Successful 2018 Making Solar Bankable Event in Amsterdam

On 15 and 16 February 2018 the Making Solar Bankable event was held in Amsterdam. Some 500 delegates were present at the second edition of this event organised by FMO and Solarplaza.

Conference hosts Linda Broekhuizen (CIO of FMO) and Edwin Koot (CEO of Solarplaza) welcomed the participants in the beautiful building of the Beurs van Berlage. The conference program was moderated by Rolake Akinkugbe.

In her videostreamed opening address to the participants, Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, stated that the solar industry worldwide has graduated from being the ‘new kid on the block’ to ‘a key player at the adult table’. She stressed that the renewable energy revolution is unstoppable, irreversible and exponential.

After the key note speech by Mrs. Figueres, author and social entrepreneur, Jeremy Leggett took the floor.  Leggett, said the three ‘narratives’ are the awakening of global society to the hazards that fossil fuel energy poses, the way renewable energies are fundamentally disrupting that energy ‘incumbency’, and the growing array of existential threats to it. “The three in synergy are what makes solar and renewables so exciting, and gives the sense we can get to a decarbonised world,” Leggett said.

In the regional outlook that followed on the future of solar power in Asia, Africa and Latin America, it became clear that development organisations, corporates and investors need to acknowledge that different geographical regions have their own preferred energy agenda and way of working.

In the afternoon, various break-out sessions were held on Utility Scale, C&I and Off-grid followed by the final of the Solar Shark Tank competition, which was won by the 10MW Bhrikuti grid solar project from Nepal. They won the $100,000 grant for the development costs of their project from Access Power and FMO.

The official program ended with networking drinks and for those who had booked a Networking Pack, a boat tour on the Amsterdam canals and dinner at the Stork restaurant. Frederik van Pallandt, acting Director of Energy at FMO, opened the second day of the conference and welcomed back the participants. The CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative, Sean Kidney, elaborated on the rapidly growing market of Climate Bonds, increasing to an estimated $300bn in 2018. Author of Exponential Organizations, Mr. Yuri van Geest, made it clear how disruptive the impact of pending technological innovations will be on us as a person, on businesses and society in general. The panel discussion that followed on disruptive trends and technologies touched upon topics as blockchain, energy storage and evolving business models. In the closing panel on the future of solar finance, a lively interaction with the audience led to an interesting conclusion from the panel moderator Sean Kidney who said that we are the last generation that can avoid catastrophic climate change and should act now to avoid this.

Watch Linda Broekhuizen (FMO), Rolake Akinkugbe (FBN Merchant Bank) and Edwin Koot (Solarplaza) wrap up the conference in the final Day Journal:

More information on the conference program can be found at:

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