Definitive Solar Institute

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Robert  Freling

Robert Freling

Executive Director
Solar Electric Light Fund
Washington District of Columbia
Timezone: America/Chicago

Robert Freling is Executive Director of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that has been on the cutting edge of delivering solar solutions to rural villages since 1997. Under Freling’s leadership, SELF has pioneered the use of solar power for a wide range of applications including household lighting, water pumping, school electrification, drip irrigation and wireless Internet access. SELF has completed projects in 20 countries, making it a leader among non-governmental organizations in providing practical and cost-effective renewable energy alternatives for the developing world. In 2009, Freling was awarded the 2008 King Hussein Leadership Prize by Her Majesty Queen Noor at the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Forum. A native of Dallas,Texas. Mr. Freling collaborated with SELF as a Chinese translator and interpreter to coordinate a 1000-house solar electrification project in rural Gansu, China. He was soon appointed SELF’s Director of International Programs. In that role, he facilitated negotiations between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to expand the Gansu Province solar electrification project.

Fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Indonesian, Mr. Freling holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University, and an M.A. in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the Uni. of Southern California.


  • JoinedDecember 12, 2011

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