Three Nigerian companies have emerged winners in the GE/USADF Off Grid Energy Challenge. The winners are Trans Africa Gas and Electric PLC, GVE Projects Limited and Afe Babalola University. They will receive 100 thousand dollars (about N16m) each for their innovative solutions to Off-Grid Energy in respective communities.
The winners were announced at a grand event held in Lagos. The GE USADF Off-grid Energy Challenge was launched in Kenya and Nigeria with plans to expand to other African countries over the next 3 years. About 2 million dollars will be won in all.
The President of the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) Shari Berenbach said the judges carefully evaluated more than 150 applications to arrive at the eventual winners. She said judges particularly looked out for applications that demonstrated new business models to deliver sustainable energy to underserved marginal populations without degrading the environment.
She disclosed that more than 50% of the applications involved some form of solar energy, while others were based on hydro, wind, bio-fuels among others. According to Shari companies whose products demonstrate creativity and innovative approaches to metering, payment, collections or transmission also received special attention.