Cornelius Matthes

Cornelius Matthes

Chief Executive Officer, Dii Desert Energy

As the CEO at Dii Desert Energy, Cornelius made its mission to drive the energy transition forward and pioneer the field of energy from the desert, leading the world to 100% renewables!

Cornelius is a well-respected leader and investor in the renewable energy industry and built several successful clean energy businesses and start-ups within Middle East and Africa. He has extensive board level experience from 10 years in Deutsche Bank (among others, youngest board member in Deutsche Bank Italy Group) and several leading renewable energy organisations and associations via pro bono work as well as different start-up companies.

By building the international shareholder and partner network of Dii Desert Energy (Desertec Industrial Initiative), he was at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution in North Africa and the Middle East. A keen entrepreneur and investor in emerging markets with recognitions such as “Solar Pioneer 2015” for the Middle East, he is lecturing at several universities including St. Gallen and is a regular speaker at international conferences. He holds an MBA (Dipl. Kaufmann) from University of Passau, and speaks German, English, Italian, French and Russian.

His experience ranges from M&A transactions, asset management, developing utility scale renewable energy projects (including mid-market with private PPAs), pay-as-you-go solar to energy efficiency, including ESCO projects and new business models. Some of the projects and companies were executed in challenging settings or countries. He has led sizable organizations both in start-up environments and blue-chip companies and has raised funds from angel investments to USD 100m+ projects with institutional investors. “I am glad to be able to work in renewable energy which is also my passion – we can genuinely make an impact with many different things and help people, to make our planet a better place. Having new challenges every day is fantastic and many more mountains to be climbed!”

His leadership experience is marked by pioneering investment position in the emission-free technologies:

  • Vice Chairman & Investor, Enteria Energietechnik GmbH
  • Board Member & Investor, Solarway
  • Board Advisor & Investor, Enerwhere