Dr Holle Wlokas

Senior consultant

Holle is a social scientist with over six years’ experience in multi-stakeholder projects and processes. Her work revolves around the field of community development, especially linked to the renewable energy sector, with a specific interest in supporting quality relationships between business, government and citizens.

Holle is educated in Germany and professionally trained in South Africa and internationally. She holds a PhD from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and a post-grad degree in Political Science from the Freie University Berlin in Germany. Holle joined Synergy in 2016 and before was a full-time academic at the Energy Research Centre at UCT. Holle’s PhD explored the institutional arrangements and work conducted by local communities, government and industry in the implementation of community benefits in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). She is expanding on this work in her current assignment to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which identifies good practices in community benefit delivery through job creation, skills development and efforts towards gender equality in large-scale renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa.

Holle has managed and contributed to academic research projects addressing issues around community development, household energy (poverty) and climate change mitigation and also worked within international programmes like the Mitigation Action Plans and Scenarios (MAPS) Programme and the Global Network on Energy for Sustainable Development  (GNESD). Holle’s research is influenced by action research and transdiciplinary methods. She has been involved with and led various multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the development of a responsive offering (workshops, knowledge creation and dissemination) to the renewable energy sector and its community development obligations.

Holle is an active member in the South African solar and wind energy industry associations (SAPVIA and SAWEA). She was awarded for the “Best academic contribution to the wind industry in South Africa” (2015) and for her “ambassadorship for the wind industry in South Africa” (2016), both by SAWEA.

Further qualifications include formal training in development and multi-stakeholder facilitation, outcome mapping for monitoring and evaluation and project management. Holle has fieldwork experience in various European countries and the global South including Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. Holle is fluent in English and German.