The »Solar for All« initiative was launched in October 2008 in Freiburg, Germany. The gathering was attended by more than 50 of the world’s leading organisations working on the problems of energy access for developing countries, with a particular focus on solar PV energy.

The initiative was founded by:

Canopus Foundation (Germany), which provides business development assistance and market intelligence to social enterprises in the field of renewable energy since 2000.

Ashoka (USA), a global network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in over 70 countries, including several hundred fellows working in the area of renewable energy and poverty alleviation. 

»Solar for All« Team

Dr. Peter W. Heller, Canopus Foundation, Co-Founder

Peter is the co-founder and executive director of the Canopus Foundation, a registered charitable family foundation launched at Freiburg/Germany in 1997. Since 2001 Canopus has ventured into the field of venture philanthropy. It promotes private social investments and business development assistance for social entrepreneurs working in the field of rural electrification and clean energy technologies in developing countries. Peter is the founder, owner and executive director of forseo GmbH, an independent investment company dedicated to clean and sustainable energy technologies. He studied economics and philosophy at the universities of St. Gallen, Lausanne (Switzerland) and Freiburg (Germany) and holds a PhD degree in economics.  

Julia Heller, Canopus Foundation, Coordinator

Julia is part of the »Solar for All« management team, in charge of organizing and coordinating the contest. She studied Business Management at King's College London and Global Politics at the London School of Economics where she completed her MSc in 2013. She has acquired work experience in the UK, US, French and German renewable energy sectors. Prior to joining Canopus, Julia managed the rollout of an online solar installer rating program in the UK, assisting a team of web developers and taking on administrative, marketing, strategy and business development tasks.

Inge Oeben, Canopus Foundation, Administrator

Inge is responsible for the logistics of the »Solar for All« contest. She is a qualified foreign-language secretary and HR manager. She played a crucial role in setting up two companies in the areas of R+D and Medical Technology from start-up to certification. Prior to joining Canopus, Inge was employed as HR manager in a mid-size B2B dialogue marketing center with a focus on business, law and tax software.

Roman Ritter, Independent Consultant 

Roman works as an Assessor for the »Solar for All« contest, analyzing and evaluating the feasibility of solar social enterprise business models. He has more than 10 years of experience on rural electrification. Previously, he worked as program director for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and spent two years in the German solar industry. Roman holds a Masters degree in Economics and is a trained banker. 

Marketing and PR & Technical Assessment

The Fraunhofer ISE manages the marketing and PR efforts for the »Solar for All« contest. The technical assessment and evaluation of the Solar for All contest applications are undertaken by a highly qualified team of engineers at the Fraunhofer ISE.