OUR TEAM

Syed Ahmed
Syed AhmedChair
Syed has close to 20 years working in the sustainable energy industry, in a wide variety of roles and organisations ranging from Friends of the Earth, the Combined Heat and Power Association, the Greater London Authority, Arup, and as a director of a trade association working in the insulation sector.

Syed established Energy for London, an independent think tank supporting London’s progress to becoming a low-carbon city. In 2014, he was seconded into the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) undertaking a review of linkages across the Government’s demand side policies. He is also a Director of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG), a Trustee for national fuel poverty organisation National Energy Action (NEA), and a policy advisor to the Green Gas Certification Scheme. In 2015 he produced a report on the opportunities for green infrastructure investment in cities for the Green Investment Bank.

To find out more about Energy For London visit: www.energyforlondon.org

Sydney Charles
Sydney CharlesSecretary
Sydney was very involved with the formation of CEL, working on the admin and website etc. She has been the Secretary of CEL since November 2017 and brings her experience of the en10ergy solar projects and HSSL projects into CEL events and strategy. Her passion for a Green New Deal has been overtaken by a passion for a green recovery from the pandemic and she responds to consultations on UK energy with this in mind, particularly Community involvement.

There are some signs that the powers that be are thinking about ‘Building Back Better’, though the messages are far from clear or adequate. Members of CEL have vital knowledge and experience of working with people in their areas on renewable energy and energy efficient homes. Sydney plans on helping to grow the Community Energy sector in London and influencing actions to enable the sector to thrive.

Tanuja Pandit
Tanuja PanditTreasurer
Tanuja joined the Community Energy London (CEL) board in June 2020 as the Treasurer. Tanuja has worked in the commercial sector in senior finance and general management positions, with Ford Motor Company, Deloitte, General Electric, Diageo and the BBC. Tanuja also led the International Business Leaders Forum, a charity focused on corporate social responsibility, and was the COO of the Start Network, a humanitarian NGO.

Tanuja moved into environmental sustainability work in 2016 when as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts she set up a household sustainability project and ran public events on practical ways to reduce each household’s environmental impact. This led her to join Power Up North London, a member of CEL, where she is a director.

Tanuja is committed to the community energy sector and its role in the decarbonisation of the UK . She sees CEL as a catalyst at a time when there is greater appreciation of the climate emergency and of the power of communities to help address climate change.

Giovanna SpecialeDirector
Dr Giovanna Speciale is co-founder and CEO of South East London Community Energy (SELCE) a pioneering energy cooperative formed by South East Londoners as a vehicle for taking action on climate change and fuel poverty. SELCE currently owns and operates 326kW of community financed solar PV hosted by 7 local schools and has provided tailored energy advice to over 1800 vulnerable householders living in fuel poverty. In partnership with local authorities, SELCE has led the way in developing new business models that enable fuel poor householders to access funds for money and energy saving major efficiency improvements. She is a community research and participation specialist and an environmental activist. She brings 14 years’ experience working as a social researcher in the community sector as well as an academic background in energy policy.
Victoria Wood
Victoria WoodDirector
One of three Directors and the community representative for Aldgate Solar Power, an exciting new Solar project supported by Repowering and the pilot for the first of many community energy projects in the City of London.
Victoria has BA(Hons) Physics from the University of Oxford, 13 years’ experience working with non-profit organisations and has strong business development and networking skills. She is currently leading operations with a community initiative to match volunteers with causes during the Covid crisis.
Passionate about a green recovery. We have the technology for a greener and more sustainable way to live. It’s time to put more of these solutions into action.
Excited to have joined the board of Community Energy London, to support the growth of CEL, inspire and encourage others to take on a range of energy projects, raise awareness and contribute to the fight against the global climate crisis at a local level.
Hannah Short
Hannah ShortDirector
Hannah has been involved in the community energy scene for a number of years, from helping to co-found the first community energy project on a University Solar SOAS, to interning at Repowering London for 3 months, to working as the Community Energy London Officer for a year. Previously she worked at SOAS Student’s Union as the Sustainability, Governance & Communications Coordinator for 2 years, supporting student environemntal campaigns. She currently works as a campaigner at Greenpeace, and has a range of experience working in different capacities across various environmental issues.
Jamie Baxter
Jamie BaxterDirector
As a CEL Director I aim to bring two main things to the CEL board. Firstly, I try bring my knowledge and experience as a low carbon technology professional working for a consultancy based near London Bridge. I specialise in providing feasibilities and project management in solar and electric vehicle charging, as well as growing experience in technologies such as storage and wind. I believe this can be of great use to the board, alongside knowledge from my UCL energy policy masters and my enthusiasm and engagement with the sector as a whole.

Secondly, as a member of CREW Energy, a community energy group based in Wandsworth, I try to bring the knowledge and influence of a growing community energy group. Having recently won funding to expand our energy cafés program and for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects both in Wandsworth and around London, I try to act as a conduit to ensure that all of the London groups could benefit from CREW’s experience.