innovator, Initiate!
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Saudi developer and investor ACWA Power is ‘putting its money where its mouth is’ through their youth-driven initiative ‘The Power is Within You’.  

The winners in the three categories, namely product, service and technology, included:

  • Mohammed Alnakhli and his team with an idea for a demand-side management control for household appliances to address solar PV intermittency, regulate consumption and increase efficiency.
  • Taif University and their team’s idea for using UAV drones for the inspection, monitoring and maintenance of solar PV panels, as a solution that will help reduce costs, manpower and time taken to address any issues.
  • And finally, Ahmed Allehyani with an idea for a new converter to step up the voltage of PV panels to support renewable energy applications ranging from grid integration and solar-powered water desalination systems.

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The minds behind the most innovative ideas will receive 90 days of incubation and development support through the Higher Institute for Water and Power Technologies (HIWPT).

Yet, the Saudi company is not the only organisation that is betting big on the brains of the next generation. Industry stalwart, ENEL, through their ENEL Foundation and the Open Africa Power Initiative, is actively working to promote innovation, leadership and ‘contribute to talent retention in the continent.’

The role of youth in the development of the industry is an important component in the promotion of innovation and ‘out the box’ thinking. A case of ‘not knowing what you don’t know’, in many cases and examining problems from another perspective. 

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Through the Initiate! Programme, Clarion Energy has been privy to some of the innovative outcomes that have been youth-driven in the industry – from new investment models to startups supporting peer-to-peer trading via blockchain or earth observation as a means of enabling vegetation management and reducing wildfires.

How do you believe youth-driven innovation is changing the world we live in? Do you support the role they may play in the future of technology and the energy sector? Have you heard of, or been part of a youth-driven innovation?

We’d love to hear about the work you are doing to encourage youth innovation in your organisation. Contact us at editorial@smart-energy.com or comment on our Linkedin post.

Wishing you a week of innovation!

Until next time,
Claire

PS: Keep an eye on the new podcast being launched by our Initiate! colleagues. Innovation Nation will examine the current state of the innovation sector/ecosystem and the entrepreneurial spirit of a particular European country by bringing together key stakeholders – incubators and accelerators to early-stage start-ups to successful scale-ups to VC & CVCs to government bodies and university/research institutes – to discuss from a policy, educational, practical and financial perspective.

The first podcast is due to launch in February on a date still to be confirmed.