The Renewable Energy sector is a space where creativity, passion, and determination combine to pave the way for a more sustainable future. In this article, we shine a spotlight on seven remarkable black women who are making significant contributions to renewable energy research. These brilliant minds are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to drive positive change in the energy sector.
1. Dr. Gladys Ngetich
Dr. Gladys Ngetich is a trailblazing scientist in the realm of renewable energy. Armed with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, she stands at the forefront of innovative energy storage solutions. Dr. Ngetich’s research revolves around developing sustainable and highly efficient battery technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the industry. Her work is a beacon of hope for a greener and more energy-efficient future.
2. Paula R. Glover
Paula R. Glover serves as the President of the Alliance to Save Energy, a bipartisan nonprofit focused on advancing federal energy efficiency policy. With over 25 years of industry experience, Ms. Glover has been instrumental in achieving major energy policies, securing funding for energy efficiency programs, and advocating for energy justice. She’s also known for her leadership in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to her role at the Alliance, she was the President and CEO of the American Association of Blacks in Energy.
3. Kristal Hansley
Kristal Hansley, the Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc, is the first Black Woman CEO in the community solar industry. WeSolar offers affordable solar energy access to Maryland residents, helping families reduce their monthly expenses. Kristal, originally from Brooklyn, holds a Bachelor of Art in Political Science and Sociology from Howard University. She previously served in the U.S. Senate, supporting Majority Leader Harry Reid and working on community affairs policy for Congresswoman Elanor Norton.
4. Damilola Ogunbiyi
Damilola Ogunbiyi serves as CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, alongside her role as Co-Chair of UN-Energy. Under her guidance, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) has built partnerships with 200+ organizations, supported over 90 countries, and secured commitments exceeding $600 billion in energy financing. Their programs, including Universal Energy Facility, Powering Healthcare, Women and Youth at the Forefront, Cooling for All, and Clean Cooking, have greatly contributed to the global energy transition.
Previously, as the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency, Mrs. Ogunbiyi introduced initiatives like the Nigerian Electrification Project, which brought energy access to over 5 million Nigerians through a $550 million partnership with the World Bank and the African Development Bank. She also pioneered the Energizing Economies Initiative, set to benefit 1.2 million SMEs.
5. Olaedo Osoka
Olaedo Osoka is an accomplished leader with a strong history of executive leadership and successful capital deployment. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer (West Africa) at Daystar Power Group, she has driven renewable energy solutions for businesses across Africa. Olaedo’s impressive journey includes leading business development, expanding Daystar’s footprint into multiple African nations, and raising over $60 million in investment for solar power plant installations across more than 300 locations, including major industrial sites in West Africa.
6. Natalie King
Natalie King is the Founder and CEO of Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, with over 13 years of experience in the green energy industry. Dunamis is the first African American-owned electric vehicle charger manufacturer in the United States and under her leadership, has grown into a multi-million dollar corporation, providing various products and services in Southeastern Michigan, including LED lighting, Electric Vehicle Charger manufacturing, energy efficiency, and environmental solutions. Prior to Dunamis, she co-founded J King Solar Technologies, LLC, and managed a successful law practice for 20 years. Ms. King also served as an adjunct professor of Contract and Business Law.
7. Mamoso May
Mamoso May is the CEO of Dorper Wind Farm, a distinguished Independent Power Producer located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The Dorper Wind Farm is no ordinary energy generation facility; it boasts an impressive capacity of 100 MW, making it a significant contributor to the region’s energy landscape. Dorper Wind Farm has made substantial investments in the neighboring communities of Molteno and Sterkstroom, reflecting a deep commitment to the well-being and development of the local residents.