Young inventors at the recently concluded second edition of the ‘Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge’ in Lagos, have proffered alternative and renewable energy sources that have the potential to enhance eco-friendly and sustainable electricity supply in Nigeria.
The competition, a yearly event hosted by Sahara in partnership with ENACTUS Nigeria, seeks to inspire students of higher institutions of learning across the nation to explore opportunities for achieving sustainable power supply within their environment. It also serves as Sahara’s contribution to the growth and development of the Power sector where it has affiliates in the generation and distribution sectors through the Sahara Power Group.
The 2015 challenge involved the development of simple Power Models that can reduce production cost and encourage the broad utilization of different energy sources to power communities and schools.
Kaduna Polytechnic’s Renewable Energy Advancement Project (R.E.A.P) emerged as the winning entry in the competition that had impressive projects from 28 schools.
The Kaduna Polytechnic team created a self-running hydro-power system that runs solely on the kinetic energy of water. The energy produced is stored in a 75-litre enclosed water tank that houses a pump and other materials required to drive generation of electricity. The technology is made from locally modified and recycled parts to ensure that it is environmentally friendly. The development of this project has brought about an alternative to electricity generation for small businesses, a health care center and a school within the impact area of the project.
“We are excited about our performance and want to thank the Sahara Group for giving us a platform to express our abilities. With more support, we believe we can contribute immensely to efforts aimed at improving power supply in Nigeria,” said an ecstatic Gibson Emmmauel, from Kaduna Polytechnic. The institution will represent Nigeria at the Enactus World Cup 2015 scheduled to hold in Sandton Convention Centre, South Africa from 14 – 16 October, 2015.
Sahara Foundation’s Manager, Babatomiwa Adesida said Sahara was always delighted to provide platforms that inspire and empower youths to transform opportunities in their environment into solutions that enhance socio-economic development. “We believe the Sahara Light Up Challenge has started a movement that will ultimately redefine the way we produce, store and consume power in Nigeria, whilst ensuring environmental protection. We are confident that the competition will ultimately light up Nigeria,” he stated.
Michael Ajayi, Country Director Enactus Nigeria, said the competition shows that the nation’s youths only need the right platforms to express their huge potentials. “The Sahara Light Up Nigeria Challenge provides the opportunity for young minds to stretch their creativity as they seek to find solutions to the challenges in Nigeria’s power sector. Over the years we have seen teams present incredible inventions that make us look forward to the future with great expectations,” he said.
Babcock University’s Project, H-Power, was adjudged the second best. The project involves the use of water to power an H-Power generator. Using Ijesha Ijebu as their pilot community, the H-Power generator was used to provide electricity to give the community access to water and electricity.
Federal university of Agriculture, Abeokuta emerged third with Project DTMS. The project focuses on generating electricity from bio-degradable waste materials in the pilot community. The students created a bio-digester that imitates the human digestive system. It collects waste materials from the environment and processes it into fuel used to generate electricity.