Ray Holland, BSc, MIET is a chartered electrical engineer, trained at the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth. He has spent the last 30 years based in the UK and Germany, managing programmes of renewable energy projects and energy policy in Africa, Asia and Latin America and programmes of support to SMEs and the business development services that support them. This included supporting the development of innovative technology for micro hydro from two West Country firms and transferring the technology to various developing countries.
He managed a small consulting firm for ten years, leading research and technical assistance consulting work for the World Bank, various UN organisations, overseas governments and the UK Department for International Development.
In 2000 he led a programme to develop a solar lantern that was licensed to a manufacturer with an extensive distribution network in Africa. He won the Environmental Award for Engineers 2001 from the UK Engineering Council for this work. He was also a director of the UK branch of International Development Enterprises (now IDE Global), that specialized in developing and marketing innovative and affordable technology for farmers in developing countries.
He managed an EU programme, based in Germany for six years, providing technical assistance to mostly African national governments and regional organisations. It also provided services to the European Commission to lead the Africa-EU Energy Partnership and designed and set up the current Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme. Much of this work was focused on local communities owning their own electricity supplies, and he is now applying lessons from this experience in his own community in South Devon by setting up community owned solar farms.
Ray lives just outside Plymouth and is impressed by the many energetic and innovative enterprises in the area that could be models for other firms. He is motivated to help spread this best practice experience more widely to help build the economy of Plymouth and the South West UK.