Personal Background __________________________________________
- Date of Birth: 9th January, 1965
- Nationality: Dutch
- Marital Status: Married, 3 children
Key Qualifications _____________________________________________
Frank Wouters has been leading renewable energy businesses, projects, transactions and technology development for more than 30 years. He has played a lead role in the development of projects valued at over $4.5 billion, ranging from small scale PV solar electrification in Uganda to the 100MW Shams Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) in the UAE, and strategic equity investment in the London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind project. His transactions have received multiple project finance “Deal of the Year” awards and in 2020 he was runner-up “Hydrogen Economist of the Year” by the Petroleum Economist.
As Deputy-Director General of the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA), the first global intergovernmental organization dedicated to all renewables, Frank managed a US$350 million project facility for RE. He appraised over 80 projects a year and recommended projects for funding. He was also in charge of IRENA’s Coalition for Action, the interface platform with private sector actors.
Mr. Wouters has served on the board of energy companies in Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and the USA. He currently serves as SVP Energy Transition at Reliance Industries, Director of the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, interim Chairman and Board Director of Gore Street Capital in London, Chairman of Dii Desert Energy’s Advisory Board, Chairman of the MENA Hydrogen Alliance, Fellow of the Payne Institute – Colorado School of Mines and Non-executive Board Director of Vast Solar, Australia.
Mr. Wouters has significant experience working in emerging markets. In Ghana, he liaised with donors to coordinate over US$750 million in funds for RE projects as part of the SE4All program. He has worked with many donors and development banks, including KfW, GIZ, the European Commission and the World Bank on strategic energy initiatives all over the world.
He has considerable manufacturing experience. From 2010 till 2012 he served as Managing Director of Masdar PV, a state-of-the-art facility producing advanced thin film solar panels and he was a board member of WinWind, a manufacturer of multi-MW wind turbines with production facilities in Finland and India.
His recent focus has been on low-carbon hydrogen as a main vector in the energy transition. After drafting the North Arica – Europe Hydrogen Manifesto in 2019, Mr. Wouters has been instrumental in conceiving the 2×40 GW Electrolyzer Initiative for Europe, Ukraine and North Africa. In close consultation with the Cabinet of Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans of the European Commission, the initiative is currently being integrated in the European Green Deal and the post-COVID19 stimulus package.
In 2020, Mr. Wouters initiated the MENA Hydrogen Alliance, which he currently chairs.
Mr. Wouters has a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University. He is fluent in English, German and Dutch and has a reasonable command of French.
He currently serves as:
- Senior Vice President Energy Transition at Reliance Industries
- Director of the EU GCC Clean Energy Technology Network, a platform that fosters partnerships between Europe and the Gulf
- Fellow, Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines
- Chairman of the MENA Hydrogen Alliance
- Chairman of the Dii Advisory Board
- Non-Executive Board Director of Gore Street Capital, London
- Non-Executive Board Director of Vast Solar in Australia.
Professional Experience _______________________________________
- C-level management positions in leading renewable energy companies in project development, manufacturing and consulting.
- Deputy Director-General at IRENA.
- Extensive Executive and Non-Executive Board Member experience in an international and multicultural environment.
- Extensive M&A background.
- Expert on the planning and implementation of renewable energy projects.
- Private Sector Participation in the energy sector in developing economies.
- Experience in high-tech research environment.
