The Next Generation of Clean Energy Leaders


November 06, 2015

 “We just went around the world and I didn’t even leave this job site!” joked GRID’s Solar Installation Supervisor, Ron Griffin, at an install late this October. Why? Because this install hosted a remarkable group of emerging clean energy leaders from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East in partnership with TechWomen. TechWomen is a unique initiative that connects women working STEM fields internationally to their US counterparts for a 5 week exchange program, providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, and to inspire women and girls in their own communities. What unfolded was an incredible day of hands-on learning for these women, excitement and gratitude from an East Oakland family going solar and international connections for the next generation of clean energy leaders.

Although united by their interest in renewable energy, the team of women came from diverse backgrounds and fields: Joy Makumbe, hailing from Zimbabwe, recently co-founded her own construction company, and hopes to apply her experience with GRID and TechWomen to incorporate solar into her residential projects to help replace hydropower, which is not meeting Zimbabwe’s energy needs. Eman Abusaada, a Palestinian civil engineer, is focused on expanding consumer access to renewable energy in Gaza. “Being able to connect my studies and passion to a real experience today is really amazing," said Eman, of her experience installing solar with GRID.

Also uniting the TechWomen who came out to install with GRID in October was their unbridled enthusiasm for getting hands-on solar experience and supporting GRID’s mission to serve low-income families. GRID co-founder Erica Mackie was able to spend some time with the women during their installation day and remarked, “Meeting this group of international women is so inspiring . . . This is team of go-getters and I am excited to witness their passion and the change they are making in the world.”

This opportunity was made possible by the contributions of GRID’s We Give donor circle, a group of leading women in the clean energy sector committed to helping to advance philanthropy at GRID.

Click here for more great photos from this install.

Click here for more information on the TechWomen initiative.