Renewables proponents rewarded in New Year’s Honours list

A number of prominent figures within the solar and wider renewables industry figures received awards as part of the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.

Former energy and climate change secretary and current chairman of community energy group Mongoose Ed Davey was awarded the title of Knight Batchelor for his political and public service.

A briefing note issued by the Cabinet Office stated Davey’s achievements to include a trebling of renewable power during his time at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, helping to broker a deal to set EU 2030 climate targets and championing community energy projects.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive at the Renewable Energy Association, was awarded a CBE for her services to renewables and equality in the energy industry. She became chief executive at the REA in July 2013 and has more than 25 years experience in the energy industry.

Commenting on the award, Skorupska said that she was "quite overwhelmed" and "humbled" by being named alongside "other impressive people".

“Being CEO of the REA is only relatively recent and I took on the role knowing full well that there are many people in the industry, including the two previous CEO’s of REA (giants in my eyes), my team and members, that have achieved a considerable amount for the industry.  Whilst I have worked in this area as some of you know for many years too, this part of the award I desperately want to share with the renewable energy industry as a whole," she said.

Elsewhere Community Energy England chairman Philip Wolfe was awarded an MBE for his services to renewable energy and the energy sector in general. Wolfe, a veteran of the UK’s renewable sector, has worked in the industry since the 1970s and spent six years as director general of the REA between 2003 and 2009, working on the original drafts of the Renewable Heat Incentive and feed-in tariff mechanisms.

And Afsheen Rashid, founding director and chief operating officer at Repowering London, was also awarded an MBE for her work in establishing renewable energy projects in deprived London communities.

Repowering London has worked on installing a number of community-owned renewable projects with the aim of bringing people in deprived areas out of fuel poverty. It’s most notable install on the Banister House estate in Hackney completed in October last year and also offered a number of temporary roles to local residents.

This article has been amended from its original version to include comment from Nina Skorupska.