Shell has been working on some creative ways to create renewable energy and one of their latest projects has been unveiled in Africa using human energy and solar power to create electricity. Music star Akon helped to bring attention to the project at the Federal College of Education in Akoka, Lagos. The new pitch is part of Shell’s #makethefuture program.The football pitch was refurbished by Shell using more than 90 underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. The kinetic energy is then stored and combined with power generated by solar panels to operate the new floodlights. This allows the students to play at night and provides a safer and more secure space at the heart of the community.
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, and we hope that this pitch will inspire more entrepreneurs and young people to help us make a smarter energy future.”
The tiles are the invention of a young British entrepreneur and founder of Pavegen, Laurence Kemball-Cook, whose idea is being brought to fruition through the Shell LiveWire program. The LiveWIRE programme was launched in Nigeria in 2003, and since then it has trained more than 6,000 youths in enterprise development and management, of whom more than 3,000 have been provided with business start-up assistance.
Akon, also a solar entrepreneur, joined Shell to open the pitch as part of his commitment to teaching young Africans the importance of harnessing the power of Africa’s renewable energy. The singer is spearheading, through Akon Lighting Africa, a large scale effort to develop solar-powered solutions that will provide African communities with access to clean and affordable sources of electricity. As part of the celebration at the Federal College of Education, Akon and DJ artist Philip “Hardwork” Constable debuted their new song “Tell Me We’re OK” in an exclusive performance on the pitch before its release in 2016. The innovative football pitch will be featured in the upcoming music video.
Akon added, “New, reliable and smarter energy solutions play a major role in driving human progress in Africa. Projects like this innovative football pitch draw attention to the major opportunity that Nigeria as well as the whole of Africa have if we look to better harness new technologies and the continent’s abundant renewable energy resources. That is why Hardwork and I will feature this pitch in our upcoming video for “Tell Me We’re OK” because I want young people, whether they are in Lagos, Los Angeles or London to think about how they too can help us make the future.”