Memberships, Responsibilities _________________________________
- Senior Vice President Energy Transition at Reliance Industries; 2021 – present
- Chairman of the MENA Hydrogen Alliance; 2020 – present
- Director EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network (UAE); 2016 – present
- Fellow Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines; 2018 – present
- Board Member of Gorestreet Capital (UK); 2015 – present
- Global Lead Green Hydrogen at Worley; 2018-2021
- Chairman of the Shams Power Company PJSC (UAE); 2010 – 2012
- Board Member of Torresol Energy SA (Spain); 2010 – 2012
- Board Member of Torresol Energy US (USA); 2011 – 2012
- Board Member of WinWinD Ltd (Finland, India); 2010 – 2011
- Board Member of Masdar Solar en Wind Cooperatief UA (Netherlands); 2010 – 2012
- Executive Committee Member of the Africa PVSEC; 2014
- Member of the Scientific Board of BWE, the German Wind Energy Association; 1997 – 2009
- Scientific Review Committee Member of the European Photovoltaic Technology Conference; 2000 – 2009
- Jury Member of the Middle East Electricity Awards and Middle East Solar Industry Awards; 2013-2014
- Elected Board Member of the Benelux Business Council Abu Dhabi; 2009 – 2012
- Founding President of the Club for Rural Electrification (Germany); 2002 – 2007
- Advisory Board Member of PVGAP; 2002 – 2008
- Chairman of Ecofys Cooperatief UA (Netherlands); 2000 – 2009
Patents, Awards _______________________________________________
- Patent Nr. 1017186, “Assembly consisting of a flat information carrier and a holder.”
- Hydrogen Economist of the Year 2020, runner-up
- Econcern runner-up for Cologne Company of the Year 2008
- Econcern new head-office elected eco-building of the Year 2008 by Stern magazine.
- Belwind NV received “Power Deal of the Year” (Project Finance International Europe Awards 2009) and “European Offshore Wind Deal of the Year” (Project Finance Awards 2009).
- Shams One received “Renewable Deal of the Year” (Project Finance Middle East 2011).
- Gemasolar was recognized a US CSP Today award in the ‘Commercialized Technology Innovation of the year’ category.
Employment History _____________________________________________
Wouters Ltd (UAE), September 2014 – present
- Strategic advisor to A.Hak Renewable Energy, among other things setting up a global supply chain for torrefied biomass with projects in Russia, Indonesia, South Africa and Canada using the proprietary TorrCoal rotary drum technology
- Strategic Advisor to the World Bank on solar and wind energy
- Strategic advisor to GIZ and KfW on renewable energy investments in sub-Saharan Africa
- Special advisor to REN21 for the Global Status Report 2015 (www.ren21.net)
- Visiting lecturer at Masdar Institute (Abu Dhabi, UAE), teaching PhD students and Young Future Energy Leaders on the future of our energy system
International Renewable Energy Agency (UAE), 2012 – August 2014
- Representing the Agency at intergovernmental level, direct interaction with Ministers and Heads of State.
- In charge of execution of the work programme, setting up and overseeing the Programme Management Office.
- Editor of all IRENA publications.
- Responsible for the execution of the 7 year $350 million IRENA/ADFD project facility.
MASDAR (Abu Dhabi), 2009-2012
Director Masdar Clean Energy (UAE)
Chairman of Shams Power Company PJSC (UAE)
Board Member of WinWinD Ltd (Finland and India)
Board Member of Torresol Energy SA (Spain) and Torresol Energy US (USA)
Board Member of Masdar Solar & Wind Cooperatief UA (Netherlands)
- After four months at Masdar given the responsibility over the Masdar Power Unit, which later merged with the Masdar Industries Unit and the Masdar Carbon Unit.
- Responsible for Masdar Power’s projects under construction or in operation, representing an enterprise value of more than $3bn (Masdar’s share). Improved Masdar’s economics on these projects by more than $200million in less than a year.
- Leading role in the formulation of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy policy.
- Succesfully turned Masdar PV GmbH around in 2010. Replaced management and finalized contract negotiations with Applied Materials on the supply and service of all production lines. Overachieved targets on sales, average sales prices, product stability and efficiency and overall production yield.
- Led negotiations on special purpose vehicle with Abengoa and Total into Shams Power Company, building the largest concentrating power plant in the Middle East. Substantially improved project economics for shareholder through cost saving and bank financing.
- Divested Masdar’s participation in WinWinD Oy, a manufacturer of advanced wind turbines.
- Negotiated suite of contracts with London Array Shareholders, enabling bank financing of Masdar’s share (20%) in the Unincorporated JV, which is a world’s first. London Array is the world’s largest offshore wind farm with eventually 1000MW. Substantially improved project economics for the shareholder in the course of 2010.
