Owner of DLO Energy Resources Group—the largest wind farm in South Africa, Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, was recently placed seventh out of 100 in the renowned Choiseul 100 Africa rating, making her the only South African on the list and one of four women in this ranking. She told ITWeb that in order to address the country’s electricity shortage, more women of color should be employed in South Africa’s renewable energy sector.
DLO is a Johannesburg-based independent power generator with a focus on solar and wind energy. The company, which was founded in 2011, is in charge of one of Africa’s largest wind farms in the Northern Cape, which uses carbon-free solar energy to power almost 160 000 homes. DLO Energy Resources Group had operations in South Africa and Nigeria as of 2021.
The Northern Cape’s Longyuan Mulilo Wind Farm is owned by DLO. Its current output is 144MW. Since 2017, it has been supplying the national grid and is connected to it.
Mabhena-Olagunju was ranked in the top 10 along other Africans including Anta Babacar Ngom Diack, managing director of Sedima Group, Amrote Abdella, general manager of Amazon Web Service in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Leila Bouamatou, managing director and board member of Générale de Banque de Mauritanie.
The Institut Choiseul was founded in 2010 and is an influential body acting as an independent think-tank focusing on economic governance and leadership. The Choiseul 100 Africa ranking was launched to highlight the talent of Africa’s young economic leaders and create a network for the young leaders who embody the dynamism of an entire continent.
Only profiles meeting the following conditions are selected:
- Being a citizen of one of the 54 African states.
- Being 40 years old or below on 31 December 2021.
- Being an active contributor to the economic development of Africa.
“We need more women in the space; we need more people of colour in the space. There is a dire need for electrical engineers and I would urge those looking for a career in the sector to hone in on these skills,” Mabhena-Olagunju said.
“Wind and solar currently only account for 8% of South Africa’s energy mix, and under 4% of that is generated from wind power. Wind has the ability to add more capacity to the grid and power more homes.”