Student Energy featured in SolarPVcast podcast


Student Energy’s Shakti Ramkumar, Senior Director of Policy and Communications, had a conversation with Chris Palliser, host of The SolarPVcast podcast by Shift Energy Group in a podcast episode “Empowering Future Leaders: Student Energy’s Impact on Sustainable Energy Transition” published August 4 on Spotify and YouTube. The conversation delves into how Student Energy, a global, youth-led non-profit organization, is empowering young people to become leaders accelerating the transition to a just and equitable energy future.

The conversation begins with the humble beginnings of Student Energy – how a team of three students (Janice Tran, Kali Taylor, and Sean Collins) in Calgary back in 2009 managed to build the world’s largest organization working on energy with a network of 50,000+ global youth 14 years later. Starting with the first International Student Energy Summit, the founders successfully brought together 350 young people from over 30 countries to gather in Calgary and provide a space for collaboration alongside world leaders and energy experts. And so, Student Energy was born as a non-profit with a mission to empower aspiring young leaders to take an active part in a just energy transition.

Shakti shares the organization’s many initiatives, including the impact of Student Energy’s programs ecosystem engaging thousands of global young people in building the skills, education, training, and project development experience to empower them in tackling various energy, climate, and equity issues both at a local and global level. In particular, Shakti talked about Student Energy’s Guided Projects program, with the first cohort installing solar PV projects within their local communities in varying contexts. A pre-pilot solar PV project was successfully installed by students at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta before the official cohort launch. Led by students Jack Harding and Ethan Buchanan, power generated from the solar array is now being sold to the University, and the students are using the proceeds to fund their Chapter’s work. Since then, the Guided Projects program brought on six teams from all over the world as part of the first cohort. Two of these solar projects are now successfully installed – the Shames Mountain team providing power for a community-owned ski hill in Northwestern BC, and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) team’s project aiming to electrify Gachororo Primary School in their community in Juja, Kenya.

At the core of Student Energy’s work is education. The aim is to demystify the energy system by leveling the playing field on who gets to understand the energy system by simplifying technical jargon, making energy education accessible to anyone, and empowering people to feel comfortable explaining the energy system. The Energy System Map, the Energy 101 series on Student Energy’s social media platforms, and energy education videos on Student Energy’s YouTube channels are the many ways the organization shares educational resources so anyone can be empowered to learn about the energy system.

Listen to the full podcast on Spotify and watch the full episode on YouTube!