Güler Sabancı Gave a Speech at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

26.09.2013
  • "RENEWABLE ENERGY WILL ATTRACT USD 6 TRILLION OF INVESTMENT WITHIN 25 YEARS"
  • "THE NUMBER OF FEMALE ENGINEERS WORKING AT THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR IS INSUFFICIENT. MORE WOMEN SHOULD PREFER ENGINEERING EDUCATION"
  • "WE TRUST THE PRIVATIZATION AND LIBERALIZATION EFFORTS WITHIN THE TURKISH ENERGY SECTOR"
  • "OUR OBJECTIVE AT ENERJİSA IS TO ENGAGE 4000 MW OF RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES UNTIL 2020. THIS ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN HALF OF OUR TOTAL PORTFOLIO"
  • "ENERJİSA WILL ALSO BE A LEADER IN RENEWABLE ENERGY"

Sabancı Holding Chairman Güler Sabancı made the opening speech at the symposium themed "Clean Energy Challenges of the Future and the Role of Women" held at Boston by the US Ministry of Energy together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most reputable technical universities in the world. At her speech, Sabancı conveyed her remarks on the clean energy challenges of the near future and the women's role in solving these problems.

At her speech, Güler Sabancı said: "Clean energy also has an aspect towards future. For instance, Albert Einstein won the Nobel Award in 1921 through his revolutionary experiments on solar energy. From this point, we can infer that clean energy is involved not only in our past but also in our future. The most significant problem to be solved for the current generation is to create a sustainable energy system. The development of countries' economies along with the decisions on energy procurement methods to support these economies will shape the societies.

Pew Clean Energy Action Plan 2012 depicts the current location of global economy as "The Point of Overturn". Unfortunately, clean energy has been used below its potential for the last century while women have been isolated from energy-related decisions. From this perspective, clean energy and women actually complement each other. Both share the same fate. Both have provided benefits to global economy under their potential. Fortunately, the future is theirs!

The investments in clean energy have reached as much as USD 263 billion, which is 600 percent higher compared to 2004. International Energy Agency anticipates that within 25 years, half of the world's electricity will be supplied through clean energy resources. And this means an investment of almost USD 6 trillion. At the end of 2012, almost 5.2 million businesses were linked to the clean energy sector. However, the global workforce for the clean energy sector predominantly consists of men."

-THE PERCENTAGE OF FEMALES STUDYING ENGINEERING AT UNIVERSITY IS TOO LOW-

Sabancı also conveyed her thoughts on women working in engineering fields: "The difference between genders is more apparent in universities. In OECD countries, women constitute almost eighty percent of human science departments. However, women have a percentage of only 11 percent in electrical engineering and only 20 percent in physics. It is clear that this needs to change.

This is why the energy sector offers the most attractive opportunity for women. Clean energy requires an economy dependant on high technology. Its development is based on the expansions in next-generation technology products and continuous scientific developments. Towards this objective, we need an army of highly educated and highly qualified female scientists and engineers who can carry out the required R&D processes. The number of female engineers working at the renewable energy sector is insufficient. More women should prefer engineering education.

This subject is critical in the global competition environment. Based on clean energy and dependent upon high technology, this new economy will develop even further through technology and innovation, and will enable competition on a global scale. The absence of women in such an innovation-driven field is not something positive for the development of the sector.

An analysis carried out by the World Economy Forum in 2012 revealed that supporting women's innovative skills will also create a rich resource to improve renewable energy technologies.

Innovation is in the center of any sector, but it is especially crucial for a multi-aspect sector such as clean energy. The factors that best support innovation are variety, expertise and curiosity. This is where women step in."

- ENERJİSA'S DEVOTION TO CLEAN ENERGY-

Sabancı continued: "Just like Victor Hugo said; 'Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery'. When we are curious, we can truly embrace change and display our bravery. In the field of clean energy, women's ideas, perspectives, solutions and sincerity is needed.

I had the chance to experience this at first hand. In May, we held the opening of Turkey's largest wind plant–a 143 megawatt plant owned by Enerjisa. I am very proud that our project director at this wind plant is a woman with a very successful career.

We established two wind plants before, with a total installed capacity of 69 MW. Our objective is to engage 4000 MW of renewable energy resources until 2020. This accounts for more than half of our total portfolio. Enerjisa will also be a leader in renewable energy.

We encourage more female engineers to work in the energy sector, and the number of women that contribute to our objective is growing.

Women are mediators of change in their homes, in their offices and in the society. The US has recently launched the Sustainable Energy for All program. This long-term initiative aims to provide women with access and control over clean energy resources. The reason is simple: women can well comprehend the intergenerational effects of clean energy, climate change and sustainable development."

- WOMEN DECIDE WITH THE NEXT GENERATIONS IN MIND-

Remarking that women think within a horizon with next generations in mind, Sabancı continued: "We have to utilize this perception in a way that affects the political process, and point out the emergency of embracing clean energy.

Most of us focus on the wide-scale, macroeconomic benefits of clean energy. However, it has more advantages on a smaller scale. These advantages significantly impact millions of women living in areas all over the world that has insufficient energy. Almost 70 percent of the 1.3 million people living on the poverty threshold without electricity are women. Supplying electricity through clean energy will give women a better status of life.

Let me give you an example from my country. In light of the data acquired from women's foundations as well as white appliance sales, the lives of adult and young females in rural areas have significantly improved. Electrical home appliances have completely changed women's lifestyle. With significantly lower workload, they are now able to spare time to education, income-generating activities and improving family conditions. Therefore, improvements have been made in terms of health, safety and domestic economy first for themselves, and then for the society. The advantages of contemporary and clean energy services accessed by everyone bring about revolutionary outcomes especially for women."

Touching upon the significance of energy for Sabancı Holding, Güler Sabancı said in her speech:

"The privatization and liberalization policies in the Turkish energy market are being successfully carried out. And we, trusting these successful policies and efforts, continue to our investments. I am proud to say that Sabancı Group has a very rich energy production portfolio.

Enerjisa operates in the production, wholesale, distribution and retail fields. Utilization of energy-saving technologies is a significant priority in Enerjisa's sector plan as well as its relevant activities.

The significance we attach to clean energy is reflected in all our investments and operations. For me, it is really valuable to assume the role of a decision-maker and a leader in Turkey's pioneering private energy company.

In the next century, the way we acquire, distribute and utilize energy, not to mention the energy itself, will have a substantial impact on global economy, global safety and the world's future.

Clean energy has multiple aspects. It requires innovation. It requires advanced technology. Besides, the demand also has higher qualities. The solution requires successful women like you to participate.

Yes, clean energy has multiple aspects. Yes, clean energy has lots of challenges. And yes, being a part of the solution is truly magnificent!"