Wednesday 15 April 2020

Kasturi Sukhapure – Providing sustainable energy solutions through hydropower projects

Kasturi Sukhapure - Energy Advisor

Kasturi Sukhapure (Energy Engineering 2017) is working as an energy advisor for Mott MacDonald, a global consultancy firm focused on finding sustainable solutions and making a positive difference.

Her work has stong links to UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Below, she details how Leeds helped prepare her for working to find sustainable energy solutions.

How is your role linked to sustainability?

I work in hydropower which provides reliable, cheap and clean electricity. I’m currently managing projects in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa, which involves energy modelling, as well as optimising river storage and cascade schemes.

How did Leeds help prepare you for where you are today?

During my studies I was elected President of the Energy Leeds Society, which was a huge honour for me. I was also awarded a research scholarship, researching clean-cook stoves for projects in Africa. Through this and my academic modules I gained a tremendous perspective on the energy industry. As a scholarship recipient I was introduced to my current job through one of the alumni events I attended.

“We must look after the natural world to look after ourselves.”

Kasturi Sukhapure (Energy Engineering 2017)
Energy Advisor, Mott MacDonald

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means respecting planetary boundaries and accepting that humanity is part of the natural world. It means we must look after our natural world to look after ourselves.

What sort of actions do you think individuals need to take in the next five years to create a sustainable future?

I think the most important thing we can do is to reconnect to the natural world. We must start accounting for growth and success in a meaningful way that doesn't exploit our natural resources. And finally, we must start speaking out for those who can't without fear.

In 2019, UN updates outlined that access to electricity in the poorest countries has begun to accelerate, energy efficiency continues to improve, and renewable energy is making gains in the electricity sector. Kasturi’s work to provide hydropower around the world is helping strive towards the UN target of ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy by 2030.