WFER is the leading international conference on energy regulation, gathering energy industry experts, policymakers, academics and regulators from around the world to engage in strategic dialogue and training. This year, the international conference gave priority organising diverse panels. It also featured a panel of experts promoting the empowerment of women in the energy sector. In the framework of the 7th World Forum on Energy Regulation (WFER) in Cancun (Mexico), FSR Lights on Women and ICER Women in Energy teamed up to give a voice to some of the inspiring women experts attending the conference. Tune in to the podcasts below!
Swetha RaviKumar Bhagwat (FSR) talk to some of the most powerful voices in the energy sector about their expertise and experiences.
“Energy — A key driver for empowering women and growth in the developing world”
Patricia de Suzzoni Patricia de Suzzoni is currently the Advisor to the President at CRE, the French regulatory authority. As Patricia has filled so many different roles in the energy and telecom sectors, we asked her about the main challenges, as well as opportunities, she faced while transitioning from industry to the public sector. Patricia discusses the similarities between the regulation of energy and the regulation of telecoms and highlights the lessons that can be learned, given that the two sectors are increasingly facing the same challenges. Ifey Ikeonu In this podcast, Swetha Bhagwat (FSR) interviews Ifey Ikeonu, an energy policy and regulation consultant with over 25 years of experience. Ms Ikeonu discusses her role in various power sector reform programmes, highlighting the main pioneering efforts put in place to establish the regulatory framework for the electricity market of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Ms Ikeonu concludes the podcast by stressing the importance of gender equality and empowering women at all levels to help them reach their highest potential. Diane X. Burman Diane X. Burman serves as a Commissioner of the New York State Public Service Commission, which regulates the state’s electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water utilities. In this podcast, Ms Burman discusses the ways women from different professional, economic and cultural backgrounds find innovative ways to work towards greater access to energy. She explains that the collaborative approach which women bring to the table is key to the energy transition, and that they must engage in every level of the workforce to ensure its success. Annegret Groebel Annegret Groebel is Vice-President at CEER and Head of the International Relations Department at BNetzA, Germany’s multisector regulatory authority. In this podcast, she sheds light on BNetzA’s approach and discusses the main similarities and differences when it comes to a ‘multisector regulation’. Ms Groebel stresses the importance of looking at the regulatory experience of other countries and sectors. Knowledge sharing, and cooperation are essential to improve the regulation of the industries under the oversight of NRAs. Christina Espinosa Christina Espinosa is founder and CEO of GenteGas, a social enterprise in Guatemala, helping local households reducing the entry costs of modern and clean gas stoves and fuels. In this podcast, Ms Espinosa explains her leading motivations in founding GenteGas; she also provides an interesting analysis of the local context and the main challenges that led to the development of an ecosystem approach within GenteGas. Marie-Pierre Fauconnier Marie-Pierre Fauconnier is President of the Board of Directors at CREG and Vice President of CEER. According to Ms. Fauconnier, the two biggest challenges the energy sector will be facing in the upcoming future are the integration of RES in the energy mix and the impact of digitalisation and new technologies. These “novelties” generate both opportunities and threats. It is crucial for energy regulators to ensure that ‘every customer is onboard’ so that no one is left behind. She also highlighted how the role of women has changed in the energy sector: while today, although still a clear minority, they are gaining more and more space and responsibilities. Bevan Flansburg Bevan Flansburg is the Deputy Director in the International Department at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). In this podcast, Ms Flansburg sheds light on the capacity building programs she and her team work on in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East as well as the regional partnerships which she has designed throughout her career, including the West Africa Regional Regulatory Partnership and the East Africa Regional Regulatory Partnership. Aida Sitdikova Aida Sitdikova is EBRD Director for Energy and Natural Resources for Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia. In this podcast, Ms Sitdikova explains the ‘energy transition’ in the Eurasian and Caucasus context. She stresses the importance for institutions like EBRD to adopt and promote inclusive and gender balance policies, both within and outside the institutions. Opening job opportunities to women in the energy sector and granting them equal conditions is fundamental for the development of countries like those in Central Asia.