RMI Hires Global Leaders to Accelerate the Transition to Sustainable Energy in the Global South
Sustainability leader Raul Alfaro-Pelico joins RMI to spearhead building expertise in clean energy in the Global South, and renewable energy specialist Suleiman Babamanu joins to lead RMI’s Nigeria Program under the auspices of the Global South Program
Washington, D.C – April 5, 2022
RMI today announced the appointments of Raul Alfaro-Pelico as senior director on RMI’s Global South Program and Suleiman Babamanu as the director of RMI’s Nigeria Program.
Alfaro-Pelico brings over 20 years of sustainability leadership accelerating the net-zero transition, catalyzing investment for impact, and managing environmental, social and governance risks at multilaterals (United Nations, World Bank Group, Inter-American Development Bank), multinationals (Exxon Mobil, Noble Energy, Acciona, Glencore) and multidisciplinary research institutions (The Economist Intelligence Unit, Drexel, Arcadia and Lancaster universities). In his new role, he will lead RMI’s global efforts in building expertise in clean energy in the Global South – providing Global South energy leaders a way to access curated information and tools needed to create systemic change.
Babamanu will lead RMI’s growing Nigeria portfolio, which is focused on pushing the energy transition from traditional and often polluting and expensive energy infrastructure to clean, affordable and resilient energy resources. RMI is working with distribution companies and private developers to demonstrate new, commercially viable business models that will unlock the country’s renewable energy generation at the residential and community level.
Babamanu brings over 10 years of experience in developing strategies for clean energy infrastructure and investment. Prior to joining RMI, he served as the technical project lead for the Solar Power Naija Program, the largest off-grid project in sub-Saharan Africa, where he led the overall implementation and delivery of the program.
“We are thrilled to welcome these two experienced leaders to RMI at such a critical time in the energy transition for the Global South,” says Justin Locke, managing director of RMI’s Global South Program. “Alfaro-Pelico and Babamanu will scale RMI’s efforts to empower Global South energy leaders to accelerate country-led, just, equitable and resilient clean energy transitions.”
Energy practitioners from countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and island regions are often marginalized due to lack of access to the timely and relevant information they need to address the unique challenges of upgrading energy systems. Alfaro-Pelico’s deep international experience is well suited to address those challenges.
“RMI is more than a ‘think and do tank’ with a 40-year track record applying technoeconomic research to accelerate the energy transition,” says Alfaro-Pelico. “My objective is to ensure RMI’s work inspires energy leaders in the Global South to become the exponential changemakers that the net-zero future demands.” In this effort he will also draw from advice provided to national delegations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a member of the African Group of Negotiators Expert Support network and in his Private Sector Observer role at the Climate Investment Funds.
Babamanu was one of the pioneers in designing the World Bank’s Nigeria Electrification Project and led the distribution of Solar Home Systems (SHS), which are cost-effective off-grid technologies for providing lighting and low-end energy services to rural households. He is deeply committed to managing renewable energy projects and developing sustainable strategies for the deployment of commercially viable minigrids and SHS to rural communities and the underserved in order to stimulate economic progress that fosters environmentally sustainable, low-carbon and socially inclusive development.
“RMI has become a global leader in the energy transition. Joining an ambitious organization that seeks to transform global energy systems with a focus on providing clean energy access for all in countries around the world has been my ambition,” says Babamanu. “For Nigeria, I aim to lead this transition through strategies to rapidly scale up clean energy deployment while developing and demonstrating innovative business models that can be replicated and implemented in the country.”
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RMI is an independent nonprofit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
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