The Shell #makethefuture campaign is highlighting the need for greater global collaboration to create more and cleaner energy solutions, by helping to bring to life innovations from six smart energy start-ups. Technologies from the bright energy businesses were showcased in Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Marta community, before they are installed in communities that require urgent access to cleaner energy.
The entrepreneurs’ innovations are being brought together in Santa Marta as it is benefitting from an installation by Insolar, a solar energy start-up that is one of the featured entrepreneurs being supported by Shell.
Insolar is fitting photovoltaic panels to some of Santa Marta’s most widely used community centres, including a samba school and crèche, which are central to the life of the community’s 8,000 residents.
Young Brazilian entrepreneur Henrique Drumond who founded Insolar sees the project as a significant step in his mission to help to bring cleaner energy to Brazil, where solar accounts for only 0.02 per cent of the energy mix, with only 1,731 small-scale solar systems connected to its grid – despite more than 2,000 hours of sunlight blazing on the country each year. In Rio alone, an estimated 1.4 million residents of the city’s 763 favelas are affected by rising energy prices and unreliable power supply. The Insolar installation is expected to generate the equivalent of 185,000 days of free, clean power over the lifetime of the solar panels.
Showcasing bright energy technologies in Rio kick-starts a global ‘energy relay’ to show collaboration with leading energy entrepreneurs is vital to help to secure a bright energy future, and to invite the world to support and participate in the creation of smart energy solutions.
Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said: “I’m personally inspired by the ingenuity of these innovators, and the ambition to forge a brighter energy future for our planet. Collaboration and entrepreneurialism are essential to finding energy solutions that can enable development and a decent way of life for people across the world while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. These values are central to our #makethefuture campaign to help achieve a better energy future together.”
Insolar director Henrique Drumond said: “My vision was to create a social enterprise that provides communities with a cleaner source of energy. On my journey through the Shell programmes that support entrepreneurs, including Shell Iniciativa Jovem, and the Accelerator, the company has always supported this vision. I am thrilled to see this collaboration brought to life in Rio. We hope Santa Marta will be an inspiration to other bright minds and unlock more answers to tomorrow’s energy challenges in communities, cities and countries around the world.”
The innovations that will be displayed in Santa Marta alongside Insolar include:
bio-bean – which explores how to reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions from transport by turning coffee dregs into a sustainable transport fuel,
Capture Mobility – demonstrates how roadside turbulence from cars and trucks can generate clean power for local communities,
GravityLight – improves health and wellbeing in energy deprived communities by using a simple pulley and weight system to generate electricity,
MotionECO – uses waste cooking oil to help to create a market for renewable diesel in China (in transport, public services and logistics) and discourage the harmful reuse of cooking oil, and
Pavegen – converts power from footsteps into renewable energy that can power a community
Joining the #makethefuture movement as ambassadors are six award-winning international musicians: Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, Brazilian singer Luan Santana, British performer Pixie Lott, American DJ/Producer Steve Aoki, China’s pop star Tan WeiWei and Nigerian idol Yemi Alade. The artists are uniting with the energy entrepreneurs and Shell to help shine a light on the worldwide need for access to more and cleaner energy. The launch of the global ‘energy relay’ was celebrated on September 28 with some of the #makethefuture ambassadors performing a series of concerts at the heart of the Santa Marta community, during which the music video for the Best Day of My Life was premiered.
In October, #makethefuture will move on to Kenya, where Shell is working with GravityLight – a UK-based start-up that has developed a gravity-powered lamp designed to improve health and wellness across Kenya by bringing clean, affordable light to low income homes.