Janine Finnell – Faces of CHARGE – CHARGE Energy Conference

Janine Finnell

Executive Director at Leaders in Energy

Leaders in Energy is building a global action network to connect leaders (current and aspiring) to advance clean energy and sustainable solutions for a more sustainable energy system, economy, and world.

Connect with Janine Finnell

Why are you attending CHARGE?
This is a very important time in our world. I direct an organization called Leaders in Energy, which advances clean energy and sustainable solutions. As a matter of fact, I was at the Climate Strike in Washington, DC. last Friday.   I believe that I am in the right place at the right time, trying to address the most important issue of our times and that is here in Iceland, a leader in green energy, at the CHARGE conference. 

Why did you choose to go into the energy business?
I’ve been in the energy sector for a long time, as well as lucky that when I was in graduate school I found my North Star by reading a book by the British economist,  EF Schumacher, titled “Economics as if People Mattered: Small is Beautiful.”  He believed that developing countries needed an economic development path that used what he called “intermediate technologies” which relied more on renewable sources of energy instead of fossil fuels and create more employment rather than mechanization and automation.  As a result, I focused my Masters thesis on examining a renewable natural gas technology that used methane digesters as a replacement for burning wood and cow dung for cooking and lighting in Indian villages.   This work shaped my career trajectory on clean energy, environmental, and sustainability topics.

What does the future of energy look like?
As you have heard here at the CHARGE conference, we need to move a lot faster to transition to clean energy and to look across the entire energy spectrum. The speakers have discussed the possibilities for solar, wind, and batteries. I’m glad that there was also talk about coal and carbon capture at the conference. I believe we also need to look at small, modular nuclear at part of the overall energy mix.  We have to keep all our options open and I really think we must promote a green economy for future growth and that we do need government support for this transformation in the United States.  Proposed federal programs such as green manufacturing can help to mobilize more economic opportunities for everyone to be part of this transition.

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