The end of 2018 is approaching rapidly, time to pause and reflect about the past year. For me it was marked by a transition, moving back to Austria after 17 years living and working abroad and setting up my own consulting company. To mark the transition, I decided to take a two months sabbatical. The weather gods meant well with me: my two months summer sabbatical at the lake was filled with sunshine, BBQs, time with friends and family as well as the treat to read five books in row (I didn’t have this luxury for ages!). It was really great to fully recharge my batteries again and to get settled in my new life.
My assessment after eight months in my new job is a very positive one: I enjoy working with varying teams on different projects (needless to say that I of course miss my team at REN21), both internationally and in Austria, moderating events, evaluating projects, participating in the drafting of business plans and studies as well as advising international networks and players in the energy field. In addition, I am very proud to contribute to the set-up of GWNET, the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition, which has grown over the past year into a truly international network with both individual and corporate members from over 40 countries. Not yet a GWNET member? Join now!
A couple of highlights from my 2018:
- In May 2018, I was elected to the Board of Director of ISES, the International Solar Energy Society.
- On 2nd July I moderated the Vienna Forum on the European Energy Transition, which served as discussion platform at the start of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
- I am currently working with IRENA on a global Gender and Renewable Energy survey. The objective of the survey is to gather quantitative and qualitative insights on the current status of women’s participation in the renewable energy sector, existing challenges and potential solutions to improve gender diversity. The findings from the survey will contribute to addressing the data and knowledge gap on gender in renewable energy, and inform policy making to ensure that the energy transition is inclusive and benefits from a wider pool of talent. They will be incorporated in a study that will be launched on 12th January 2019 at the IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi.
- Together with Skrander, we are working on drafting the business plan of SACREEE, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. It was great to participate in SACREEE’s Official Opening on 24th October in Windhoek/Namibia and to witness the appetite of the SADC Member States for renewables and energy efficiency.
- Another highlight of 2018 was my participation in the expert Jury for the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund’s flagship programme on “Klima- und Energiemodellregionen” and to witness how actively the energy transition is happening on the ground.
- Last but not least I moderated the High-level Reception of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Week as well as the REN21 Academy. During the reception, the outcomes of the study “Next level sustainable energy provision in line with people’s needs – A proposal for extending the Multi-Tier Framework for monitoring the SDG7” were presented and the study was officially handed over by Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany to UNDESA, the United Nationals Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
- GWNET’s first Global Mentoring Programme 1/2018 started in April 2018 and is running until March 2019. Out of 24 applications received, GWNET selected 10 mentees and matched them each with a mentor. Participants in the programme – mentees and mentors – come from Africa, China, Europe and the Middle East as well as North and Latin America, making the programme a truly global one. It is impressive to see the dynamism of the group of mentees and mentors as well as the progress made by many of them. Not only am I accompany one mentee as mentor, I also had the pleasure to animate the programme together with my GWNET colleagues. GWNET’s new Mentoring Programme 2/2019 is starting in early 2019 and the call for applications is open until 15th January 2019.
- In November, I was nominated for the ÖGUT Umweltpreis 2018 in the category “Women in the environmental field”.
With this, I would like to thank all the partners and colleagues for their excellent cooperation throughout the year. I look forward to continuing to work with you and to forging new partnerships. But before this, let me wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a good start of 2019. May the end of the year be a peaceful one for you and your beloved ones!
I look forward to seeing many of you at the IRENA Assembly 10-13 January 2019 in Abu Dhabi.