SAPVIA is governed by a board of nine commissioners and a Chairperson elected democratically on an annual basis by its members at the Annual General Meeting. From its rank the management board elects the Vice-Chairperson, Treasurer and Spokesperson.
SAPVIA’s secretariat comprises of the Membership Services Coordinator, Administrative Officer and Programme Manager.
Davin ChownSAPVIA Chairperson
Davin has been involved in the SA renewables sector since 2001. He is a Director of both Genesis Eco-Energy’s investment, as well as Pontus LeMarqueChown Infrastructure Group, a Trustee of the LeMarqueChown Energy Trust and a former Director of Mainstream South Africa.
Davin is current Chairperson of SAPVIA, has served on the Board of SAWEA and is currently a SAPVIA representative and founding member of the SA Renewable Energy Council (SAREC).
Davin has over 14 years management consulting (IBM and Accenture), project development, commercial, regulatory and policy development related experience in the government, resources and energy sectors. He holds a B.Comm (UP), DPLR (UNISA SBL), Masters Degree in Management (Wits University) and Sustainable Ecological Management (University of Pretoria). He has worked closely with various private sector, NGO, trade union and Government stakeholders in building the renewable energy (RE) sector in SA, and helping to create a policy, regulatory and investment environment favourable to the RE sector.
Ms Busi Nxumalo is based in Johannesburg. She is an MBA Graduate and the Founder/Managing Director of a Renewable Energy Technologies company called GenEnergy. GenEnergy specializes primarily in Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technologies.
She has over 13 years’ experience in the Energy industry mostly as a Project Finance specialist. She started her RE career at the Central Energy Fund overseeing CEF’s Investments into RE Projects.
She then moved to the UAE and worked as a Project Financier for GDF Suez on their MENA Region Projects. She came back to South Africa after 3 years and worked for Nedbank as a Senior Transactor for RE Projects, then moved to Shell SA to work in the office of the Chairperson as a Senior Energy Advisor before establishing GenEnergy in 2016.
Because of her vast experience in the Renewable Energy Sector, and sectors related to Climate Change, she was also appointed as a Business Mentor at the Innovation Hub and supports the Project Developers in the Climate Change Incubation bring their innovations to market.
Busi is also an Alumni of the Fortune 500 Most Powerful Women/State Department Global Program.
Wido SchnabelSAPVIA Treasurer
As Canadian Solar’s Head of Strategic Alliances & Business Development for the Middle East and Africa, Wido’s driving factor is his passion for the renewable energy sector - especially Solar PV. Born in Namibia, the country with the second best solar values, he is a real driver for the Solar PV industry.
As South Africa is the sunshine country blessed with the biggest resource of nature, he believes it should be used to its fullest potential. With his phrase “Africa will jump the Grid !” Wido plans to open a market for the real distributed generation solution to electrify Africa.
Wido’s other passion lies in education and skills development and he also serves on the board of the German International School in Cape Town and has experience with negotiations and lobby work at government level.
Wido has studied Business Administration and Computer Science in Munich, Germany and has worked in the IT industry for over twenty years, for companies such as Nixdorf Computers, Novell, Microsoft in Europe and Candor Technology in South Africa. In 2009 Wido moved into the renewable energy field with his own company Candor Renewables, doing Waste to Energy Solutions and biogas, and then moving on to Schott Solar. After Schott Solar, Wido moved onto his current position at Canadian Solar.
Boitumelo KiepileSAPVIA Management Committee Member
Boitumelo Kiepile has 10 years’ experience in regulatory and policy matters in the financial and banking industry, telecommunications and energy sectors. He currently holds the position of Head of Regulatory Affairs at Enel Green Power RSA.
He currently holds the position of Head of Regulatory Affairs at Enel Green Power RSA, prior to his current position he was a founding member of IMPETUS Regulatory Consultants. He has worked in the Electricity Pricing and Tariffs Department at NERSA responsible for economic and tariff analysis. He has drafted regulatory guidelines including the Minimum Information Requirements for Tariff Applications (MIRTA) in the Electricity Supply Industry and cost of supply framework. Boitumelo has developed the inaugural Strategic Plan for the Swaziland Energy Regulatory Authority and presented courses in economic regulation, tariff design, and cost-reflective tariffs to the Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa Training for Regulatory Practitioners. He currently serves as Chairperson of the Policy & Markets Working Group of the South African Wind Energy Association.
Rainer NowakSAPVIA Legal Representative
Dr. Rainer Nowak is a director in the Corporate Practice Group at Webber Wentzel Attorneys. He has been a member of the Management Board of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association since 2011.
Having completed his studies at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, he commenced his professional career at the Frankfurt offices of Clifford Chance. He relocated to South Africa in 2001, taking up a position in the corporate department of another prominent South African law firm, before joining Webber Wentzel in 2006.
