Students of Gyaama Pensan Senior High Technical School at Aboaso have been adjudged winners of this year’s Renewable Energy Challenge in the Ashanti Region.
The contest by the Energy Commission and the Bui Power Authority is meant to encourage local innovations to address Ghana’s energy challenges.
Officials believe it will inculcate in the students the urge to solve societal problems with practical solutions.
The Renewable Energy Challenge showcased different innovative technologies produced locally by students in senior high school.
Ten schools in the Ashanti Region took turns to explain practical solutions to Ghana’s energy challenges.
Gyaama Pensan SHTS, Konongo Odumase SHS, Juaben SHS, Obuasi SHTS, Al-Azhariya Islamic SHS, Prempeh College, Kumasi Academy, Kumasi High School, Opoku Ware School and Agona SHTS competed in the second edition.
Innovations include solar oven, cocoa seed salt drier and power management technologies.
Gyaama Pensan Senior High Technical School, led by Christolove Molgo Arthur and Janet Ohemaa Nkansah, won the challenge with their plant microbial fuel cell technology.
The project coordinators led by Frank Agyekum included Sampson Adu-Heneampong, Ernest Acheampong and Iddrisu Issifu (Head of Science Department).
The innovative technology generates electricity from plants, and bacteria from soils, that can power and charge mobile phones and even used to light LED television sets.
With support from the Ghana Education Service, the Energy Commission partnered the Bui Power Authority for this year’s national contest.
Julius Nkansah Nyarko, is Chief Programs Officer in charge of Bioenergy at the Energy Commission, and doubles as the Project Coordinator for the Senior High School Renewable Energy Challenge.
He says the initiative is meant to develop the research skills of the students to identify challenges in their schools, and environment and come up with solutions.
“…we are looking at them using basic tools, equipment and materials that are locally available to come up with innovative ideas and projects they can use to solve these challenges”.
Mr Nyarko continues that, “We wish to support them with some of our research institutions to ensure that we upgrade whatever projects they come up with to make them better to support the economic development of the country”.
Deputy CEO in charge of Finance and Services at Bui Power Authority, Josh Tetteh, is positive the best of solutions can be scaled up.
“This competition is to find talents, young minds being put to the old problems to find out new ideas. So for us, we want to get the young ones to bring their ideas into the renewable energy space.”
He adds that, “…maybe there will be new discoveries from the projects they present and we will find ways of sponsoring these discoveries so that we shall continue to promote renewable energy in the country”.
Corporate Affairs Manager at the Bui Power Authority, Akua Sakyi, says the contest is important to encourage more girls to venture into science and engineering.
The program has been designed such that the projects which come out as most promising will be recommended to research institutions like CSIR and Brew Hammond Energy Centre.
The challenge started in 2019, and piloted for just the Greater Accra region which saw 29 schools participate in the first edition.
Now, officials are expecting representations from all the regions for the competition.
Gyaama Pensah Senior High Technical will represent the Ashanti Region in the National Contest later this year. Konongo Odumase SHS came second, and Juaben SHS came third.
The winners of the regional competitions will qualify for the zonal competitions – one each for the northern and southern zones.
After which the best schools in each zones will go to the final to be held in October, at the Ghana renewable energy fair in Accra.
So far, three regional competitions- Ahafo Region, Central Region and Western Region together with Ashanti have representations now.
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