Gordon A. Mackenzie

  • Marmorvej 51, FN Byen, 3.9.33

    2100 København Ø


1975 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile


1. General Information

Name: Gordon Alexander Mackenzie

Position: Senior Consultant

Institution: UNEP Risø Centre, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark

Date of Birth:1 November 1950

Nationality: British

Education: BSc (hons.) Physics, 1973, University of Edinburgh
PhD Physics, 1976, University of Edinburgh

Languages: English (native speaker), Danish (fluent), French (rudimentary)

2. Qualifications

- Coordination of multi-country, multi-disciplinary energy-development projects

- Experience in both research and policy related to energy in developing countries, gained through a career partly in a research institution and partly as energy advisor in African government departments, and focused on turning research into action and pro-poor policy on the ground

- Professional background in energy planning and modelling in developed and developing countries

- Capacity building and institutional strengthening in African energy institutions

- Working contacts in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa through close collaboration over many years with energy sector researchers, NGOs and government institutions, in multi-country activities like DEA, EUEI, CEMA, PACEAA, GNESD, climate change mitigation analysis, as well as long-term engagement in Zambia, Lesotho and Ghana

- Broad knowledge of energy technologies, including renewables, and energy issues in developing countries

- Communication skills, including editing, facilitation, outcome mapping, webmaster, organization of workshops

Region/ country experience:
- Developing countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa: long-term attachments (Zambia and Lesotho) and short-term missions (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania,)

- Developing countries in Latin America and Asia: short-term missions (India, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela)

3. Professional history

(i) Head of Programme, Cleaner Energy Development. UNEP Risoe Centre (URC), National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2002-2010 Senior Researcher / Cleaner Energy Development Coordinator. From July 2010, Head of Programme, Cleaner Energy Development.

Responsibilities: Coordination of energy & development projects in URC, liaison with UNEP DTIE, project management (e.g. DEA, CEMA, PACEAA), contact point for GNESD, Coordinator of Risø Energy for Development (EfD) Network, regional coordinator for CD4CDM – North Africa and Middle East (2002-3).

(ii) Chief Technical Advisor / Energy Planning Advisor, Department of Energy, Lesotho (employed by Rambøll under DANCED/Danida project “Energy Management in Lesotho” with leave of absence from Risø), 1999-2002

Responsibilities: General advice on energy policy to Director DOE, Development of Energy Policy Framework for Lesotho, Wind Energy Survey (with Risø Wind Energy Department), project management.

In addition: Capacity building in use of the LEAP 2000 energy planning model (Ghana) in Danida project “Strategic National Energy Plan” to Ghana Energy Commission, short missions to Ghana over period 2000-2002.

(iii) Senior Researcher, UNEP Risoe Centre (formerly UNEP Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment), Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark, 1990-1999.

Responsibilities: various project management duties, e.g. GHG Abatement Costing Studies for Southern Africa, web development, editor of Centre newsletter, energy and transport emissions in India (with TERI), energy modelling and environmental database, liaison with TERI on energy/environment study.

(iv) Senior Researcher / Group Leader, Systems Analysis Department, Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark, 1987-1990. Responsibilities: group leader Environmental Modelling Group, various project management tasks, e.g. energy/emissions consequences of Danish Great Belt link.

(v) Deputy Director / Energy Advisor, Department of Energy, Zambia, 1984-87, Danida personnel assistance to Zambia

Responsibilities: General energy policy advice to Director, continued establishment of DOE in Zambian Ministry of Power, Transport and Communications.

(vi) Researcher, Systems Analysis Department, Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark, 1980-1984

Responsibilities: Energy demand modelling for Denmark, outreach and marketing activities, project development.

(vii) Guest researcher, Department of Physics, Risoe National Laboratory, 1979-1980

Responsibilities: Neutron diffraction experiments, crystallographic data analysis

(viii) Lecturer, Department of Physics, University of Edinburgh, 1978-1979

Responsibilities: Lecture course in Thermodynamics, general physics teaching, experimental solid state physics research.

4. Relevant project activities

(i) Country coordinator 2010-, UNEP/GEF Technology Needs Assessments (TNA), coordinator for Kenya, Zambia, Bhutan

(ii) Project Manager 2009-2011, EUEI UNEP Capacity Enhancement and Mobilisation Action for Energy in Africa – CEMA (EC EuropeAid) http://www.cemafrica.net

Geographical Coverage: All Africa (countries and Regional Economic Communities)

Brief description: Enhancing capacity for African stakeholders to participate in dialogue with EU on energy access and security, coordinating activities through 5 sub-regional contact points, identifying capacity needs, initiating research and targeting technical assistance to further the Africa EU Energy Partnership

Policy relevance: The project will result in strengthened capacity of African regional and national institutions in areas that underpin sound and appropriate energy policies and interventions, and mobilising finance for energy investments.

(iii) Project Manager 2007-10, Poverty Alleviation through Clean Energy from Agro-industries in Africa – PACEAA (EC COOPENER) http://www.paceaa.org

Geographic coverage: East Africa (primarily Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania)

Brief description: In conjunction with GEF project GTIEA and COGEN, PACEAA identifies barriers and facilitates rural electrification from surplus clean energy production from tea and sugar industries in target East African countries.

Policy relevance: The project facilitates the increased use of renewable energy for rural electrification to poor rural communities, contributing to poverty alleviation and MDG achievement.

(iv) Project Manager 2005-7, Development and Energy in Africa - DEA (EC COOPENER) http://www.deafrica.net

Geographic coverage: Botswana, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia

Brief description: Development, testing and application of a simple methodology to assess developmental outcomes and impacts from small energy projects, in collaboration with centres in the six countries.

Policy relevance: Through the developed methodology and case studies, energy sector and other stakeholders became aware of developmental impacts associated with energy interventions, focusing on multi-sector links and M&E.

(v) Project Manager 2004-5, EUEI Facilitation Workshops and Policy Dialogues. www.e4d.net/euei

Geographic coverage:
West Africa (Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal)
Southern and Eastern Africa (Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia)

Brief description: Through the two events, in West and Southern/Eastern Africa, financed by the Danish Government and the European Commission, the EUEI process focused on the implementation of concrete implementation actions for energy access, involving a group of African countries, focusing particularly on the EU-ACP Energy Facility.

Policy relevance: The workshops brought together multi-sector groups from the 14 countries to work together on project identification. The process highlighted the importance and benefits of the multi-sector approach in dealing with energy access. Later evidence showed that the workshops and the project identification approach were significant in producing successful proposals for the Energy Facility.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • User defined:
  • energy, development, Africa, UNEP


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