In honor of Women’s History Month, Everlight Solar has identified five influential women in the solar industry. These successful founders and CEOs are great examples of female leadership and innovation within the clean energy industry.
Founder and CEO of WeSolar
Kristal Hansley. Kristal is an entrepreneur and advocates for solar power to help hard-working families reduce monthly expenses. Furthermore, she is the first African American Woman CEO in the community solar industry. In fact, Hansley started WeSolar to “bring under-resourced communities affordable access to local community solar and to assist commercial properties with energy efficiency.”
Julia Judd Ham
President and CEO of Solar Electric Power Association
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is a nationwide non-profit devoted to helping its members make more intelligent decisions with their solar systems. Ham has been with SEPA since 1992. SEPA focuses on bridging the gap between utility companies and the solar industry. About her work, Ham says
“We do a lot of work educating the two industries about the other … so that they can work more effectively in partnership going forward because we believe that without the electric utilities, it’s going to be very difficult for solar to truly meet its full potential.”
Founder and Executive Director of Women in Solar
In 2013, Kristen Nicole wrote a letter to prominent solar organizations “condemning their nonchalant attitude towards gender equality and sexism at industry conferences, like Solar Power International (SPI) and Intersolar North America.” Indeed, by critiquing gender politics as they play out at major solar industry events, Nicole has inspired many women in the solar industry.
Eden Full Goh
Founder, Roseicollis Technologies and inventor of the SunSaluter
Our next influential woman in solar is Eden Full, a young solar innovator. She graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University, and while in school, she transformed the solar industry with the SunSaluter. This invention, a non-toxic, inexpensive, recyclable device made of metal and bamboo, allows solar panels to track the sun without using a motor. The SunSaluter includes solar panels that rotate to track the sun using mechanical water flow, giving users 40 percent more electricity.
Bernadette Del Chiaro
Executive Director, California Solar Energy Industries Association
Lastly there is Bernadette Del Chiaro. Bernadette became part of CALSEIA in 2013 after working as the Director of Clean Energy and Global Warming Programs at Environment California. While in this role, Del Chiaro took the lead on the Million Solar Roofs campaign. In fact, this campaign created the nation’s most significant solar power investment in history. Furthermore, this has had a lasting impact on the solar industry.
In conclusion, there are many women pioneering the way in the solar industry. Every step forward in the solar industry is a step in the right direction!