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The Book


When I grow up: Inspiring stories from people working in clean energy

The people we have featured in this book know how important it is to act now. They also know that we all can take responsibility and work to fight climate change and make the world a better place.

They include people like Jos, an architect from the Netherlands, who makes playgrounds, and other amazing things, out of rotor blades from old wind turbines.

Then there’s Brian, from Ireland, whose job is helping Google buy renewable energy from wind and solar farms, and Vanessa – originally from France, but now in the US – working to reduce Microsoft’s energy use.

We have Swarna in India, Toni in South Africa, He Dexin in China and Elbia in Brazil. We have engineers, sales people, an expert from the European Commission, a professor and an inventor!

What all these people have in common is that they work to increase the amount of our energy that is produced by clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind. In this way, the world can stop using so many fossil fuels and reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions, which are causing climate change.

Hopefully, you will be inspired by what you read and might even decide that becoming a wind turbine engineer, wind farm designer or the boss of a renewable energy company is for you!

You can, if you wish, download the book below to read it from cover to cover. Or you can just pick the people who interest you most and view their Inspiring Stories here. If you want to learn more about clean energy jobs and the people who do them, you can explore the sections on Careers and Taking Action.

Who created this book?

It started with a dream to inspire you and other children around the world to become passionate about clean energy and the many opportunities it offers.

We are six women: from Algeria, Poland, Canada, South Africa and Belgium.

Some of us are mums and some are not, but we all share the belief that you and other children have the power to help change the world for the better. Malgosia, Yamina and Joyce work in wind associations that are helping people understand the role of wind energy in combating climate change. Veronique develops renewable energy projects in South Africa. Philippa is a journalist writing about climate change and how clean energy is an important solution for stopping global warming. Chantal is an artist, who did the illustrations in the book.

However, this project would not have happened without all the amazing children from 25 different countries, who formed our Editorial Committee and sent more than 1,000 questions to the people whose stories feature in the book. You can find all their names in the Editorial Committee section of this website.

Chloé aged 11 from Brussels in Belgium, and her dad Ian aged 54, deserve special thanks. They were our test readers, and Chloé made sure we saw the world through children’s eyes!

Who should read this book?

The simple answer is anyone, from children to parents, grandparents, teachers, and anyone else interested in renewable energy! The book is designed to be widely shared to a global community of tomorrow’s leaders, to help spread awareness and educate them on the role they can play in creating a more sustainable world.

Is this book free to download and share?

The book is completely free to download and share for non-commercial use.

I'm a teacher and would be interested in sharing this book with my students. Do I need permission, and what is the best way to share it?

The book is free to download and share for non-commercial use. You can download it and share it in the classroom in whichever way is suitable with the technology you have at hand.

I don't understand everything in the book. Where can I find more information about climate change and renewable energy?

Please visit the Glossary and Taking Action sections of the website for more information on renewable energy and climate action.

I do not see the book in my language? How can I get a version in my language and get involved?

We strive to make this book in as many languages as possible to reach children all over the world. If you are interested in supporting translations of the book, please contact WindEurope and Global Wind Energy Council.

This is Marée, a colorful new portfolio for presenting your work. If you’re a modern illustrator or a designer, we made Marée for you.