Training Future Renewable Energy Leaders in Colombia

Speeches Shim

USAID is helping prepare the next generation of energy professionals to lead the integration of increasing amounts of renewable energy.

Colombia is transforming its electricity sector and preparing the next generation of energy professionals to lead the integration of increasing amounts of renewable energy.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Energy Association (USEA) worked with the Government of Colombia to develop a comprehensive workforce training program for these young professionals to learn about the construction, operation, and grid integration of variable renewable energy (VRE) projects. The nine-month training program was facilitated by experts from the United States, Norway, Germany, Australia, and Brazil, including market operators, regulators, generators, distributors, and technology producers. The students were encouraged to interact with the presenters online, which created strong working relationships between the young leaders and the energy sectors of participating countries. The training also focused on the inclusion of young women to promote gender balance in the male-dominated sector.

Training participant Jennyfer Marín has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of La Salle, Bogotá, Colombia, and works at the Superintendency of Domiciliary Public Utilities (SSPD), where she manages smart metering projects while pursuing her master’s degree in electrical engineering at the National University of Colombia, Bogotá. Ms. Marín is interested in energy issues because of climate change and the importance of energy to economic growth.

During the USAID and NREL training, Ms. Marín learned about VRE policy and planning trends for solar and wind integration, including strategies to increase system resilience. She also made important connections with energy experts who facilitated the classes and strengthened her peer network of young energy professionals. Completion of the training earned Ms. Marín an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) continuing education certification, which can open doors to new career opportunities.

For More Information

Inspection engineers standing on top of a wind turbine
USAID is helping Colombia diversify its energy mix with renewable energy while combating climate change, lowering electricity costs, creating local jobs, and promoting gender equality in the energy sector.
© Pugun & Photo Studio / Adobe Stock

2018–ONGOING, COLOMBIA – USAID is helping Colombia diversify its energy mix with renewable energy while combating climate change, lowering electricity costs, creating local jobs, and promoting gender equality in the energy sector.

USAID Colombia

USAID supports government and citizen efforts in Colombia to promote economic prosperity through the licit economy; improve the living conditions of victims of violence and vulnerable groups, including Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples; promote respect for human rights and rule of law; and address climate change and environmental issues in one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world.

Mother holding her son in nature. Wind turbines in the background.
Through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program, USAID helps partner countries power economies with renewable energy, meet international climate commitments, and open markets to private investment and competition.
© Viktor Pravdica / Adobe Stock

2017–ONGOING, GLOBAL – USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program helps partner countries meet bold climate commitments by accelerating their transition to more affordable, reliable, and accessible energy that spurs growth, powers health systems, and reduces emissions.

Through SURE, USAID provides a variety of services to help policymakers, utilities, and regulators plan, procure, and integrate renewable energy, modernize energy sectors, and create policies that enable sustainable energy markets to flourish. As more countries aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce hazardous waste, SURE’s Innovation Fund supports clean energy technology, energy efficiency innovation, and a circular economy for renewable energy equipment.

Date 
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:45pm

Last updated: July 24, 2022