The Global Solar Council (GSC)has appointed Sonia Dunlop as its CEO. With a distinguished career spanning almost 15 years in the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry, renewables policy, and climate change finance, Sonia Dunlop brings a wealth of experience and fervor to her new role.
This strategic decision holds immense significance for the growth of the GSC and the global solar PV industry, especially in the critical context of COP28 and the collective efforts to attain net zero emissions. As indicated by net zero scenarios presented by organizations like the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar power is poised to assume a pivotal role in facilitating the energy transition necessary to adhere to a 1.5°C global warming trajectory. Leading market analysts suggest that under a moderate growth scenario, global cumulative solar capacity could exceed 6.2 terawatts by 2030. However, with the right policies, regulations, and investments in place, cumulative solar installations worldwide could potentially reach a remarkable 7.9 terawatts by 2030 in a high-growth scenario.
To fully harness the decarbonization and economic potential of solar power in countries around the world, the GSC is intensifying its advocacy and market-shaping endeavors. The appointment of Sonia Dunlop as the full-time CEO represents a significant stride by the organization in reinforcing its leadership and structure. The outgoing ad interim CEO, Gianni Chianetta, will remain engaged as a Senior Advisor to ensure a seamless transition for the association.
Sonia Dunlop has previously held prominent positions at SolarPower Europe and Solar Energy UK, where she spearheaded successful campaigns and initiatives. Notable among these was her leadership of the Solar Independence Campaign, her pivotal role in establishing the RE-Source Platform – an alliance uniting multinational corporations and renewable suppliers to promote corporate adoption of renewable power, and her contributions to the Digitalisation & Solar initiative. Her tenure in these roles also significantly contributed to the growth of these organizations and their memberships. In addition, she spent five years in the European Parliament in Brussels, focusing on renewables and energy infrastructure policy.
During the past half-decade, she has been an integral part of the management team at the climate change policy think tank, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G). Her responsibilities at E3G included leading initiatives related to public banks, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and the reform of international financial architecture. Sonia Dunlop was also seconded to the COP26 Glasgow organizing team, where she played a vital role in securing additional climate finance for renewables, adaptation efforts, and more from institutions such as the World Bank and the group of 10 MDBs.
Sonia possesses fluency in English, French, and Italian, with a basic command of Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese. She is based in London, where she resides with her two children. Her possession of four passports stands as a testament to her global perspective and the international reach of her work.
Ms. Dunlop said, “I am delighted to be joining the Global Solar Council as its CEO. We are in a pivotal moment for the global solar industry, and I am eager to help drive its growth, champion the technology, and unite the industry. The work we do at the GSC is essential, especially so given how critical COP28 Dubai will be for the energy
transition. We need the global solar sector to speak with one voice and ensure that countries commit to ambition and action to urgently scale-up solar deployment, on roofs and beyond, in every corner of the world.”
Máté Heisz, Chair of the Global Solar Council, added, “We are delighted to welcome Sonia as our new CEO. Her extensive experience in the solar industry and renewable policy, combined with her strong background in climate advocacy and finance, makes her the ideal candidate to lead our evolving organization. Sonia’s appointment will undoubtedly help us
grow the association and achieve our goals of supporting the global solar industry and advancing the transition to net zero.”