News Release from World Wind Energy Association e.V. (WWEA)

WWEA and LEE NRW present guidelines for improved participation of women in community energy

The days of lamenting that too few women are involved in the energy transition must be over. In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the share of women in community energy entities is only 29 percent. Surveys in Japan and in other jurisdictions have shown similar or even lower shares of women.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

It is much more important to change this deplorable state of affairs as quickly as possible, is the motto of the NRW Renewable Energy Association (LEE NRW) and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). Both associations have developed a guideline for more “women power” in the restructuring process of the domestic energy industry. With the ten recommendations for action, LEE NRW and WWEA conclude the two-year research project “More Women for Community Energy”.

WWEA Secretary General Stefan Gsänger, who has led the project over the past two years, is counting on the newly developed guideline: “We believe that this will help community energy gain further support, which will benefit all renewable energies. The shift to renewables brings with it unique opportunities: not only to stop climate change, but also to distribute economic opportunities more equitably. We are specifically suggesting to the community energy entities what they can do to put their commitment to the energy transformation on an even broader social footing.”

“In the numerous discussions we have had with practitioners from energy cooperatives and other community energy entities, it has become clear that women need to be recruited for leadership positions in a much more targeted way,” Claudia Gellert, member of the board of LEE NRW, names one of the most important findings. “This can be achieved by approaching interested women much more consistently in person and also advertising for such leadership positions via social media channels.”

For the LEE NRW and the WWEA, especially community energy groups with their local roots are “indispensable drivers for the transformation of the energy world”, says Gellert. “We need many more women in these initiatives with their life experiences, ideas and know-how to put the energy transition on a broader social footing.”

This is exactly how Dr. Nina Scheer, the energy policy spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group in the German parliament, sees it: “Decentralised community energy is very important for the success of the energy transformation. The study by WWEA and LEE NRW gives us valuable information for the questions of what significance the increased involvement of women has on the energy transformation that needs to be accelerated.”

Gsänger and LEE NRW board member Gellert are glad that community energy projects are currently experiencing greater popularity again: “The current energy crisis can also be an opportunity to finally give community energy the push it so urgently needs to grow qualitatively.”

WWEA and LEE NRW have recommended the following guidelines for increasing female participation in community energy:

1. Make women visibly responsible
2. Create transparency and understanding about the work of community power companies
3. Ensure innovative forms of communication – strengthening direct personal contact
4. Enable innovative forms of communication – strengthening the social media approach
5. Create networking and action alliances with other local stakeholders
6. Construct financially lower-threshold entry points
7. Create dynamic action groups and forms of participation, maintain flexibility of people involved
8. Form open and gender-specific events
9. Empower concrete communication close to the citizens local experience, focus on the contribution to local climate protection
10. Put qualitative growth in the center of attention

The complete study will soon be published in English language and is available in German at the following link: Frauen_in_der_Bu?rgerenergie_2210

Press Office
WWEA, LEE NRW, Northrhine Westphalia, Germany, women, community wind, paricipation, energy transition, entities

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