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The 20 most influential people in wind power today

WORLDWIDE: Tomorrow's wind sector will need leaders, not just managers, particularly in the complex and risky offshore market. Our Top 20 are blazing a trail for the industry

Galan has been CEO of Iberdrola since 2006
Galan has been CEO of Iberdrola since 2006

Choosing the movers and shakers in this global industry has been a mammoth task, but one that we feel we can be proud of. When we set out to find the most influential people in the industry, we knew we might ruffle a few feathers. In the end, having meticulously examined a long list of candidates, there was no shortage of people who left their mark thanks to an impressive array of skills. Today’s wind power leaders need to inspire, motivate, negotiate and collaborate. We are confident that all the faces on these pages have demonstrated this and much more.

1 Ignacio Sánchez Galán

CEO, Iberdrola Spanish-born Galán has led the world’s top wind farm owner since 2006. He holds a number of high-profile academic and board-level positions. Galán makes the top spot for leading the company to truly global success.

2 Ditlev Engel

CEO, Vestas Danish-born Engel leads the world’s number one turbine manufacturer. Vestas is present in all corners of the world with an expanding range of turbines developed by technology top man, Finn Strøm Madsen.

3 Xie Changjun

General manager, Longyuan Group A trained engineer and long-serving employee of the Guodian Group, Xie has made Longyuan the top wind-power owner in China and built its international ambitions.

4 Lewis Hay

CEO, NextEra Energy As head of the US’s top wind farm owner, Hay has demonstrated that an energy utility can go green and still make a profit. NextEra will invest $3.1 billion in wind over 2011-14.

5 Han Junliang

Chairman, Sinovel The head of China’s top wind-turbine manufacturer and first wind-power billionaire is renowned as a hands-on, detail- oriented leader with a visionary approach.

6 Tulsi Tanti

CEO, Suzlon A mechanical engineer by training, Tanti founded India’s major wind-turbine manufacturer in 1995. He has since driven Suzlon to the status of a world-class business.

7 Zhang Guobao

Director, Chinese Energy Commission A top-level official in the powerful body that makes decisions on energy policy and infrastructure, Zhang has unrivalled knowledge of China’s energy sector.

8 Vic Abate

VP, renewable energy, GE A US businessman with a strong technical background, Abate has focused on increasing turbine reliability and riding the high-growth global renewables market.

9 Ulrich Schröder

CEO, KfW Bankengruppe This German banker’s personal interest in sustainability and clean development has translated into vital low-interest funding for wind projects, in Germany and abroad.

10 Henrik Stiesdal

CTO, Siemens Wind Power A pioneer of wind-energy technology and co-founder of Vestas, the Dane built his first turbine at home in the 1970s. His focus is on further increasing the already legendary reliability of Siemens turbines.

11 Rick Needham

Director, Google Green Business Operations An aerospace engineer with a Harvard MBA, Needham has led Google’s foray into renewable energy, including an offshore transmission backbone for the US Atlantic coast.

12 Wu Gang

CEO, Goldwind This veteran engineer has put his company among the world’s top turbine manufacturers, making significant inroads in global markets, especially the US.

13 Aloys Wobben

Founder and MD, Enercon Winner of several engineering, business and environmental awards, Wobben is the legendary figure at the head of Germany’s market leader.

14 Andrew Garrad

 CEO, GL Garrad Hassan Probably the world’s best-known wind-energy consultant, this British engineer leads a global firm offering services from engineering to certification, consulting to software.

15 Georg Wilhelm Adamowitsch

European Commission As the European co-ordinator for the integration of offshore wind power in northern Europe, this German engineer holds the key to the growth of a crucial market.

16 Mike Lewis

MD Europe, E.on Climate & Renewables Driving the wind power agenda at the world’s top utility by sales, British-born Germany-based Lewis is fully behind E.on’s move towards offshore wind, with 4GW already in the pipeline.

17 Jorge Calvet

Chairman, Gamesa A staunch supporter of globalisation, Calvet has responded to Spain’s policy-driven wind power slowdown by expanding Gamesa’s manufacturing operations abroad.

18 Denise Bode

CEO, American Wind Energy Association A lawyer and tax advisor with decades of energy expertise, Bode is lobbying hard in favour of policies that will boost US wind power.

19 Jérôme Guillet

MD, Green Giraffe Energy Bankers A Frenchman with 15 years’ experience in project financing, Guillet is behind most large-scale offshore-wind financing deals.

20 Eddie O’Connor

Founder and CEO, Mainstream Renewable Power This Irish engineer is behind key deals with Chinese firms keen to work in the West. O’Connor is a staunch supporter of a European offshore super grid

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