The Beam Interviewees

The world needs more superheroes fighting climate change

Sieun Lee

Programme Officer of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change Division at the International Organization for Migration

“Disaster and climate change will not automatically lead to a surge of environmental migrants. By reducing exposure to risks and by building resilience, and putting preventive measures in place, it is possible to reduce the number of people affected and those who will be forced to move due to environmental factors.” Read more.

Robin Chase

Co-Founder of Zipcar

“Our actions (or inactions) over the next few years will determine the fate of humanity. Each of us need to look at what we personally can offer up to the transition to a new sustainable economy.” Read more.

Antje von Broock

Director for Communication and Policy at BUND

“Our common task is to not stop being critical and demanding, and we need to be vocal, show that we are a critical mass with political ideas that need to be acknowledged.” — Read more

Ademola Adesina

CEO of Rensource

“WE Nigerians are affecting our environment directly. All you have to do is look up to the sky and see the dense smog that hovers over Lagos on most days.” — Read more

Bren Smith

Founder of Greenwave

“My culture and livelihood has always been tied to the sea.” — Read more.

Jochen Schwill

CEO and founder of Next Kraftwerke

“From our point of view, a democratised energy world is an energy world in which more and more players can participate.”- Read more

Olivier Feix

Head of Environmental Protection and Permitting for 50Hertz

“Let’s at the same time intensively debate about tomorrow and be ambitious in moving ahead every day!” — Read more

Markus Bruegmann

Global Product Group Manager for ABB’s Microgrids and Distributed Generation product group

“In an emerging market with growing population and electricity demand, microgrids provide reliable power supply, starting from small energy systems and finally supporting the bulk of the electric system.” — Read more

Frank Pawlitschek and Knut Hechtfischer

Founders of Ubitricity

“Decentralized consumption and production are not only questions of benefits — they are the inevitable future.” — Read more

Patrick Graichen

Director of Agora Energiewende

“The most important is to change the mindset of the policy makers.” — Read more.

Olafur Eliasson

Artist and Co-Fouder of Little Sun and The Little Sun Foundation

“We wanted to make solar energy tangible, something you have in your hands. When they grab the lamp, I want people to think ‘I have the power, I am the power’, because what you do with the Little Sun Solar Lamp is you harvest the energy from the sun!” — Read more.

Thierry Lepercq

Founder Solairedirect

“The incredible feeling that we had in the late 1990s with the internet bubble was that we were changing the world. Not to become rich, but to change things for the better.” — Read more

Katrin Fridriks

Artist, Painter

“Rivers looking like veins from above, unpredictable geysers, melting glaciers and molten lava… My painting is strongly connected with these natural phenomena both technically and mentally.” — Read more.

Christiane Averbeck

Executive Director of the Climate Alliance Germany

“If we don’t want to allow the industry and companies to dominate our climate policies, because then they will never ever be as ambitious, there is no doubt, we need civil society action.” — Read more.

Akinwumi Adesina

President of the African Development Bank

“My job as President of the African Development Bank is to put Africa first. It is to look for ways to accelerate Africa’s development.” — Read more.

Monica Oliphant

Solar energy pioneer, International Solar Energy Society
ISES Solar Energy

“When I started, people who promoted renewable energy were regarded as tree huggers.” — Read more.

Simon Becker

CEO and Co-Founder of Cabin Spacey

“We are only beginning to discover and innovate ourselves to these new ways of living but we know the strongest driver is exibility.” — Read more.

Martin Baart

Co-founder, ecoligo

“We realised that a financing solution that matches projects, combined with a model where operation and maintenance are covered, was the solution the emerging market needed.” — Read more.

Sabine Döbeli

CEO of Swiss Sustainable Finance

“Studies show that sustainable companies often have better employee retention, customer loyalty and face less accidents or lawsuits, all factors which can also result in a better financial performance.” — Read more.

Eric Horesnyi

Computer science engineer and Founder of Streamdata
StreamdataIO

“As a company contributing to the web, we wanted to analyse our impact on the environment. We believe a careful use of captors, the web and machine learning can reduce our impact on the planet to reach sustainability for future generations.” — Read more.

