We are proud to be part of the growing Deetken Impact team, and are excited to introduce this diverse and talented group of investment professionals. We regularly feature our colleagues in these interview-style profiles so you can get to know them better!
Meet Laura Sanz, an Analyst with Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy (DISE), where she evaluates investment opportunities, supports portfolio management, and engages with investee companies through technical assistance programs such as the Investment, Enterprise and Sustainability (INES) Program.
Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Laura started her career at Cenit Solar, a renewable energy company based in Spain, before joining Grupo Clima where she was responsible for developing, designing, construction, financing, and operating more than 5MW in Distributed Generation Projects, as well as a large portfolio of HVAC Energy Efficiency Projects. Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Forestry Engineering with a Specialization in Renewable Energy from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain.
Originally from Valladolid, Spain, Laura is currently based out of our Costa Rican office and speaks Spanish, and English.
What drew you to the renewable energy sector, and what brought you to Deetken Impact specifically?
My fascination with solar energy is what initially drew me into the energy sector. In my opinion, solar energy is the most accessible form of renewable energy, and I find great satisfaction in implementing projects that promote the sustainable energy transition, particularly those involving commercial and industrial rooftop installations for self-consumption and energy efficiency.
I was drawn to Deetken Impact for its focus on impact investing and commitment to creating positive change in society and the environment. Having personally invested in solar energy projects in Spain and worked as a developer and contractor in Spain and Costa Rica, I wanted to join the investment side of the business to catalyze projects throughout the region. Working with Deetken Impact has given me the opportunity to engage in a broader range of projects to expand our impact throughout Latin America. My personal and professional goal is to contribute to a more balanced and sustainable future.
What challenges and barriers do you address in your work?
I work closely with entrepreneurs and developers, helping them advance their sustainable energy projects from concept to development and subsequently secure investments.
One of the key challenges I face is the technical complexity inherent in energy projects. Renewable energy projects require the coordination of various engineering skills, demanding flexibility and adaptability from developers to address inevitable issues. Some of the sponsors’ limited energy project development experience can be a significant challenge, and my role is to strengthen their technical capabilities and provide support to address project challenges effectively and maximize the performance and positive impacts of the project.
Once the technical risks are successfully addressed, the next challenge is securing financing. Given the specialized nature of this sector, our work involves assisting financial institutions and developers in identifying and mitigating risks. I find satisfaction in diving into these challenges and guiding projects with positive social and environmental impacts in the region and helping them reach financial close.
What is your favorite part of the work you do, and why?
I enjoy the opportunity to immerse myself in the companies we invest in. I love the strong relationships that develop between our teams as we all become true partners in the same venture. Moreover, I find it fascinating to collaborate with and continually learn from my colleagues. I am fortunate to engage daily with a diverse and passionate group of people I deeply admire.
Laura exploring the Netherlands with her husband and children.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
One unique experience is that I worked on two forest fire campaigns in Spain during my university years. I was in charge of overseeing a helicopter base and an amphibious aircraft base. So, I’ve experienced the thrill of soaring over some pretty substantial wildfires. It left a lasting impression, and to this day, I remain deeply engaged in wildfire management and conservation, especially during the summer months.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love going on adventures with my family. Living in Costa Rica lets us dip into nature which is right at our doorstep. We often hike in the nearby mountains or head to the beach, and on special occasions, we arrange adventurous activities like canopy tours, tubing, or white-water rafting. In my daily routine, I derive great joy from playing paddle. It’s where I can release all my energy and enjoy some social time with friends.
What is your favorite city/country you have visited, and which is at the top of your bucket list to visit?
This summer, I had the opportunity to explore France, Belgium, and the Netherlands with my family by train. It was a fascinating journey because, despite my children being Spanish by nationality, they have been raised in Costa Rica and hadn’t experienced much of Europe. So, my husband and I enjoyed the adventure of rediscovering the charm of old Europe. We walked long distances until our feet ached, savored pâté and cheese, and had delightful wines. Soon, we plan to repeat the experience, but we’re heading south this time. We’ll travel through France and Italy, concluding our journey in the stunning Alps. It’s a thrilling adventure that’s high on our bucket list!
You can learn more about Laura by following her on LinkedIn!