Tell us about your role and how you are contributing to the society:
As national co-chair, I help design and implement the national strategy for the Emerging leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE). ELSE is a growing network of students and young professionals committed to fostering an enabling environment for solar technology adoption in Canada. We are motivated by the desire to conserve our planet and believe solar is one of the best clean energy resources available today. By developing solar projects and engaging with our communities, we facilitate meaningful discussions for a cleaner and brighter future for all.
Your Letter to the Future:
Dear Future Canadian Leaders,
ELSE (Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy), as a growing network of young professionals, students, and solar advocates, set a vision in 2016 for a sustainable energy future where solar plays a key role in Canadians’ everyday lives and young professionals and students have a strong voice in energy policy. We are so proud of how far you have come!
In 2016, Canada was just beginning to expand alternatives for our country that did not so heavily rely on the extraction of hydrocarbons. Global oil price drops had forced and entire sector almost out of business, and it was clear that we had to find some other export to maintain our position in the world economy. While the exports of oil and gas had waned, we still had a massive base of expertise borne out of our energy industry – both in hydrocarbons and in clean energy technologies – that was uncommon throughout the world, and which Canada could use to help propel us to the world stage as an energy knowledge superpower.
From this, many companies would be created that would become world-renowned experts in helping others effectively implementing means to reduce their energy consumption and utilize more sustainable sources of energy to facilitate their growth. These Canadian companies would also help global governments implementing their own programs to promote the use of renewable energy sources and sustainable consumption. The world would look to Canada to see what a starting point for a sustainable energy future looks like.
Canada will have all the tools and expertise needed to become a global sustainability powerhouse in the long run – being the leader in what it means to protect and sustainably use a country’s natural resources, while still maintaining a strong and inclusive economy. And ELSE has been there throughout the journey, supporting professional development to foster Canada’s next generation of clean tech leaders, along with industry advocacy and community project support.
We know that you, as leaders of the future, have all the capabilities to leverage the talents Canada has developed in our energy sector to become world leaders in the field. While there is still much time before this future comes to pass, ELSE is confident that the future will be bright for Canada.
Julie Guerin and Mike Skirzynski