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Renewable Microgrids: An Economic, Reliable and Sustainable Energy Transition for Islands

Session Replay



This session will feature discussions on how renewable energy, implemented in microgrids such as islands, can lead to sustainable development with a massive cut in CO2 emissions, a lower price of electricity and a reinforcement of State independence through a strong decrease of oil imports.


Energy Policy Associate, CARICOM

Azell Francis

Azell Francis is an energy analyst from Trinidad and Tobago with ten years of experience in the pump manufacturing and energy space. Azell is a Doctoral Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on Energy and Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States. With a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Applied Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management, and a Professional Certificate in Occupational Safety and Environmental Compliance, Azell considers herself a connector who can bridge the gap between the technical, economic, and policy sides of energy.
Azell currently serves as an Energy Policy Associate at CARICOM Energy and is actively involved with the Energy Club at Georgia Tech. In addition, she has served as a two-term Chair of the Southeastern Energy Conference and the Corporate Relations Chair. She is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and a two-term Island Innovation Ambassador. Driven by her passion for service, Azell is the Founding President of the Rotaract Club of Peachtree City and serves on the Board of the Rotary Club of Peachtree City as the Director of Club Administration. She is also actively involved at her alma mater, serving as the President of the Young Alumni Board, and was inducted as a member of the 40 under 40 alumni class of 2020.

Secretary General, Pacific Islands Development Forum

Ambassador Solo Mara

Ambassador Solo Mara is the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF), since October 2019.

Ambassador Mara began his career in May 1989 as a graduate trainee at the Ministry of Home Affairs and later on in the Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Over the years, Ambassador Mara rose through the diplomatic ranks to serve as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs [2009-2011], High Commissioner to the United Kingdom [2011-2015] and Ambassador to the United States America [2015-2019].

In recognition of his 20 years contribution in the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Fiji, Ambassador Mara received from the President of Fiji, His Excellency MajorGeneral [Ret] Jioji Konrote, the Fiji 50 Independence Commemorative medal at the State House on October 2020.

Ambassador Mara holds a Master Degree in International Relations from the International University of Japan (1997) and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of the South Pacific (1988). He also received various diplomatic training at the Korean Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (2000) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia [2006].

Ambassador Mara is married to Kerry Megan Mara and blessed with two daughters and two sons

Islands & Microgrids Director at EDF Renewables

Alexis Chalot

Alexis Chalot is director of the business line “Islands & Microgrids Projects” within EDF Renewables (which develops, finances and operates renewable energy projects in remote areas such as islands and deserts).

“By replacing thermal generators with renewable energy, microgrids projects yield significant savings and huge CO2 emission reduction in remote area.”
He is a Board Member at ECOSUN Innovations (which offers a range of portable solar generators for electrification in isolated areas) and prior to his current position, he was Investment Director at EDF Pulse Croissance (a corporate Venture Capital fund) and Board Member at EDF Store & Forecast (which develops and markets a software solution for the energy optimization of local electricity systems through energy forecasting and storage).

Alexis served as Board Member at Neot Offgrid Africa (a platform supporting and accelerating Africa’s energy transition) and at Zinium (which develops and produces a clean Zinc-Air rechargeable battery for stationary use).

Alexis holds a Master in Finance from the EDHEC Business School and has been working in the energy field for the last 16 years.

Executive Director, Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation

Cletus Bertin

As Executive Director, Dr. Bertin leads a team of twelve, ensuring that the Secretariat’s role of advocacy on electric utilities and energy issues is effectively executed, advising the board on aspects of CARILEC’s operations and developing and maintaining good working relationships with utility executives, regional decision-makers, business community leaders, and interest groups.His accomplishments in the Public Sector, ICT and Telecommunications, Management of Change and Innovation, Institutional Strengthening, Capacity Building and Research, over the last twenty years, are most relevant to the CARILEC mission and vision, particularly in light of the significant transformation of the energy sector at this time.He has delivered presentations at various regional and international seminars and conferences, worked in academia,- lecturing and authoring several articles, papers and book chapters-, and completed high level consultancy assignments for various organizations, including electricity utilities in the Caribbean region, governments, universities, corporations and multi-lateral institutions such as the OECS Secretariat, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs (UNDESA), the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank. Dr Bertin is a Saint Lucian and possesses a B.Sc. Management Studies (Hons.) from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus; a M.Sc. Management Studies (Information Systems specialization), from UWI St. Augustine Campus; and a Ph.D. Information Systems and Change Management, City University Business School, London, UK.

Sponsored by:

EDF Renewables

EDF Renewables is a world leader in renewable energy mainly focused on solar photovoltaic power, wind and energy storage.

The company develops, builds and operates clean energy power plants in more than 20 countries both for its own account and for third parties.

As an integrated operator with global reach, EDF Renewables covers the entire renewable energy chain, from development and construction to asset management and operation and maintenance. EDF Renewables manages all project phases in-house to control the quality and performance of its power plants and provides long-term support for its partners.

EDF Renewables is a subsidiary of EDF, helping the Group to achieve its renewable energy goals. The EDF Group generates low-carbon electricity around the world and actively participates in the energy transition. It plans to double its renewable capacity by 2030, from 28 GW (including hydro) to 50 GW, as part of its strategic project “CAP 2030”.

As of December 31th 2020 the company’s gross installed capacity amounted to 13.8 GW worldwide, with 23.4 TWh of electricity generated and 17.1 GW under operation and maintenance.

EDF Renewables has a dedicated team focused on Microgrid and energy transition for islands and remote areas. You can find more information on :

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