Meet our experts

The EP Expert Panel is made up of professionals from around the world, whom we have asked to join because of their track record as original thinkers about energy. They may work for companies or government organisations or other institutions, and they will of course have their interests and prejudices, as we all do, but we believe they do provide reasoned and original arguments for their opinions.

We regulary ask our Expert Panel to comment on the energy issues of today. We hope in this way to provide a valuable service to our readers.

If you have questions or if you want to join our panel, please send an email to the editor Karel Beckman,

Christine Hertzog

Christine Herzog-new-croppedChristine Hertzog ( is a Silicon Valley-based consultant, author, and professional explainer focused on Smart Grid technologies and solutions. She provides strategic advisory services to startups and established companies ranging from vendors to utilities and is the author of the Smart Grid Dictionary, now in its 5th Edition, and available in English and Chinese. She is also co-author of The Smart Grid Consumer Focus Strategy, which identifies consumer/utility challenges and how to improve consumer engagement initiatives. She serves on the Advisory Boards of The Energy Collective,, and Zpryme and several startups. Website/blog: Smart Grid Library

Allan Hoffman

Allan HoffmanRecently retired as Senior Analyst in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy/U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Allan holds a Ph.D. in physics from Brown University. He served in a variety of positions at the DOE including Director of the Advanced Energy Systems Policy Division and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Utility Technologies, with responsibility for a $300 million RD&D program (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, energy storage, hydrogen, superconductivity). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and visiting professor at the University of Aberdeen/Scotland and the Gulf Organization for Research and Development/Qatar. He is also the author of a blog on energy and water-energy issues:  ‘Thoughts of a Lapsed Physicist’ (

Matthew Hulbert

MatthewHubert-GijsMatthew Hulbert is Group Political Advisor at Saudi Aramco. Before that he was Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute of Energy Programme (CIEP) in the Netherlands, Senior Fellow Energy & Political Risk at the Centre for Security Studies ETH in Switzerland, Global Issues Analyst at Control Risk. As Energy & Political Risk expert, he has published over 250 articles in international publications. He has been published/quoted in Forbes FT, Economist, Wall Street Journal, The Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, Chatham House, Moscow Times, South China Morning Post, Middle East Magazine, Middle East Economic Digest, Petroleum Economist, German Council on Foreign Relations, and dozens of other publications. He is a regular speaker on international energy issues for governments and the investment community, specialising in political risks of upstream plays. His latest book is, ‘Age of Paradox, Exploring the Uncertain World of Energy 2000-2020′ (Clingendael 2011)

Jeffrey Michel

JeffreyMichel2Jeffrey Michel ( is an independent energy consultant based in Hamburg, Germany. Michel, a graduate from MIT (BSc) and Tulane University (MSc) in the US, has recently written an extensive report on the problems facing CCS for the Air Pollution & Climate Secretariat in Sweden, called Lost Hopes for CCS. He testified to German parliament and to two state parliaments on the unsuitability of Directive 2009/31/EC for domestic energy policy. He is also currently conducting seminars on fracking in Hamburg, where ExxonMobil has been granted a preliminary permit to explore for shale gas. His main area of research has been the German lignite industry, enriched by the personal experience of living in a village that has since been destroyed by a mining project. His long-term interests include developing the smart grid as an environmental quality monitoring network.

Friedbert Pflüger

Friedbert PflFriedbert Pflüger is Professor and Director of the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS), Department of War Studies at King’s College London. He has previously served as a press secretary to former German President Richard von Weizsäcker. Member of the German Bundestag from 1990-2006, Chairman of the Bundestag Committee on the Affairs of the European Union (1998-2002) and Deputy Minister of Defence in the first Merkel Government (2005/06). He publishes frequently, e.g. Energy Post, International Herald Tribune and Handelsblatt. Pflüger has his own consultancy in Berlin/Erbil and is Senior Advisor for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He is  also member of the supervisory board of ALSTOM Power GmbH, Executive Director of KGE Business Alliances (Berlin/Erbil) and Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United States (non-resident).

