FIRST EVER NEGAWATT’S CHALLENGE DEFINITION DAY!

Author: Gladys Kitony

The very first Challenge Definition Day of the World Bank’s Negawatt Challenge took place on January 29th 2015 at iHub, Nairobi (As you all know, Nairobi is the first in the pack!). The Challenge Definition Day is a one-day workshop to identify Nairobi’s most pressing urban energy issues and translate them into concrete, actionable challenge statements. These challenge statements will define the scope of the Negawatt Challenge Competition and are therefore integral to the success of the initiative. 

We hosted the best and brightest minds that comprised of key energy and technology stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, including non-governmental organizations, universities and entrepreneurs.

The workshop kicked off with introductory remarks from Jessica Colaco, Director of Partnerships at iHub and Anna Lerner, Energy and ICT Specialist at the World Bank. This was followed with introductions from all participants.  Kat Borlongan took the participants through the agenda of the day, which was to identify and define major problems in the energy sector and translate these into concrete challenge statements. This was realised through the following steps:

Step 1: Immerse:  Persona naming (Identify a member of the society one can relate with); Map one’s persona’s daily transport or energy consumption journey; Present the persona to the rest of the group.

Step 2: Define:  Problem framing and uncovering root causes.

Step 3: Converge:  Transform problems into innovation challenges; Group presentation and discussion.

A glimpse into some of the energy sector problems identified is as follows:

  1. Inability to predict power consumption and associated cost.
  2. Lack of awareness on green energy systems and other types of renewable energy.
  3. Entrepreneurs looking to venture into this sector have limited financing options. This was attributed to the fact that financial institutions fail to see the relevance of energy efficiency.
  4. High electricity tariffs.

The event came to a close with some really good news from Anna Lerner!

Ever wondered how and where you could get relevant energy efficiency and consumption data? Well, this might be the end of your trouble. The Negawatt and Open data team at the World Bank are working tirelessly to ensure that relevant energy data is made available to Kenyan citizens via an online portal. Those in attendance were given the opportunity to  highlight some of the data sets that they would like included in the portal.

I guess that’s enough for now!  Be on the look out for our next series of exciting events. See you soon :-)

Check out some photos below: