Remote area renewable energy specialist Vanessa Ratard has been named 2018 recipient of the Clean Energy Council’s annual Women in Renewables Scholarship.

Ms Ratard is senior project manager with remote engineering firm Ekistica, and has had more than a decade in the renewables sector, focused on projects in central Australia. She also led the development of Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s Hybrid Power Generation for Off-Grid Mines handbook.

“Vanessa Ratard was an exceptional candidate with an impressive range of experience across the industry,” Clean Energy Council Women in Renewables Chair Natalie Collard said.

“However, her strong leadership track record, integrity and aspiration to be a role model for other women in the industry are the elements that really made her stand out from the field. I have no doubt she will grab this opportunity with both hands.”

Through the scholarship, Ms Ratard will be provided funding to complete the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Foundations of Directorship course.

“I am deeply humbled and honoured to be given this incredible opportunity, which will boost my career to a new level and allow me to be a champion for women in renewable energy – as well as playing my part in bridging the gender gap in our industry,” Ms Ratard said.

“Without opportunities like this from the Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables initiative, I wouldn’t be in the position to access the benefits this scholarship will afford me. I commend the Clean Energy Council and Women in Renewables for their constant support and commitment to improving gender diversity through their actions that are not just tailored to women in senior positions of the industry, but for women in all levels of renewable energy.”

The scholarship was introduced three years ago to to promote greater gender diversity in senior leadership positions across the clean energy industry, and to increase the pool of women in renewables for board-level positions.

Past recipients include AllGrid Energy marketing and alliance manager Deborah Oberon (see our 2015 viral story Aboriginal-owned energy company one-upping Tesla) and Downer’s Nicola Wilkins.

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