Peter Poptchev

Peter PoptchevAmbassador Peter Poptchev is a career diplomat, with over 30 years of contribution to Bulgaria’s bilateral and multilateral diplomacy in Lagos, Geneva, Brussels, Dublin and Vienna. From 2007 he was Ambassador-at-large for Energy Security and Climate Change at the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was on the Bulgarian delegation negotiating the South Stream intergovernmental agreement (IGA), headed the team negotiating the Nabucco IGA and helped establish an international programme on energy security at the Diplomatic Institute. He has also held a number of elected positions at UN and specialized international organizations. A series of international treaties, conventions and protocols have been negotiated under his chairmanship and drafting. The author of four books and numerous articles in Bulgarian and English, he researches in particular the development of EU and NATO in the framework of globalization and asymmetric threats and challenges to security, including energy security and climate change.

Hugh Sharman

Hugh SharmanHugh Sharman ( is the owner/director of Incoteco (Denmark) ApS, a Danish energy developer and consulting engineer since 1986.He graduated in civil engineering from Imperial College in 1962. Until the early 1970s, he specialized in innovative offshore construction with the French group, GEM-Hersent. During the mid-1970s, his UK-based energy company, Conservation Tools and Technology, pioneered the popular use of renewable energy. Between 1977 and 1986, he was Area Representative for power generation at Swedish Shipyards and Mitsui Engineering-owned BWSC AS. He founded Incoteco in 1986 and has since undertaken power station and energy related work, focusing on technically innovative environmental and energy processes. In 2004, while performing a study for the Danish Energy Agency on the use of transport hydrogen, generated from excess Danish wind energy, to improve the economy of Danish wind energy, he became convinced that distributed electricity would change energy paradigms. Since 2008, he has been closely involved with early stage development of several, advanced electrical storage technologies for US and Chinese companies which will be necessary to address the integration of increasing quantities of stochastic renewable energy in Europe and elsewhere.

Frank Umbach

Frank UmbachDr. Frank Umbach ( is Associate Director at the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS), King’s College, London (; Senior Associate and Head of the Programme “International Energy Security” at the Centre for European Security Strategies (CESS GmbH), Munich ( &  Senior Fellow at the U.S. Atlantic Council, Energy and Environment Programme, Washington D.C./USA. (


Peter F. Varadi

Peter F. VaradiPeter F. Varadi escaped from Hungary to the US in 1956 and after a scientific career was appointed head of the Communication Satellite Corporation’s (COMSAT) chemistry laboratory in 1968. In this function he participated on research in photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, which were used to power the satellites. In 1973 he co-founded SOLAREX Corporation, Rockville, MD (USA) to develop the utilization of solar cells (PV) for terrestrial applications. SOLAREX was one of the two companies which pioneered this field. By 1978  it became the largest PV Company in the world. It was sold to AMOCO in 1983. Since then he continued to consult, first for SOLAREX, later for the European Commission, The World Bank, NREL, and many other organizations. In 2004, in recognition of his lifelong service to the global PV sector and his continuing commitment in striving for excellence in the PV industry, he received the European Photovoltaic Industry Association’s (EPIA) John Bonda prize. He is the author of two books and has just completed his third book: “SUN Above the Horizon – Snapshots from the History of the Terrestrial Solar Photovoltaic Industry”, which will be published in the first quarter of 2014.

Adnan Vatansever

Vatansever-GijsAdnan Vatansever is a Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC. Earlier he was a Senior Associate in the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Senior Associate in Russian and Caspian Energy at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and a consultant for the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Energy. At King’s College his research focuses on energy and political economy in Eurasia. His expertise includes: oil, gas supply and energy policy in Eurasia; energy transportation and export dynamics in Russia and the Caspian region; energy security in Europe; fiscal and regulatory environment for the energy sector in Eurasia; Turkey’s energy sector, and management of mineral resources in resource-rich countries. He holds a PhD from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and MA from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.