11th of February marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In appreciation of this day, we have chosen to write about three women whose efforts have shaped the renewable energy industry.
- Sally Benson
Sally Benson joined Stanford University in 2007 and is a professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering. She is an internationally recognised scientist who studies technologies and pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Her work includes studying geologic storage of carbon dioxide in underground formations, energy systems management for a low-carbon future and directing Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project. In addition, Sally conducted a series of net energy analyses to calculate the energetic costs of wind turbines, solar photovoltaics and grid-scale renewable energy storage.
- Monica Oliphant
Monica Oliphant is a British-Australian scientist who specialises in the research of solar energy. Sir Macfarlane Burnet sparked her interest in solar energy when, in the 1970s, he claimed that “if we used solar energy we would not need to fight over oil”. From that point forward, she spent over 40 years in the renewable energy industry.
She believes that sustainable energy should be available to everyone and therefore, monitors the effect of energy efficiency devices on low income households in Australia. Her efforts have helped to make solar energy more affordable as part of the Australian Federal Governments first Renewable Energy Target (RET).
- Greta Thunberg
Greta Thunberg takes a straightforward speaking approach towards actioning our climate crisis. In 2018 and only 15 years old, Greta stood in front of the Swedish parliament every Friday urging for action on climate change. Others started to engage in similar protests and together, they shaped the largest climate strike in history with Greta as their leader.
In 2019, she attended the UN Climate Action Summit where her speech brought headline news. Her morally authoritative tone has made her a leader and role model for climate change with her impact on the world described as the “Greta Effect”.