Specialising in foreign investment into South Africa, Dr. Nowak's practice has included a strong focus on the renewable energy sector in South Africa almost since its inception. He has advised a range of clients in renewable energy projects in South Africa, Namibia and Kenya. His clients include prominent international project developers, sponsors, financiers, contractors and component suppliers. Dr. Nowak has closely followed, and advised on, the current IPP Procurement Programme, and is an expert on the framework applicable to renewable energy projects in South Africa.
Jo DeanSAPVIA Management Committee Member
Jo Dean (B Eng. Mech Plant Process, B Eng. Env & Sus, Carbon Reduction Specialist). Trained and qualified in both SA and Illinois, her roots remain African.
18 years’ experience in design and construction of process and flow control plants in the Mining Sector. In 2000, inspired by Attenborough; Bloomberg; Ban Ki Moon and, Figueres and her Intrinsic need to make a difference to the world she joined the Chamber of Commerce overseeing government relationships and LED development, while furthering her studies in environmental engineering, specialising in waste, water and energy disciplines coupled to Carbon Reduction Project Development (Illinois and GHG Protocol). Armed with “practical knowledge” the once “wannabe activist” evolved into a strategist in developing carbon reduction projects in the waste and energy spaces She is currently driving 518 RE MW project development mainly in South Africa and the SADC.
Her belief: “the rationale underlying the nascent endeavour of a green economy for developing countries, is that the market SHOULD become the vehicle for tackling the environmental crises of climate change, and that Africa can and will make a quantum leap as opposed to the “trapped” Annex 1 world powers that cannot due to their historical industrial choices made.”
Simon HawBoard Member
Simon holds a MSc. Civil and Environmental Engineering- Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology from Stanford University, Stanford, CA as well as a BSc. Civil Engineering, from University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
His vast experience includes having co-authored the initial constitution of SAPVIA and helped form and set it up. Aurora Power Solutions was a founding member of the Industry Association.
In June 2008, Simon co-founded Aurora Power Solutions (APS) with his brother Chris Haw. Their mandate was to develop large-scale renewable energy projects in South Africa. The company was started as a consultancy focused on advising large mining houses on energy efficiency and alternate generation possibilities in a power constrained environment. The company has since focused on the project development of large scale utility solar projects.
To date his experience at Aurora Power Solutions includes the approval and award of 260 MW of utility PV projects with a total value of approximately ZAR 4 billion. 100 MW of these project are currently operational and the remainder approved and going through a financial close project. In 2017 APS started to pivot the learnings from the financing of large utility projects to focus on financing private sector/ consumer projects. APS currently works in conjunction with its sister company Sola Future Energy as a vertically integrated group.
Sola Future Energy is an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) company. He founded Sola Future in the 2013 along with similar co-founders to Aurora Power Solutions. Sola Future focuses on construction of turnkey solar & battery assets for private commercial and industrial clients. The company has completed approximately 45 large projects totalling circa 20 MW. Significant projects include a mini grid project for the iconic Robben Island that combines solar PV, batteries and diesel generators. The company currently employs approximately 40 people.
Simon also worked as the Market Development Manager at SOLFOCUS INC CA USA, from 2006-2008. His role at SolFocus centered on Project Management in new markets where the company was looking to commercial role out of new solar concentrator product developed in Silicon Valley California. His experience included project managing the entire procurement and installation of test sites in California close to the company Head Quarters and subsequently the larger installation of product in Puertollano Spain where the power was fed into the national grid to capture the Spanish Feed in Tariff.
Kittessa RoroBoard Member
Kittessa received his PhD (2009) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and subsequently spent several years working as a post-doctoral researcher first for the University of Pretoria and then later in the CSIR-National Laser Centre.
He was a project coordinator for the solar research, development and innovation (RDI) roadmap for South Africa a study commissioned by the department of science & Technology.
In 2015 Kittessa joined the newly established Integrated Energy Centre of the CSIR where he led a number of initiatives of the Energy Centre, including the establishment of CSIR’s solar PV Research Lab which comprises an Outdoor PV testing facility and in-door quality and reliability lab, defining the research agenda of the solar research group, support to the South African government on solar energy research, development and innovation roadmap development as well as supporting the growing PV industry in South Africa.
He is presently Research Group Leader for the Energy Supply Group. Kittessa sits on several international and national conference committee and working groups. He is reviewer of all major Physics, Material Science and Renewable Energy journals, for several funding agencies, and is an active member of various professional organizations. He has established and developed a working relationship locally and internationally with leading institutions such as NREL (USA), CSIRO (Australia), SERIS (Singapore), JRC (European Commission), ZSW (Germany). Kittessa has authored about 30 research papers, delivered presentations in various local and international conferences, runs several international collaborations, and is presently supervisor of 10 post graduate students.
Role: Administrative Officer
Role: Programme Manager