Faces of OEG - David Estill has gone with the wind

September 1, 2021

David Estill - Head shot for blog post

Music, boat sailing, cycling, sustainability. Those are just a few things that David Estill told me about himself during our interview. I had the pleasure of discussing his projects and work with different organizations, and his perspectives on sustainability and how it can become more equitable to all groups of people.

David worked a job with a computer distributor on operations when he finished university. While interesting at first, he found it to be increasingly monotonous. He wanted to expand his career and work in the renewable energy industry. One of his uncles worked with industrial wind turbines in Ontario and another worked with biofuels in North Carolina. With family pursuing such goals, David decided to work in the solar sector from 2008 to 2013, working with small-scale rooftop solar energy from 2 to 200 kW for houses, businesses, and institutions. David found the renewable industry a rewarding place to work, and soon it became his career.

Eventually, the company was sold and he would start anew, eventually being given the chance to work with Siemens in wind energy. At Siemens, David worked in sales and strategy for a couple of years and ran the sales team. Some projects based in Quebec required him to communicate in French while spearheading requests for proposal, challenges that only piqued his interests further. Soon after, Siemens would merge with Gamesa to become Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and he would work in business development and take part in various projects across the continent.

Quarantine was an opportunity to amplify his love for playing and listening to music, with some favourite genres being blues, rock and roll, pop, grunge, etc. He also enjoys being outdoors whenever possible, dedicating time sailing boats and biking up different paths.

When I asked David his thoughts on sustainability, he brought up many excellent points regarding its link to equity. A sustainable world is not truly sustainable if not all groups of people are considered, such as impoverished and disenfranchised communities. Lower income groups view electric vehicles and home energy generation as luxuries that they can never afford, causing them to depend on unsustainable practices for survival. Equity is at the heart of sustainability and both must be considered and achieved or the gap could widen and cause greater disparity.

David's dedication to sustainability and renewable energy in his work is leading the way to a cleaner, environmentally-conscious future that is fair and equitable for everyone's benefit. He provided leadership to Net Zero City, a predecessor to eMerge Guelph, and also served on the Community Energy Initiative Update Task Force - which eventually became OEG - as well as on the transitional board that transformed a community advisory group into a fully-fledged, incorporated nonprofit. Our Energy Guelph is proud to have him as part of the Board of Directors and we're looking forward to impactful changes happening in the near future.

David Ma served as OEG's Marketing Coordinator and Summer Student Intern from June through August.