Shell, Yemi Alade partner for bright energy ideas in Kenya
Nigeria music icon, Yemi Alade, has taken the lead in spreading Shell’s #makethefuture campaign which aims to inspire youths and entrepreneurs for bright energy ideas that can help in the global quest for more and cleaner energy.
The multiple award nominee and winner of the 2015 MTV African Music Award Best Female Artist joined Shell-organised 50 Night tour of Kenya last week to celebrate the benefits and installation of GravityLight in some Kenya communities after she united with Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and four other music stars in Rio, Brazil on Best Day of My Life music video for #makethefuture.
GravityLight, one of seven energy ideas celebrated in Rio, Brazil in October by Shell, offers a clean, safe, affordable and reliable alternative to other fuel sources including kerosene lamps, which are used in homes by millions of families in Africa, including Nigeria.
The low-carbon innovation does not need batteries or sunlight and costs nothing to run. It works by connecting an elevated bag filled with 12kg of rocks or sand to a pulley system. Each time the weight descends to the ground it powers a generator to create 20 minutes of light.
“The event in Kenya brings closer home how innovations and collaborations can help bridge the energy divide in the face of a rapidly growing global population,” said the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Development Company and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor.
Okunbor added, “By continuing the conversation on providing a wider, more sustainable mix of energy resources for the world’s growing population, Shell is provoking thoughts on tomorrow’s solution, and supporting young entrepreneurs through our 13-year old LiveWIRE programme.”
Speaking on the relevance of her music to Shell bright energy ideas campaign, Yemi Alade said her music offered a good platform to draw attention to the energy needs of the world with strong appeal to engaged millennials who form the bulk of her fans.
“Music offers a good platform and this is particularly true in Nigeria where we are working hard to provide the energy the nation badly needs to develop. In my music, I try to encourage people to look at the innovative side of life and this is what the ‘makethefuture seeks to achieve in the energy space. I’m pleased to be part of the energy train,” she said.
“GravityLight is really close to my heart as it’s an invention that solves a problem I know only too well. For many years as a girl, I had to use candles and kerosene lamps for hours while studying at night. Now with GravityLight, people have a safer way to study and families can have quality time in evenings. Being part of #makethefuture has been amazing – I’ve seen how it changed lives in Rio, and it’s moving to see it do that again in my home continent,” she added.
GravityLight Could Revolutionise How Thousands Of People Light Their Homes
More than a billion people around the world rely on kerosene to light their homes. It’s an expensive gas that kicks out carcinogenic toxins into the open spaces where people eat, clean and sleep. But for many, there’s no alternative.
London designers Jim Reeves and Martin Riddiford first tried to develop a cheaper solution for home lighting when Solar Aid tasked them with finding a way to reduce the cost of solar lamps, a much vaunted alternative to kerosene.
“We were surprised to see just how expensive the batteries were,” Reeves recalls. “A third of the price was made up by the rechargeable batteries. It has a two or three year life and then its most expensive part wears out.”
Families across sub-Saharan Africa currently spend 20-30 per cent of their household income on kerosene. Reeve says that within three to four months, GravityLight, currently retailing at the equivalent of $25 in Kenya, pays for itself.
But the benefits aren’t only financial. Each day, 780 million women and children around the world inhale a volume of smoke equivalent to two packs of cigarettes, and kerosene is a major factor. GravityLight, meanwhile, is clean.
The foundation has recently taken the technology around Kenya in a roadshow sponsored by Shell. Given GravityLight’s commitment to renewable energy, it seems, at first at least, an unlikely alliance.READ MORE