Climate Energy: Shell’s quest for global cleaner energy moves to Brazil

Shell has taken its advocacy for global cleaner energy to Rio De Janiero, Brazil, from Nigeria. In December, 2015, Shell launched the first Africa’s human and solar powered football pitch at the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos. The pitch was one of the latest initiatives from Shell’s #makethefuture programme which puts bright energy ideas into action to bring benefits to local communities around the world.

As a follow-up to the Kinetic Pitch success, Shell said it identified the need for greater global collaboration to create more and cleaner energy, by bringing to life innovations from six smart energy start-ups.

Shell identified six young artistes across the continents including Nigeria’s Yemi Alade to take the campaign to Rio De Janiero, Brazil.

Shell posited that “working together, we are turning gravity into light, coffee into energy, cooking oil into fuel, footsteps and roofs into power sources and roadside turbulence into electricity. Communities in Brazil, Kenya, China, the USA and the UK will experience, first hand, the benefits of these new sources of energy. And we will all see how a different future is possible, a future that is in our hands to create.”

The company also posited that the enormity of the problems, coupled with the scale of worldwide ambition in terms of the desire to progress faster and further, requires the involvement of many in order to find solutions.

“Because we believe that by working together we will transform lives and bring more and cleaner energy to communities, everywhere. For #makethefuture we collaborate with investors, local communities, engaged citizens and global celebrities to transform lives by putting bright energy ideas into action.

“Not just talking about it, but doing it on the ground, day by day, creating a new reality. Each of us has a role to play as investors, volunteers, donators and vocal supporters,” it stated.

Shell partnered with six entrepreneurs who developed Pavegen, Bio-bean, MotionECO,  Insolar, GravityLight and CaptureMobility. All these are alternative sources of energy.

Pavegen was develop by Lawrence Kemball-Cook, British entrepreneur who stated that the issue Pavegen’s innovative solution provides power applications such as LED lighting in a sustainable and affordable manner.

“One of the most successful project we have done was with Shell where we created a kinetic football pitch using people as the source of power. The power produced from one footstep can generate up to five watts of energy and our technology can store the power generated during the day to power the lights when and where it is needed.

“Shell really understood our vision. We collaborated with them in 2014 to make changes in communities both in Nigeria and Brazil. I believe it is really a positive thing we are collaborating with global music artists in Santa Marta.

“Our work with Shell has been pivotal to Pavegen’s growth. We got involved with Shell LiveWIRE and Shell Springboard, and both programmes have really helped us transited from a start-up to a small company with a 25-strong staff and global IP. I’m grateful for all the support Shell has given us, and hope we can continue to grow in the smart city future,” he said.

The Biobean can be applied to any organic waste stream. According to the promoter of Biobean model, Arthur Kay, “we recycle one in 10 coffee drunk in the UK. Our factory has capacity of 50000 tones a year. For every tonne of waste recycled, we can produce numerous high-value products, each of which has environmental benefits compared to fossil fuels.”

The MotionECO aimed at creating solution to turn waste coking oil into energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce health risks and food safety issues caused by the by-product. “Waste cooking oil was being illegally recycled for people to cook with, which causes huge food health and social issues,” said Shutong Liu, founder of MotionECO.

He stated that in one year, MotionECO can transform 100,000 liters of cooking oil into 100 tonnes of biofuel, saving up to 90 per cent of greenhouse emissions.

The promoter of Insolar, 33-year old Henrique Drumond, stated that “Shell helped him to achieve his dream, which is to provide affordable renewable energy to the poor in some communities by easing access to solar energy through the installation of photovoltaic systems in low-income communities to reduce spend on energy consumption.

“Insolar has been funded by various sources. Shell has been central to our success. I entered the Shell LiveWire programme and they gave us £1,818 to invest into the business.”

GravityLight promoters, Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford, stated that the technology uses combined simple engineering principles with increasingly efficient LEDs to turn the energy produced by a falling 12kg bag into electricity for a light. It also provides cheaper and safer alternative to kerosene lamps for estimated 1.2billion people worldwide living without access to grid electricity.

Shell is helping GravityLight to upscale their operation and is supporting entry into Kenya which will be the first developing world market to commercialize the GravityLight.

The sixth is Capture Mobility which is an energy solution that harnesses the power of traffic. The promoter is 22-year old Sanwal Muneer. The technology generates clean energy by placing specially designed windmills by the side of runways, highways, metro tracks and motorways to harvest the air movement of the passing traffic as well as the solar energy.

The issue Capture Mobility is addressing is air pollution caused by traffic.

“I have used this air as an energy source. After a summit in Malaysia, I worked on the prototype in my backyard and when I found the right design, I received funding from Shell and awards from United Nations Clean Energy Programme. I wanted to create a solution that was scalable,” he said.

On her part, Yemi Alade said she was delighted to be part of the programme and to be representing African Continent at the event.

According to her, “#makethefuture initiative is a way of giving back to the society by identifying and encouraging young entrepreneurs to think out of box to make the continent a better place.

“It’s a good thing to ensure that these ideas do not go to waste. It warmed my heart to know that right now we can use some things to provide light that would not cost anything. It is a matter of using what you have in the environment to generate energy which doesn’t corrupt the climate.”

She states that she was happy to be representing Africa at such an event. However, she said she would be bringing to Nigerians the fact that there is a technology called ‘GravityLight’ because “I remembered my days in school when I have to burn candles to read for examinations. Now we can just use anything that has weight and it will just generate light. Though it sounds ‘crazy’ but it actually works. I will like to take this back home.”

Osagie Okunbor, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria & Managing Director of The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said, “Shell makes a significant contribution to energy solutions for Nigeria, and we are committed to supporting the Nigerian economy and its people. We need bright energy ideas. Some of these will come from Shell but naturally, others will come from outside our business. So it’s crucial that Shell supports energy entrepreneurs.”