Off Grid Access to Energy

The objective of Task 18 is to find the technical issues and barriers which affect the planning, financing, design, construction and operations and maintenance of off-grid and edge-of-grid systems, especially those which are common across nations, markets and system scale, and offer solutions, tools, guidelines and technical reports for free dissemination.

Australian Lead and Operating Agent

Chris Martell


Chris is the Director of Operations and Engineering at Global Sustainable Energy Solutions (GSES) Pty Ltd, a global leader in Solar PV Training, Design, Capacity Building and Procurement services.  GSES is based in Sydney, Australia and has delivered its service offering in over 41 countries. Many of these services relate specifically to off-grid and remote area power system design and installation and it is this experience that has led to Chris’ involvement with Task 18 as Operating Agent and Australian Expert.

Australian Contributors

Dow Airen


Dow is an electrical engineer with broad experience in all aspects of PV-diesel and battery hybrid power system development. He has technical and project management expertise in renewable energy generation, energy storage product development, tender development and Northern Territory government procurement.

With current interests including micro-grids / stand alone least cost power system design, energy storage technology, power system modelling, renewable energy generation & smart grid technology, Dow is an Australian expert on IEA Task 18 Off Grid Access to Energy.

Geoff Stapleton


Geoff specialised in solar (PV) energy in the final year of his electrical engineering degree in 1981, with a thesis was on solar water pumping systems. He joined BP Solar Australia on 1987. In 1989 he started his own company on the south coast of NSW where he designed, installed and maintained off grid power systems. 1995-2000 he worked as a consultant with an electricity utility involved with designing and installing off-grid and grid connected systems.  In 1998 he was one of the co-founders of Global Sustainable Energy Solutions Pty Ltd (GSES) is the  managing director. GSES is a multi-disciplinary organisation specialising in professional engineering and training services across the Renewable Energies sector.  Geoff has undertaken projects in Australia, Africa, Asia and the Pacific islands and travels extensively. He was a part-time senior lecturer at the UNSW School of PV and RE Engineering from 2003 to 2015.
Geoff has played an active role in the various Australian industry associations since  1991 to end of 2018 when he stepped down from the Clean Energy Council’s Installers Reference Group. From 1992 to 2002 he was chair of the NSW chapter of Solar Energy Industry Association of Australia (SEIAA) which later evolved to Sustainable Energy Industries Association (Australia). He was a member and later Chair of the Renewable and Sustainable Technical Advisory committee for 10 years that oversaw the ongoing management of renewable energy training units in Australia. He was member of IEA PVPS Task 9 Deployment of Photovoltaic Technologies: Co-operation. With Developing Countries from 1999 to 2017 and is currently involved in Task 18, Off Grid Access to Energy. In 2020 Geoff is still: Member of Standards Australia EL42 Working Groups and IEC TC82 JWG1; Board Member and Treasurer of International Solar Energy Society (ISES); and Secretary of the Sustainable Energy Industry Association of Pacific Islands (SEIAPI).

Anna Bruce


Dr Anna Bruce is a senior lecturer in the school of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW, and Research Coordinator (Engineering) at the Collaboration on Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at UNSW Sydney. She leads CEEM’s research theme in Distributed energy systems including ‘smart grids’ and ‘smart’ homes, distributed generation and demand-side participation. Her research focuses on modelling, analysis and integration of renewable energy and distributed energy resources into electricity industries; energy access in developing countries; and energy policy and regulation.

Anna is an Australian expert on the International Energy Agency’s PV Power Systems programme Task 18 (Off Grid Access to Energy), Task 14 (High Penetration PV), is funded to contribute to Australia’s participation in Mission Innovation Challenge 2 on Off-Grid Access to Electricity, and leads the Australian PV Institute’s Solar Mapping project.

Lachlan McLeod


© Lisa Hatz Photography

Lachlan is a mechanical engineering and commerce graduate (Corporate Finance and Investment Finance) with experience across the energy, finance and mining sectors in Australia, the UK and the US. He has worked in various roles for Macquarie Capital, London, Fortescue Metals Group, Australia, and as a research analyst for a renewable energy consulting and investment company in New York.

Currently at Ekistica, Lachlan is involved in a range of small to large energy development projects in regional and remote areas; applying an evidence-based approach and critical analytical processes to the complex challenges of remote area infrastructure development. Utilising this expertise, Lachlan is an Australian expert in Task 18, Off Grid Access to Energy.