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Transforming our Energy Systems

The Planetary Solutions in Clean Energy Internship and Fellowship Program (PSiCE) offers summer research and internship opportunities to students at Yale who are committed to advancing and pursuing a career in the clean energy field. This year we spoke with students in our second cohort to learn about their inspiration, goals, and experience through the program. Droughts, fires, floods, sea-level rise, heat waves, and extreme weather are only some of the ongoing challenges relating to climate change that continue to deepen and intensify with every new season. 

For Sofia Rabbini, a rising Junior at Yale University, the need to transform our energy systems is about more than just climate change, it’s an opportunity to right many historic and persistant global issues.

“Transforming our energy systems is a necessary and urgent step in combating the climate crisis and solving global energy poverty… There is no one thing that will ensure a just energy transition. Rather, it requires a strong, concerted, and widespread effort to consider equity in all conversations and steps of the energy transition, at a political, social, and economic level,” said Sofia.

This sense of urgency and passion for clean energy pushed Sofia to apply to the Planetary Solutions in Clean Energy fellowship, which helps place Yale students in internships with companies and organizations across the public and private sector that work in the clean tech space. 

“There were a few very appealing things about the program! Great internship sponsors, great funding, an amazing cohort of peers to learn from, and one-on-one guidance from Professor Klee all drew me to Planetary Solutions in Clean Energy,” Sofia said. 

Sofia Rabbini SM

Sofia was placed in an internship at the CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA, for short), a public quasi-judicial agency which regulates the state’s privatized electric, natural gas, water, and telecommunications companies. At PURA, Sofia conducted an equity analysis of the state’s clean energy and affordable energy programs, and got a under-the-hood view of utility regulation, a key component in the energy transition.

“On a topic as large and complicated as climate change, it can be hard to find a place to start. PSiCE helps students interested in this space to find organizations, both public and private, that work in clean tech. If you are passionate about clean energy, you should definitely apply! Whether or not you get placed with your first choice host organization, you'll have an awesome experience and learn a lot. All the host organizations are doing really valuable work, and they give a lot of freedom and responsibility to their interns. The connection with CBEY staff is also really valuable, and, in addition to being awesome people, they will be able to connect you with any and all things clean energy and sustainable business at Yale"!