Sheila Oparaocha awarded the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy’s Carnot Prize

April 19, 2021

The Carnot Prize is named in memory of the French scientist and father of thermodynamics Sadi Carnot, who recognized that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. Reflecting Carnot’s values, the award honors those leading similar energy policy revolutions that bring progress and prosperity. During her more than two decades at ENERGIA, Sheila Oparaocha’s work has contributed to put gender on the international agenda, inspiring colleagues, partners and stakeholders to advocate for a more gender equal energy sector.

It is a great honor to be awarded this year’s Carnot Prize. This award is a recognition of ENERGIA and our partners’ efforts to ensure the integration of gender in the energy dialogue.

“The award is also a tribute to all women in the energy sector, whether leaders, policy influencers or the entrepreneurs we have been working with and whose contribution has shaped the energy sector in the last-mile communities,” Sheila said. “It is an incentive to continue to work tirelessly to accelerate the transition to clean and sustainable energy, including scaling up energy access and clean cooking technologies, and promoting women’s role as agents of change. Thank you to the distinguished experts at Kleinman Center for Energy Policy for selecting me.”

Energy acces for all

ENERGIA contributes to energy access for all by scaling up the delivery of energy services through women-led micro and small businesses, advocating for and providing technical support to mainstream gender approaches in energy policies, programs, and projects, providing the evidence base for improving energy investment effectiveness through research, and raising awareness of issues related to gender and energy. We also firmly believe in opening up opportunities to students, whose new perspectives could be crucial to the advancement of gender equality goals in the energy sector.

For this reason, ENERGIA has enthusiastically welcomed the Kleinman Center’s invitation to establish a new fellowship designed for a Penn student interested in the energy transition and gender. The Kleinman-Oparaocha Fellowship will begin in the summer of 2022, and will resemble the Kleinman-Birol fellowship, now in its fifth year, which is named in honor of 2016 Carnot Prize recipient Fatih Birol of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Kleinman-Birol fellowship offers an immersive work experience at the IEA in Paris. The Kleinman-Oparaocha fellowship will offer a similar international work experience.

Frederick Steiner, Dean and Paley Professor at Penn’s School of Design, home of the Kleinman Center commented “We are pleased to give one of the world’s most esteemed awards in energy policy to Sheila Oparaocha, whose work acknowledges the critical role of gender in the long-term goal of universal sustainable energy access around the world.”

“The energy transition needs to be equitable, across gender and socio-economic levels, and no one is fighting harder for that than Sheila Oparaocha and ENERGIA,” said Mark Alan Hughes, Faculty Director of the Kleinman Center.

Award ceremony

The award ceremony will be held virtually on April 30. We invite you to join us at the Kleinman Center on Friday, from 12:00 to 13:00 EDT / 18:00 to 19:00 CEST, as we gather for an award ceremony in Sheila’s honor. In addition to a tribute from students and colleagues, Provost Wendell Pritchett will present the award and Sheila will share brief remarks about her work.

If you’re able to attend, please register here. Sheila’s profile on Kleinman website: here.

Hivos and Energia

Hosted by Hivos since 2016, ENERGIA wants to contribute to universal, equal and equitable access to and control over sustainable energy for all, putting women at the center of its efforts.