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Top 30 People: Places 11 to 20

While the Top 10 list of influential people in the wind industry is very much dominated by manufacturers, the next ten on the list are more of a mixed bunch, with a couple of politicians making an appearance.

Ernest Moniz became only the second US energy secretary to make a keynote speech at the annual AWEA conference
Ernest Moniz became only the second US energy secretary to make a keynote speech at the annual AWEA conference

11. ECKHARDT RÜMMLER, CEO, E.on Climates and Renewables

(2014: 12)


(see key to icons)

Rummler became CEO of renewables at the Germany-based utility in 2013, heading up a global portfolio of onshore wind totalling some 5GW. E.on has been a prodigious developer of projects both onshore and offshore. However, the biggest move for the utility was company CEO Johannes Teyssen's decision to split off renewables into its own group.

12. LI ENYI, President, Longyuan Group

(2014: 20)


Enyi took over in 2013 as president of one of the world's biggest wind developers and China's largest. Longyuan also owns a top-ten turbine maker in United Power. While the bulk of its work is confined to China, it is starting to expand outside Asia. So far, it has developed two projects in South Africa totalling 244MW, plus a 100MW project in Canada. According to Windpower Intelligence, Longyuan installed more than 2GW in 2014, and United Power took over 5% of the global market, which was even more than Gamesa.

13. SIGMAR GABRIEL, German vice chancellor and energy and economy minister

(2014: 19)


Angela Merkel's vice-chancellor and minister for energy and economic affairs wields significant influence over Germany's wind policy. Gabriel has been in his present role since 2013 but was environment minister from 2005 to 2009. He is best known as the architect of the not universally popular Renewable Energy Act that passed through parliament last year. His main challenge will be in dealing with the system of auctions coming in 2017.

14. JOAO MANSO NETO, CEO, EDP Renovables

(2014: 16)


Neto has been in charge of EDPR since 2012. The Spanish construction collapse and the US boom-bust cycle - its two biggest wind markets - led to asset divestment in established markets and boosting the portfolio in emerging sectors, bringing online or progressing around 750MW in Latin America and eastern Europe in the last year. Its pipeline ranges from US onshore to UK offshore. His ranking here was a close call with EDF's Cahuzac, but Neto pulled ahead in the public vote.

15. ANTOINE CAHUZAC, CEO, EDF Energy Nouvelles

(2014: 17)


EDF EN has a global wind portfolio of more than 6GW with a substantial presence across Europe and the Americas. Most of its business has been onshore, but under Cahuzac's direction it is now a big pusher behind France's offshore sector. There it has won the bulk of the first round of tenders as part of its tie up with Alstom.

Over the last year, EDF has bought mid-sized US developer Own Energy, pushed developments in Ontario and brought online more than 1GW in projects in 2014 alone. It has suffered setbacks too, most notably in its failure to secure - along with fellow owner Eneco — approval of Navitus Bay offshore project of the UK.

16. SHI LISHAN, Director, National Energy Administration, China

(2014: 11)


Shi has long been a major player in China's all-important National Energy Administration (NEA) and is closely involved in its renewable-energy development. He holds degrees in water resources and hydropower, and worked at the National Development and Reform Commission, which oversees the NEA.

Shi was the designer and main impetus of China's public tendering mechanism for wind projects, which led to rapid development of the sector, and he helped secure a renewable law in 2006 that continued the growth. But his fall in position this year reflects that he has been uable to halt an expected drop in the country's ambitious offshore target of 30GW by 2020.

17. MAGNUS HALL, CEO, Vattenfall

(new entry)


The appointment of a CEO who had spent the last 29 years at a paper manufacturer was novel for the industry. But what Hall has in common with many appointments in the sector is that he is an engineer. He is also chairman of Basel Industrikraft, an association of Swedish firms that monitors power supply to heavy industries. Hall arrived in 2014, and split the utility into six divisions, including one for wind, which was picked out as a key business areas for the company's future. Half-year results for 2015 showed wind's profits were up, despite overall company profits being down.

18. WERNER HOYER, President, European Investment Bank

(new entry)



The European Investment Bank (EIB) has long been central to the financing of major wind projects. But under Hoyer's leadership, the bank announced in 2013 that it will no longer invest in certain fossil fuels as it shifts funds to renewable developments. Hoyer is also a politician in Germany's liberal Free Democratic Party.

The EIB has a commitment to spend 25% of its cash on projects that support climate action. According to Windpower Intelligence, it has been involved with around 4.5GW of projects in countries as far afield as Ethiopia, China and Germany. The EIB has even loaned Nordex EUR100 million, saying the loan would help Europe achieve the targets of providing 27% of the required electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

19. Francesco Starace, CEO, Enel

(2014: 18)


Over the past three years, Enel Green Power has been moving away from the European market to invest in South America, a strategy that is largely down to Starace. Of the 350MW it has brought online in 2015, the majority has been in Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

In its pipeline are projects in emerging markets as diverse as South Africa, Peru and Jordan. A nuclear engineer graduate, Starace joined Enel in 2000, heading Enel Green Power from 2008 to May 2014, when he became CEO and general manager of its parent company.

20. ERNEST MONIZ, US energy secretary

(new entry)


When former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Moniz replaced energy minister Stephen Chu in 2013, he had a tougher brief to fulfill. Chu had billions of dollars in stimulus grants to disburse and a president who was comparing the green tech to the moon race. Moniz was expected to concentrate more on shale.

This year Moniz became only the second energy secretary to make a keynote speech at the annual AWEA conference. He spoke of the need to expand wind into areas where it is not yet cost-effective, using "near-term pay-offs" such as higher hub heights, longer blades, improved drivetrains and better siting.

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