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Panel 1: Well-functioning and innovative gas market

Petra Vargová Čakovská

SOS Poprad

Petra Čakovská has been working as a project coordinator and Vice President of Slovak consumer organization Spoločnosť ochrany spotrebiteľov (S.O.S.) since 2011, and has been protecting consumer´s rights since 2009.

She also represents the interests of Slovak consumer associations in the European Consumer Consultative Committee (ECCG) in Brussels. S.O.S. focuses on out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes, education and publishing. Realising various national and international projects, S.O.S. is a member of the European Consumer Organization BEUC.

Petra Čakovská is a graduate of the Department of Journalism at Comenius University in Bratislava, she publishes in the media and lives in Poprad.

Megan Richards

Director, DG ENER, European Commission

Since 1 April 2017, Megan Richards is Director of Energy Policy in DG Energy (ENER) of the European Commission. Prior to joining the European Commission in 1991, Megan Richards worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa, the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, the government of Canada, and private law firms. Within the European Commission, she focused on programmes to support SMEs, research and innovation. She also worked at the Commission’s Joint Research Centre and DG CONNECT, were she held various senior management positions.

From 2013-2014, she was EU Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. She holds a bachelor of science, a bachelor of laws and a master of public administration degrees.

Dirk Buschle

Deputy Director, Energy Community Secretariat

Dirk Buschle is Deputy Director of the Energy Community Secretariat since 2011 and has led its legal unit since 2007. He also focuses on dispute resolution and negotiations and has acted as mediator in high-profile investor-state conflicts in the energy sector. Prior to his current position, Dirk was Head of Cabinet of the President of the Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Luxembourg.

Dirk is also Professor and Chairholder of the Iberdrola Manuel Marin European Energy Policy Chair at the College of Europe in Bruges.

He graduated in law from Constance University, Germany, and earned his Ph.D. at St. Gallen University in Switzerland. He has widely published in different areas of European policy and law, and has lectured in various academic sites.

Dimitris Tzortzis

CEO, DEPA, Greece

Since November 2017, Mr Tzortzis is the CEO of the Greek Gas Corporation (DEPA).

His professional experience includes top managerial posts in both the private and public sectors (with particular focus on network and telecoms infrastructure in leading international companies) and as Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks.

He holds a BSc & MSc in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the National Technical University of Athens.

Jan Vitovský

Strategy Manager, Net4Gas, Czech Republic

Jan Vitovský is Strategy Manager in NET4GAS, the Czech gas TSO. His 12-year experience in the EU gas transportation business includes working for NET4GAS and ENTSOG – European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas in Brussels.

Specifically, since 2007 Mr Vitovsky has been working in Corporate Development and Strategy department in NET4GAS, focusing on analyses of external environment and the development of strategic, mid- and short-term goals for the company. In 2014-2018 he was seconded to ENTSOG, working as Subject Manager for Capacity with responsibilities on management of capacity related issues, implementation of gas network codes in the EU member states as well as further development of the EU gas market. As an ENTSOG representative, he was a lecturer at specialised gas trainings courses at Florence School of Regulation and Energy Delta Institute.

He holds a master’s degree in business economics from the Tomas Bata University in Zlin and an MBA in strategic management from the Nottingham Trent University.

Georg Dorfleutner

Managing Director, RAG Energy Storage, Austria

Georg Dorfleutner was appointed as a managing director of RAG Energy Storage in January 2013. He is also a vice-president of Gas Storage Europe (GSE).
Georg joined RAG Austria AG in 2008, and has worked for the legal department as well as for the business development and business planning department, specialising in regulatory and European affairs. His expertise in these key aspects of gas market liberalisation and his activities on behalf of Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) have given RAG a voice at European level.
Prior to starting his career at law firm WDR, Georg studied law at the University of Vienna.

Panel 2: The decarbonisation of heat


Member of the Board of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA)/Austrian Institute of Technology

Dr. Thomas Fleckl heads the Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems competence unit at the Centre for Energy at AIT since 2015. Since 2010, he has been the Thematic Coordinator at AIT and responsible for the development and implementation of research projects in the field of renewable heating and cooling technologies. Dr. Fleckl has extensive know-how in the field of heat pump technology and is an experienced project manager with more than 15 years of profound experience in managing research activities.

Since 2015 he has been a member of the Board of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) and since 2018 he has been the Austrian delegate of the “Technology Collaboration Programme” for “Heat Pumping Technologies” in the International Energy Agency (IEA). Thomas Fleckl studied Technical Physics at the Graz University of Technology and completed his dissertation in the field of combustion diagnostics.

Julian Popov

Chair of the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) / Fellow of the European Climate Foundation

Julian Popov is Chairman of the Building Performance Institute Europe, Fellow of the European Climate Foundation and Bulgarian Ambassador of good will for energy and climate policy.

His past professional experience includes political positions such as being former Minister of Environment of Bulgaria and energy security adviser to the President of Bulgaria. He also held various senior positions in the academic sector.

He is frequently published by Bulgarian and international media and is a frequent guest at national radio and television programmes with comments on energy and climate policies, energy security and European affairs.

Federica Sabbati

Secretary General, European Heating Industry Association (EHI)

Federica Sabbati is Secretary General of the European Heating Industry, which brings together companies that are leaders in the production of efficient heating systems.

She has been working in an international political and business environment, in Brussels and London. Her previous responsibilities include being secretary general of the Liberal International and of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party (now ALDE) as well as dealing with public affairs for the Coca-Cola Company Europe.

She holds a university degree in International Relations from the University of Trieste (Gorizia base), Italy, and a master’s Degree in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Michael Woltran

Vice President Gas Innovation & Advocacy, OMV Gas & Power

Michael Woltran joined OMV Group in 1999, having previously worked in sales, marketing and controlling. Since then, he held various top management positions at OMV Gas, dealing with the issues of transmission and storage, gas logistics and finance. Michael Woltran has recently took a new role as Vice President for Gas Innovation and Advocacy at OMV Gas & Power.

He graduated from the Höhere Technische Bundeslehr- und Versuchsanstalt für chemische Industrie and studied business administration at the Vienna University of Economic and Business.

Sebastian Gröblinghoff

Vice-Chairman of the Management Board, Latvijas Gāze

Sebastian Gröblinghoff is Vice-Chairman of the Board and CFO of the JSC Latvijas Gaze. He has more than ten years of experience in the European gas and energy industry and held different positions within E.ON and Uniper Group in the last years.

Before taking over his current function Sebastian was a Vice President at Uniper responsible for the Key Account Gazprom export.