implementing climate adaptation and resilience projects in the twin island state, applying for direct access to the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund, and operationalizing the national Sustainable Island Resource Framework Fund (SIRF Fund). Lia represents the country at multilateral environmental events, in particular negotiating on climate change under the UN. Prior to joining the Department of Environment in her home country of Antigua, Lia completed her Masters of Environmental Management at Yale University, where her focus was on climate science, adaptation and mitigation, and was awarded a post-graduate Gruber Fellowship in Global Justice and Women’s Rights.

Ellen MorrisEllen Morris, President and Founder, Sustainable Energy Solutions

Ellen Morris is the Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to her faculty appointment at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Ellen Morris is the President and Founder of Sustainable Energy Solutions, a consulting services company that promotes the increased use and deployment of clean energy technologies and services as a means to support economic development and reduce poverty in developing countries. She is currently a Founding Partner of a new social enterprise called Embark Energy that is focused on radically increasing the scale of energy access by empowering thousands of clean energy entrepreneurs in low-income countries. Their mission is to create clean energy enterprises using a web-based portal that is centered on experiential learning, business coaching, supply chain management, links to financing and access to high quality energy products.

Terri WaltersTerri Walters, President and Founder, Katevan Consulting

Terri Walters is president and founder of Katevan Consulting, LLC, a firm focused on renewable energy projects and markets. Her recent projects include feasibility reviews of commercial-scale renewable energy projects and development of guidelines for integrating renewable energy into building construction. Prior to consulting, Terri served the U.S. government on domestic and international energy policy issues for 15 years. At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, she engaged state governments and rural communities on policy options to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. She advised government officials on energy policies and programs, developed a technical assistance program, designed and implemented a federal rural energy grant program and chaired an industry certification program for renewable energy providers. At the U.S. Department of Energy, Terri served as chief of staff for the Office of Policy and International Affairs, including work in a wide range of policy issues: bilateral energy negotiations with international partners, expansion of international energy efficiency and renewable energy markets, climate change issues, and electricity market restructuring. Terri was a co-author of the U.S. national energy policy plan in 1995. She has also worked as a manufacturing engineer and a state- and national-level political consultant.