Alexander Hogeveen Rutter: Private Sector Specialist, International Solar Alliance

Alexander Hogeveen Rutter has been passionate ab­out renewable energy ever since he led the “alternative energy” field at an “Enviro­thon” back in school. He pursued electrical engineering and wrote an undergraduate paper on energy policy in India. He went on to join Manitoba Hydroelectric, an integrated utility, where he worked on generation, distribution and transmission, before settling on operations, working in the real-time grid control centre. He obtained an MBA from the Indian School of Business and then worked for the Boston Consu­l­ting Group in areas such as electric vehicles and gr­een hydrogen. Later, at the Interna­tional Finance Corporation, he led the tea­ms on energy storage and green hydrogen for the Asia-Pacific region.

He is currently a private sector specialist at the International Solar Alliance (ISA), and is most excited about supporting countries in the implementation of large-scale solar park projects. “I hope to see Indian developers ta­ke leadership on ISA projects around the world. I am also super excited about the SolarX Grand Challenge, which is supporting innovative solar start-ups (starting in Africa) to scale their activities,” he says.

“The main challenge for renewable developers is providing a stable, reliable source of power that is as crucial to the development of the country as coal-based power. If solar solutions are view­ed as crucial to the development of the country, they can advocate for equality with coal on taxation, land acquisition, interconnection requests, etc. Perhaps the biggest disparity between solar and coal is that coal plants continue to be built on what is essentially a cost-plus model, while renewables are subject to competitive bidding with L1+2 per cent matching.”

“My biggest goal is to promote no new coal,” says Rutter. “People around the world, not just in India, deserve a more affordable, reliable and sustainable source of power. In the long run, I would like to see a point where energy ac­cess and energy poverty challenges are completely eliminated.”

Rutter has a  development-focused ma­nagement style. He says, “I set high targets for my team and encourage them to set their own targets even higher. I wa­nt them to grow and ideally do as much of my job as possible, with me there to provide guidance.” Rutter likes to spend his spare time with his children. He en­joys swimming, playing badminton and working on his blog.