Talents visit Shenzhen Energy Center on Wednesday. Michelle Wang
More than 100 talents from some 40 countries started their innovation process to come up with solutions for affordable and clean energy Thursday at Shenzhen Energy Group, which is part of the UNLEASH Innovation Lab opening in Shenzhen.
The head facilitator of the talents, Natascha Hermsen, from the Netherlands, introduced the five phases of the innovation process, including problem framing, ideation, prototyping, testing and implementing. This is her second time participating in the UNLEASH event after she attended the first edition in Denmark in 2017.
Over the next few days, the team is expected to explore, through collaboration, new perspectives on problem-solving solutions, make implementation plans and present them to peers and panels of judges and mentors until Nov. 13.
The participants, from different fields around the world, were quite thrilled to have the opportunity to join the project. "I'm very excited to work on solutions to energy access under the SDG7 at UNLEASH this week in Shenzhen," said Anila Qehaja, from Kosovo, who is now working as a U.N. consultant.
The grand plan of the SDG7, which is themed affordable and clean energy, aims that by 2030, everyone will have access to affordable and reliable modern energy services and the proportion of renewable energy in the global energy structure will be substantially increased.
“I’ve come with an open mind,” said Kim van Netten, a staffer at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science of the Australian Government. “I expect we will work hard and probably a lot of great new solutions will be devised.”
A sound energy system supports all sectors, from business, medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high technology, while the lack of energy supply and conversion systems will constrain human and economic development.
Thomo Lekagane, co-founder of Women in Energy, an NGO in Botswana, expected to interact with like-minds and hear from other talents about what is happening in their countries and how they have overcome those kinds of problems.
Her views were echoed by Boitumelo Sehlake, founder of the private company Sehlake Energy Solutions in South Africa. She said her country faces a lot of challenges and what she hopes to get from UNLEASH is to communicate with like-minded people from different parts of the world to see what they are doing in their countries to help find solutions for South Africa.
Shenzhen Energy Group, the main power producer and supplier for Shenzhen, can process more than 5.8 million tons of garbage every year, with a daily handling capacity of 16,300 tons. The company also took the lead in the nation in going global by building Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd., the first Chinese power plant built in Africa.