Monica Oliphant elected President of the International Solar Energy Society

ISES President Prof. Monica Oliphant.
ISES President Prof. Monica Oliphant.

The Board of Directors of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) has elected Monica Oliphant from Australia as the new President of the International Solar Energy Society for the term from 01 January 2008 through 31 December 2009. Mrs. Oliphant is the 25th President of the Society and is the successor of Torben Esbensen of Denmark. Two new Vice-Presidents were also elected within the new Executive Committee. Dr. David Renné of the USA will be the new VP for Scientific and Technical Affairs and Prof. Jan-Olof Dalenbäck from Sweden, and current Treasurer of ISES, will be the VP for Membership Affairs.

The new ISES Secretary and Treasurer are yet to be determined, as are the Vice Presidents for Industries and Public Affairs. Oliphant has identified three main priorities as President: Enhancing ISES' recognition as a scientific society; establishing a stronger profile in the areas of policy, promotion and international relations; and undertaking a membership structure review.


Under the first priority, Oliphant has identified the role of ISES conferences as one of the Society's high profile assets. To help attract more participants to the ISES conferences, she aims to strengthen cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Alliance (IREA) whose members could benefit from participating at ISES events. Also as a means to further cooperation with IREA, Oliphant would like to develop a joint IREA congress (to take place in non Solar World Congress years) focusing mainly on RE policy issues and directed towards corporate and governmental sectors. Oliphant also aims to strengthen publications as well as cooperation with institution and company members for the mutual benefit of both ISES and members. In the area of policy, promotion and international relations, Oliphant looks to increase ISES’ role as a provider of scientifically credible information about renewable energies through its publications, conferences, strategic projects and linkages with the UN.


A unified voice for renewable energies

Oliphant recognizes the role ISES plays as part of a unified voice for renewable energies together with the IREA partners. She emphasizes that cooperation among renewable energy industries is needed to make significant inroads into fossil fuel and nuclear territory and to deal with the misinformation from these industries regarding the potential of RE options. Moreover, she recognizes the importance of one of the most pressing issue on today's global agenda: Climate Change. Commenting on her new position she says "I have come to the position at a time when both mitigation and adaptation to climate change is very much in the fore front of people’s minds. Recent IPCC predictions not only put the reality of human-induced global warming beyond any doubt but indicate its impact is greater than initially thought."

Oliphant has degrees in physics from Adelaide University and London University and began her career in renewable energies during the 1970’s oil crisis. From 1977 – 1980 she worked in the field of solar thermal research at the Flinders University South Australia on solar water heaters, heat pipes, tracking solar concentrators and solar ponds. From 1981 – 2000 she was the Principal Energy Research Scientist for the Electricity Trust of South Australia, where she undertook work in the areas of wind surveying, remote area RE power supply, building integrated PV, demand side management, monitoring, measurement & analysis, energy efficiency and policy.

Since 2000 she has been working as private consultant for renewable energy and residential energy efficiency, while working as a Adjunct A/Prof at the Sustainable Energy Centre of the Research University of South Australia. Recently she has worked on many projects at the state and national government levels in Australia as well as for industry in the areas of residential RE and energy monitoring, measurement and analysis. She has been a member of several state and federal government advisory panels and groups for sustainability and energy including the 4 person Federal Government High Level Panel Reviewing Australia’s Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET). She was also part of the organising committee of the ISES 2001 Solar World Congress in Adelaide and is on the steering committee of the 3rd International Solar Cities Congress 2008.

Since 1997 Oliphant has been on the ISES Board of Directors as representative from the Australian & New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES). Since 2006 she has served as the ISES Vice President for Public Affairs. She is also part of the Board of the International Solar Cities Initiative, an independent initiative founded by ISES.

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2007-12-21 | Courtesy: ISES | © Heindl Server GmbH