Liesel Kassier

Research Head: Green Manufacturing

Brief profile:

Liesel Kassier is currently a director at Energy 4.0 which is a smart energy start-up company that provides clients with solutions to hedge their future energy costs, by providing cost effective energy solutions. Energy 4.0 has built up a network of key industry partners in energy auditing, rooftop Solar PV, battery technology and the financial sector that allows them to offer their clients affordable financed energy solutions. Liesel has recently obtained her master’s in development finance through Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, focusing on renewable energy finance. Her masters thesis was entitled “Developing a Business Case for a Solar Bond Originator” and provided the foundation for the setting up of Energy 4.0. She has recently joined the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies (TWIMS) in Durban as Head of Green Manufacturing where she will continue teaching and researching in her field of expertise through the Gordon Institute of Business Science, the provider of formal academic programmes at TWIMS.

Prior to this Liesel spent 4 years at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) where she was based at the Energy Centre. Here her job title was Macro Energy Economist and she was involved in contributing to projects such as the Review of the National Integrated Resource Plan; Development of a NETFIT feed in tariff for rooftop PV (partnering with KFW German Development Bank & IRENA); Development of least cost sustainable energy plans for eThekwini Municipality; Dube Tradeport & Richard’s Bay SEZ’s. Liesel has also done extensive work in the bioenergy field and has worked closely with the South African Sugar Association and the South African Canegrowers Association. 

Contact Liesel


Phone: +27 (0)31 767 5202

Liesel has also spent some time working in provincial government where she was based at the Department of Economic Development & Tourism. During this time Liesel headed up the Green Economy portfolio and chaired the Premier’s working group on Renewable Energy. Projects that were initiated and led by her during this time were the KZN Industrial Symbiosis Programme; Feasibility for KZN Renewable Energy fund (partnered with Deloittes; KZN Growth Fund; USAID;KFW;GIZ); Development of a Green Economy Technical Assistance Fund; setting up and managing of a renewable energy research chair with University of Stellenbosch. Liesel was also on the managing committee of the KZN Funding Fair, which was a partnership between government & Deloittes that attempted to match entrepreneurs with potential funders.

Liesel started off her career in Nedbank, where she spent some time in Property Finance and was the market research analyst in the property equity team. Here her role was to produce economic strategy directives for the equity team as well as contribute to the drafting of business plans, credit proposals and conducting due diligences and project finance analyses.

Liesel has a passion for economic development and sustainability. She is an individual who thoroughly enjoys research, but more importantly research that has a practical outcome and leads to implementable projects. She thoroughly enjoys challenges and situations where innovative solutions can be applied and will not give up until a solution is found. She has spent a large part of her career examining issues of sustainability and this is her strongest passion. She is currently pursuing her PHD in the field of redefining the value and risk of natural resources and the impact this can have on business sustainability and financing.


  • Bsc Environmental Science & Economics (Suma Cum Laude)
  • Bcom Economics Honours (Cum Laude)
  • Masters in Development Finance (Suma Cum Laude) 

Significant Achievements:

  • Semi-finalist in national Standard Bank Rising Star Awards (2018).
  • Placed second in Frankfurt School’s Masters in Development Finance Class.
  • Presented academic paper on “Unlocking Innovative Resource Use & Economic Competitiveness a Bioenergy Case Study” at EUCBE Biomass Conference Stockholm Sweden (2018)
  • Presented on the KZN VNAMA Energy Efficiency Programme at CTI Conference in Berlin (2013)
  • Top ten national finalist in the Nedbank Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition 2005, attended parliament.
  • Awarded UKZN University Scholarship for academic merit (2002-2004)
  • Awarded German DAAD Scholarship for academic achievement for BCom Honours year (2005)
  • Awarded Department of Transport Scholarship for honours studies (2005)
  • Awarded Ian Muller Prize for outstanding Academic Performance in Maritime Transport Economics and International Economics (2004)