The Challenge of Energy Storage
Maria Assumpta Farran i Poca
Director of the Catalan Institute for Energy (ICAEN - Government Institution)
Graduated in Physics and Master's Degree in Environmental and Energetic Engineering, Assumpta has participated in training programs in Strategic Management and public-private co-operation (ESADE) and Leadership and Innovation in Public Management (IESE).
Currently, she is the Director of the Catalan Institute for Energy (ICAEN), the public energy agency of the Government of Catalonia responsible for developing and implementing the Catalan energy policy, especially in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energies.
Under her direction, ICAEN is leading the Catalan agreement for the energy transition, where stands out the following strategic projects: the plan for the deployment of electrical vehicle charging infrastructure in Catalonia (PIRVEC), the working table for boosting the photovoltaic self-consumption, the plan for economic incentives for solar energy storage, as well as the PLUS energy certifaction for buildings.
Chief Executive Officer at Zinium / ZnR Batteries
Emmanuel Bénéfice brings a strong 25-year experience in the energy sector. He has first worked as an engineer in the USA and in France, and as a project manager. He joined the leading energy company EDF, where he led the project for the opening of the electricity and gas residential market in France. He has been Customer Service and Sales VP and also Chief Marketing Officer for EDF Entreprises. He has been a member of the board of several innovative startups and SME in the energy sector.He firmly supports the vision of a carbon-free world, through the development of renewable energies and electricity storage.Emmanuel is graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. He also holds a master degree from Telecom ParisTech University.
Doktor-Ingenieur (Dr.-Ing), M.Sc. MBE at IREC - Research Institute of Energy of Catalunya
Félix Urbain studied Materials Science and Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany), where he received his M.Sc. RWTH degree in 2012. He pursued his PhD at the Institute of Photovoltaics (IEK-5) in the Jülich Research Centre. His attention was focused on hydrogen production via H2O splitting. In 2016, he was awarded with the degree Dr.-Ing. summa cum laude (highest honor, top 3% of RWTH Aachen University). He and his group still hold the world record in energy storage via solar- to-hydrogen conversion with an efficiency of 9.5% for silicon based systems. Currently, he works as a Post-Doc at IREC in Spain, and his activity is dedicated to photo electrochemical CO2 recycling as a means of sustainable energy storage technology. So far, his activity is documented by 22 papers on ISI international journals, 24 conference contributions (5 invited talks), and o ne patent. He was awarded with various highly endowed awards, such as the Excellence Prize for his outstanding doctoral thesis, the Jülich Research Centre Communication Award and the prestigious Forschungspreis Wasserstoff from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
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