Alessandra Potenza and Claire Stam

Journalists specialised on Energy, Cleantech and Environment

“I would love to see a European media dedicated to the energy transition on our continent, in different languages because of the language barrier.” — Read more.

Alexandre Lemille

Founder of Wizeimpact

“The Circular Economy is the understanding of the eco-systemic metabolisms leading to the abundance of flows. Put simply, we should be imitating natural cycles as closely as possible.” — Read more.

Frédéric Crampé

Founder of BeeBryte
BeeBryte SAS

“We have a solution that helps large energy consumers buy more electricity from the grid when it is cheaper and less when it is expensive.” — Read more.

Richard Heinberg

Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute

“Since government and the economics profession are largely abdicating leadership, civil society must step forward to lead.” — Read more.

Nimrod Knoller

Co-founder Onwrks

“Our goal is to bring the wind industry where the automotive industry is going. Our technology will make autonomous wind parks a possibility.” — Read more.

Fernando Schaich

Founding partner of SEG Ingeniería

“We have a key role in the energy transformation in Latin America, especially through the wind and solar developments.” — Read more.

Connie Hedegaard

European Commissioner for Climate Action from 2010 to 2014
Climate Action

“In Europe, by and large, climate change is not part of the political, partisan battle and there is still broad political support for climate action.” — Read more.

Rebecca Ford

Researcher in Energy at the SEE Change Institute

“As our energy systems becomes increasingly distributed, with more and more households, communities and businesses generating their own energy, I think it’s important to become smarter in terms of how we use energy.” — Read more.

Saul Griffith

Inventor and co-founder of seven companies, including Otherlab, Makani Power and Instructables
Otherlab

“The Paris Agreement isn’t strong enough, and people are already pulling out of that. I’m hoping people will realise that it is more of a political and sociological problem than an energy one.” — Read more.

Carl Brockmeyer

General Manager at Leybold

“If you could work in a city that is 600km far away from your home town and cover that distance in less than an hour in a cost-efficient way with the Hyperloop, than the importance of location changes entirely.” — Read more.

Andreas Kuhlmann

Chief Executive of the German Energy Agency (dena)

“The Energiewende — or let’s rather say ‘energy transition’ — is in transition itself.” — Read more.

Frank Heinlein

Director of business communications of the Werner Sobek Group

“We need green buildings not because of any economic benefits, but rather to protect our planet from further overexploitation.” — Read more.

Diane Moss

Founder and Director of the Renewables 100 Policy Institute

“A commitment to 100% renewable energy does not require belief in climate change.” — Read more.

Erik Assadourian

Senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute

“The goal is not to convince consumers to behave more sustainably but to change the dominant cultural paradigm so individuals’ default behavior is to act sustainably.” — Read more.

Imre Szeman

Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor at the University of Alberta
University of Alberta

To imagine a society after oil means first understanding what oil is to us — how it shapes current desire, identity, and practice, comfort and pain, consumption and penury.” — Read more.

Barbara Buchner

Executive Director of the Climate Finance program at Climate Policy Initiative

“We need to shift investments from traditional “brown” activities to sustainable “green” ones.” — Read more.

Daniel Kammen

Professor in both the Energy Resources Group and the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley

“One of the most important aspects of renewable energy is that the resource can be shared; and that the use of one community does not generally impact others ability to use the same resource.” — Read more.

Mike Hudema

Environmental activist, Greenpeace
Greenpeace

“The tar sands are the largest industrial, capital and energy project on the planet with the environmental and human rights impacts to match.” — Read more.

Murielle Diaco

Founder Djouman

“In sub-saharan Africa, the projects which have the biggest impact, those that are really changing the everyday lives of people, are those undertaken by entrepreneurs and startups who really understand the most pressing needs and challenges of their communities.” — Read more.

Antonella Battaglini

Founder and CEO of Renewables Grid Initiative

“The changing complexities of the power system present fresh challenges while also creating a vast wealth of opportunity.” — Read more.