- As Board member of Torresol succesfully constructed three CSP plants in Spain with an overall budget of $1.4billion (Masdar’s share 40%). All three plants were constructed within time and budget, whilst project economics for shareholder substantially improved.
Econcern, evelop, sol Holding AG, 2006-2009
CEO of Evelop International BV (Netherlands), 2009
CEO of Sol Holding ag (Germany): 2007-2009
CEO of Silicium de Provence SAS (France) 2007-2009
Econcern Director of Business Development (Netherlands) 2006-2009
Managing Director of Econcern GmbH 2006-2009
- As CEO of Evelop responsible for renewable energy project development, focus on real estate, solar PV and onshore and offshore wind. With a core staff of 150 in 20 countries Evelop initiated, developed and realized renewable energy projects, among which the realization of non-recourse offshore wind projects (Princess Amalia Wind farm and Belwind). Annual turnover of several hundred million Euro. Deals 2009:
- Closing of Bonaire project, the world’s first 100% renewable island system. 11 MW (wind), 14 MW (bio)-diesel. Capex $62million, financial close reached in March 2009. Project completed in 2009.
- Sell Down of two solar PV projects in Spain to Ampere fund. Euro 4 million deal, April 2009.
- Closing of Belwind, the second non-recourse financed offshore wind project worldwide. Project constructed 46 km off the coast of Zeebrugge (Belgium) with a total capacity of 165 MW (55 x 3MW) Vestas turbines. Investment Euro 620 million.
- Initiated and headed SOL Holding in 2006, a joint venture between Econcern and SOLON SE. SOL Holding was majority shareholder of Silicium de Provence SAS, a grass roots 4500 ton/annum ultrapure silicon factory with Euro 730 million investment volume and majority shareholder of Blue Chip Energy GmbH, an Austrian high efficiency solar cell factory with an investment volume of 60 million Euro. Blue Chip Energy has successfully started production; the construction of Silicium de Provence was put on hold in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.
- Founder and first elected President of CLE, the German Industry Association for Rural Electrification with Renewable Energy. After merger with BSW (German Solar Energy industry Association) Board member of BSW.
Econcern, Ecofys, Econergy, Econtract, Ecostream, 1997-2006
Managing Director of Econcern GmbH (holding, Cologne, Germany)
Managing Director of Ecofys GmbH (consultancy, Cologne, Germany)
Managing Director of Econergy GmbH (sales, Cologne, Germany)
Managing Director of Econtract GmbH (contracting, Cologne, Germany)
Managing Director of Ecostream Gmbh (systems sales, Cologne, Germany)
- Set up first foreign branches of the Econcern group in Germany in 1997, developed corporate structure with Business Units Ecofys (innovation), Ecostream (sales of turnkey solar PV systems) and Evelop (Renewable Energy Project Development). Upon departure there were four branche offices, 150 staff and profitable turnover exceeding 100mEuro/a.
- Initiated solar business in Luxemburg in 2000.
- Inititated and integrated Joint Venture in China in 2005: Himin Ecofys Real Estate, combining the Ecofys knowledge and expertise with the market power of the world’s largest solar thermal systems manufacturer
Project Manager, Sr. Consultant (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
TDAU, University of Zambia, 1990-1993
Head Design Section at Technology Development and Advisory Unit (Lusaka, Zambia)
- Design, development, manufacture and dissemination of appropriate technologies: water pumps, renewable energy sources (wind pumps, solar energy), animal traction, small-scale food processing equipment.
- Head of the Design Section, Project Leader in various projects.
- Acting Manager.
- Training of local craftsmen, organiser of training courses.
- Public relations.
TEGEMA BV, 1989-1990
Machine Designer (Son, The Netherlands)
Philips Research Laboratories, 1988-1989
Researcher (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)
Selected International Assignments _____________________________
Various short term assignments for WorldBank Group, KfW, GIZ and others in The Gambia, China, Ghana, Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya
||Delft University of Technology (1983-1989)|
||MSc. Mechanical Engineering|