The Women in Energy Empowerment Mentoring Programme sat down with Bhaskar Natarajan, one of this year’s mentors, to chat about his journey in renewable energy and the challenges and opportunities in the sector. Bhaskar is a Senior Policy Advisor at AEEE in India.
1) Tell us a little about yourself. What do you love most about what you do?
I enjoy working with people to help them in improving their lives. I have worked both on the side of agencies that make policies, and also on the field, working with grassroots agencies. It feels good when you see the change happening as you work with people.
2) What were your goals when you started working in the energy sector? What are your goals today?
My goals were to work for the improvement of people’s lives, and it still continues. There is so much to be done, in India and all over the world, to get people access to clean energy. This continues to be a challenge.
3) What are the opportunities for sustainable energy in your country?
The opportunities are immense since a large part of the population still does not have access to clean energy. This situation has improved over the years with government programmes reaching out to people.
In addition, there is plenty of work to be done with industries to assist them in ensuring that their products consume less energy, their appliances are energy efficient and at the same time limit their impact on the environment.
The challenges are to get people to use clean energy and this change is not easy. Finances are another challenge. Continuous outreach to the people in a language they can understand, as well as the use of modern tools and techniques such as videos and mobile apps, do help in bringing about this change.
I hope to work with my mentee and share the lessons learnt in the Indian context and see how much these are applicable in their country. Changes to suit the local context will be very important to make things work.
6) What advice would you give to women hoping to join the sustainable energy sector?
There is immense potential in terms of opportunities for women to work in the energy sector, be it in solar homes, clean energy or working to improve the environment.
Become a Mentor – What’s in it for You?
As a mentor, you get the opportunity to give something valuable back to more junior professionals and to expand your own knowledge through the mentees’ perspective.
Mentoring will contribute to personal and professional development for both you and your mentee, as well as, shaping the direction of future generations within your field of expertise. If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor in one of GWNET’s mentoring programmes (which involves approx. 1 – 1.5 hours of engagement per month plus optional participation in knowledge-transfer webinars), kindly fill in our Mentor Datasheet.
Stay tuned for updates on the participants and the programme.
Read more about GWNET’s mentoring programmes here.