Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent awards recognise eight finalists for innovation

23rd July 2021 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent of the Year 2021 Awards have named eight finalists from across Africa in recognition of their sustainable energy innovations.

This yearly competition is backed by RES4Africa Foundation, Enel Green Power and the European Investment Bank (EIB). It encourages young entrepreneurs from across Africa to develop projects that expand energy access, enable greater use of renewable energy and accelerate sustainability.

The three entities believe renewable energy and innovation are needed to respond to impacts of climate change and the energy deficit that Africa faces.

The eight selected finalists out of nearly 50 applicants represent a preparatory step for the announcement of three winners who will be announced on September 28, leading up to the Conference of the Parties 26, to be held in Scotland, in November. 

Among the eight finalists are a project focused on sustainable cold chain for food, in Nigeria; an electrical tricycles initiative for heavy loads in Kenya; a photovoltaic-powered trolley for heating up food and providing power, also in Kenya; and solar-powered learning centres for rural communities, in Lesotho.

“The ability to generate innovation will be a fundamental driver to pave the way for a transformation that goes well beyond the dynamic of the energy sector,“ says Enel Green Power CEO Salvatore Bernabei

“We are here to give a voice and visibility to young talents, innovators and entrepreneurs promoting the best innovative ideas to stimulate socioeconomic progress from within and free the creativity of the younger generations in designing the Africa of tomorrow,” he adds.

Increasing energy access and enabling more sustainable energy use is crucial to unlock opportunities for communities across Africa.

The finalists in this year’s Micro-Grid Academy Young Talent Awards all demonstrate inspirational and innovative thinking that combined world-class energy expertise with unparalleled understanding of local energy needs and all deserve to win, says EIB global partners director Maria Shaw-Barragan.