Paul van Son
“United Europe stands for uniting people, countries and continents.”
Paul van Son has been active for more than 40 years in supervisory boards, executive boards and in operations management positions in the international energy business. He is ‘diagnosed’ to be a business pioneer, innovator and networker, with general management and governance experience. In the last 20 years, he has been a driving force in the energy transition in Europe, West Asia and Africa.
After being active as the founding CEO of Dii Desert Energy (also known as Desertec Industrial Initiative) from 2009 until 2020 he is now serving Dii as its President. This international group of companies is well known for paving the way for countries in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) to become an emission-free energy ‘Powerhouse’ for the benefit of their own people and, ultimately, for exporting green energy into the global markets.
In the period 2015 until 2020 Paul acted, in parallel to his function at Dii Desert Energy, as innogy’s Country Chairman for the MENA region. Innogy, to date part of Eon and RWE, was at the time Germany’s largest company in the field of renewables, grids and retail of power and gas, with annual turn-over of over 40 bln€ and over 23 mln power and gas customers. In his function at Innogy Paul reported to the Chairman of the Board.
From 1998 onward, until his assignment as CEO of Dii GmbH (‘Desertec Industry Initiative) in 2009, he served in the largest Dutch Energy company Essent. He has a.o. been the founding Managing Director of Essent Energy Trading (Nl), CEO of Essent Sustainable Energy, and Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Essent GmbH in Düsseldorf. These new ventures all developed into innovative and international key activities of Essent N.V. (which was in those days the market leader in energy in the Benelux and market leader in wind energy in Germany. Essent was acquired by RWE in 2008).
Paul is the co-founder (1999) and honorary President of the European Federation of Energy Traders (www.efet.org). He is Chairman of Energy4All Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting decentralized energy systems in Africa. His Supervisory Board positions include Chairman of the Board of Komstrom AG (Leipzig), Member of the Board of SWB AG (Bremen), member of the Board of DEWA/innogy’s Joint Venture in Dubai, member of the Board of Ghorfa (German-Arab Chamber of Commerce) and the Board of Trustees of the German-African Business Association. He is presently involved in several Start-up companies with a footprint in the energy transition.
He graduated as MSc of electrical engineering at the Technical University Delft (1978) and Post Graduate Corporate Governance at Nyenrode University, Netherlands (2008).
Paul is the co-author of the book ‘Emission Free Energy from the Deserts’, by Paul van Son & Thomas Isenburg, Smart Books, The Hague 2020.
Paul is after many years as an ‘expat’ living with his family in the Netherlands, enjoying local social life and several advisory and supervisory functions in the international energy sector