Christian Deilmann

CEO and Co-Founder of tado

“tado° believes in making your life more simple through intelligent and automated control.” — Read more.

Wolfram Sparber

Head of the Institute for Renewable Energy at The European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC)

“There will not be one unique technology, which will change the energy scheme. The energy world is a complex system, where further evolutions in all main sectors are needed.” — Read more.

Mike Thornhill

Co-Founder Rebalance

“We need to inspire future generations to want to work within renewable energy and cleantech.” — Read more.

Stefan Schurig

Director of Climate, Energy and Cities at the World Future Council
World Future Council

“Setting an ambitious, long-term renewable energy target shows political commitment, and can provide both stakeholders and the population a clearer view of the long-term vision for the region, and a better understanding of how they fit within it.” — Read more.

Hanna Yanchuk

Deputy Head of the board for the Electric Vehicle Association of Ukraine

“In developing countries, the growth of the EV market is coming from the people, from the civil society.” — Read more.

Craig Morris

Journalist and Author, International Renewable Energy Agency

“What makes Germany’s shift unique is that they started up as a grassroots movement, like in Denmark.” — Read more.

Christian Siemoneit

Co-founder of Hansalia

“Chile became the most attractive renewable energy market in the world and, suddenly, we were part of it.” — Read more.

Jose Pontes, Viktor Irle, and Roland Irle

Co-Founders of EV-Volumes

“Driving an EV shouldn’t depend on where you live.” — Read more.

Thomas Gottschalk

Founder and CEO of Mobisol

“It’s a great feeling to know that whole communities raise their standard of living by starting new businesses and being able to access energy infrastructure in a reliable manner.” — Read more.

Josiah Bircham

Business Development and Communications Executive for the European Energy Centre

“The key mission of the European Energy Centre is to promote knowledge-sharing and best practice in renewable energy and energy efficiency.” — Read more.

Joseph Desmond

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Government Affairs for BrightSource Energy

“There are many forms of renewable support structures available and what is effective for one country may not be as effective for another.” — Read more.

Hans-Josef Fell

President of the Energy Watch Group and former member of the German Parliament

“Germany’s civil society with millions of people supporting renewable energy is a strong movement tackling global challenges.” — Read more.

Vinicius Valente

Communications at EUREC

“EUREC supports the creation of robust policies that give proper conditions to the development of innovative technologies and human resources to enable a prompt transition to a sustainable energy system.” — Read more.

Steve Sawyer

First Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council

“As a society we face a myriad of challenges, both political and environmental, but the climate issue is the most obviously existential one, i.e., if we don’t sort that out then human civilisation will be severely threatened in my children’s lifetime. It’s certainly not the only threat, but in my opinion it is the largest and most dangerous one.” — Read more.

Cédric Philibert

Renewable Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency

“Renewable energy technologies are a crucial part of a portfolio of options that are needed for achieving a secure and sustainable energy mix.” — Read more.

Adrian Ramsay

Chief Executive of the Centre for Alternative Technology
Centre for Alternative Technology

“Climate change makes it not just important but essential that we get to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century. We simply cannot keep pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and expect life to continue as normal.” — Read more.

Rabia Ferroukhi

Deputy Director — Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre at International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

“Renewable energy provides opportunities to improve gender equity. First, the use of renewable energy technology can reduce the long hours spent on collecting fuelwood. This gives women the time to pursue education and employment opportunities.” — Read more.

Al Maiorino

President of Public Strategy Group

“Regardless of where you live, how you vote, what you feel, it is always better to breath in clean air versus unclear air.” — Read more.

Holger Kraft

Partner at CMS

“Working as a lawyer in this sector is fascinating if you like challenges. The renewable energy sector is changing rapidly.” — Read more.

Claudia Kemfert

Professor of Energy Economics and Sustainability at the Hertie School of Governance

“ Market regulation is necessary to get a more sustainable market, a more sustainable future. We need a new and better system to act in a more sustainable way. We need to move the market towards renewable energy — sustainable mobility and also energy saving.” — Read more.

Interviews by Anne-Sophie Garrigou