september, 2021

30sep15:0016:00Free webinar: Developing large-scale solar projects in Africa with First Solar modulesOnlineType:For Members,Our Events


(Thursday) 15:00 - 16:00 CEST



Event Details

In 2020, every third power plant in the world installed was powered by solar. According to SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook, Sub-Saharan Africa reached a total installed solar capacity of 5.6 GW by 2020, and will add 16 GW of solar between 2021 and 2025.

This is great news for the industry, however these advancements also mean solar project development has never been more competitive than it is today. Selecting the right components is complex and requires cutting through the marketing noise around PV panels, which can be confusing. It also requires an awareness that quality cannot be taken for granted, and that finding a reliable and trustworthy partner is key to minimizing project risks. In addition, project financing in Africa is one of the biggest challenge and can increase costs significantly.

In this webinar supported by First Solar, we will be addressing the challenges that developers and investors are facing today and talk about how these risks can be mitigated. The attendees will learn about First Solar’s industry-leading and differentiated PV module technology which is ideally suited for large-scale solar projects in Africa. We will also discuss US EXIM’s highly competitive financing for international customers to purchase US-made technology and services.


— Raffaele Rossi, Senior Policy and Market Analyst, SolarPower Europe —

Raffaele Rossi coordinates the Sustainability Task Force and the Solar & Storage Task Force. Additionally, as part of the Market Intelligence team, he is involved in data analysis and the work around SolarPower Europe’s flagship publications, the Global Market Outlook and the EU Market Outlook. Prior to joining SolarPower Europe, Raffaele worked at CSR Europe, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy.

He also has experience from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, where he worked on finance for climate adaptation. Raffaele holds a MSc in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University in Sweden and a BSc in Business Economics from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in Italy.

Besides his native Italian, he speaks English, Spanish and Swedish.


— Ashish Gupta – Director Business Development, Middle East, Africa and CIS —

Ashish joined First Solar as Director of Business Development in 2015. In this role, Ashish was responsible for the Project development, Business development and O&M of PV Solar plants in the Middle East. In 2021, he took over his current position, mainly focusing on business development and sales of First Solar’s innovative Series 6 PV module in Africa, CIS countries, and the Middle East.

Ashish has more than twenty-seven years of experience in the energy industry with a strong strategic background. Prior to joining First Solar, he worked in different techno-commercial positions at General Electric, Alstom and Honeywell, where he was mainly responsible for commercial strategies. P&L management, developing and implementing market and segment entry strategies.

Ashish is passionate about renewable energy and has keen interests in the PV Solar industry as well as adjacent renewable energies.

— Leonel Reyes – First Solar Technical Sales Manager —

Leonel joined First Solar in 2019. In his role, he is responsible for Technical-Sales activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is the main point of contact for technical-related inquiries, including technology and product roadmap updates as well as BoS compatibility. Leonel is responsible for customer technical training and works closely with the company’s ecosystem partners. As part of First Solar’s holistic and customer-focused approach, technical support services include both pre-sales and post-sales operations.

Leonel Reyes Ochoa has more than seven years of experience in the solar industry with a strong engineering background. Prior to joining First Solar, he worked as Energy Consultant focusing on Resource Assessments, Feasibility Studies and Energy Yield Analysis, among others.

—  Craig O’Connor – Renewable Energy & Environmental Exports Officer at US EXIM —

Craig serves as the Bank’s Renewable Energy & Environmental Exports Officer within the Project and Structured Finance Division. Craig works closely with renewable energy exporters, international customers, and project developers to create “Bankable” project structures.

Craig began his career at the Bank in January 1993, as the Loan Officer for the Middle East and North Africa, was appointed as the Bank’s Environmental Liaison Officer in 1995, and also served as a Director for International Business Development from 1998-2008, where he covered the Asia Pacific and Latin America Regions.

In 2008, he was named the Bank’s Renewable Energy Officer and created the Bank’s Renewable Energy Business Development Initiative. Since this Initiative was launched the Bank has authorized over $2 billion in support of renewable energy exports.

In addition to his position at the Bank, Craig serves as an Adjunct Professor of International Business, and International Project Finance, at Georgetown University where he has taught continuously since 1997.


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