Global Energy Access Innovation Workshop – August 22-23, 2022

The Global Energy Access (GEA) Innovation Workshop will be hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Microgrid Systems Laboratory in conjunction with PowerAfrica 2022. The workshop is designed to accelerate applied innovation in the energy access and equity domain. It will catalyze this action by bringing together leading innovators and practitioners from across sectors and geographical regions in a structured, facilitated format, to foster synergies and catalyze cross-pollination. In particular, this event will seek to position innovators in Africa and Asia as full peers with their counterparts in the Global North, and to enable knowledge transfer in all directions.

The immersive two-day workshop will bring together select thought and practice leaders from all sectors to share and create novel ideas that will accelerate energy access and transitions, spanning technology, policy, finance, consumer behavior, and workforce challenges. The event is intended to produce immediately useful networks and learnings, and also to provide a foundation to assess and develop an ongoing field of practice.

Approximately 20 to 30 participants will attend the workshop, by invitation, selected according to the following criteria: deep domain expertise; creative problem-solving capacity; innovative practice; and exposure to the full breadth of progress across theaters and geographic regions. Target regions include sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Arctic, small island nations in the Caribbean and the Pacific, western Australia and Latin America.

This workshop is by invitation and seats are limited. If you would like to be considered for participation in the event, please reach out to and

Core Partners

Nathan Williams, Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and David Breecker, President of the Microgrid Systems Laboratory (MSL) will act as conveners and co-facilitators with Sam Duby of TFE Africa. MSL is a non-profit US-based energy systems innovation consortium with an international scope and membership. Williams, whose research has included data analytics applications for remote electrification in Africa, has served as a visiting instructor at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Rwanda.

The Core Partners are supported by an advisory committee representing leading organizations in the relevant domains.

Confirmed Participants

  • Mir Islam, EM-ONE Energy
  • Karine Malagon, EM-ONE Energy
  • Chad Stephenson, ThirdWay Africa
  • Nelson Dzade, Pennsylvania State University
  • Edore Onomakpome, International Finance Corporation
  • Andre Troost, TFE Africa
  • Peter Lilienthal, HOMER by UL
  • Sydney Lienemann, Camus Energy
  • David Breecker, Microgrid Systems Laboratory
  • Nathan Williams, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Victor Okinda, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Anderson Bett, PowerGen Renewable Energy
  • Benson Ireri, World Resources Institute
  • Sam Luke, Steamaco
  • Kobe Adom-Opare, Odyssey Energy Solutions
  • Michelle Wilber, Alaska Center for Energy and Power
  • Faisal Olanipekun, CrossBoundary
  • Arthur Jacquiau-Chamski, SparkMeter
  • Joan Chahenza, Africa Minigrid Developers Association
  • Marcel Castro-Sitiriche, University of Puerto Rico
  • Janvier Kabananiye, Rwanda Energy Group
  • Delphine Abijuru, Rwanda Energy Group
  • Cyprien Habyarimana, Rwanda Energy Group
  • Stan Atcitty, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Dave Messier, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Advisory Committee

  • Eric Wanless, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Edore Onomakpome, International Finance Corporation
  • Owen Lewis, RMI
  • Bryan Koo, World Bank
  • Sydney Lienemann, Camus Energy
  • Diane Hirshberg, University of Alaska, Anchorage