Â By Ebele Orakpo
There is no doubt that ourÂ planet is deteriorating at a fast rate and something urgently needs to be done. The airwaves is riddled with news of natural disasters – floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, heat waves, droughts, etc.- most resulting from this deterioration.
Environmentalists andÂ scientists are crying themselves hoarse over the dangers inherent in the continued use of fossil fuels which produce green house gases, the major culprit in global warming. Little wonder then that many nations and individuals are seeking alternative energy sources. One of them is Prince Chukwunonso Kodilinye, an electronics engineering graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In a chat with Vanguard recently in Enugu, Kodilinye who is the Chief Executive Officer of Green Energy Nigeria, a subsidiary of Green Energy, Canada, a renewable energy outfit, spoke so passionately about renewable energy and cutting energy costs, saying that the company which he described as an idea whose time has come, is dedicated to pioneering and promoting sustainable energy policies and practices, worldwide.Â Excerpts:
Prince Chukwunonso KodilinyeÂ said Green Energy â€œis a name that sells the intention of what we are doing. Everything you see in us is green. All our products are green. Everything we do projects the image of a very clean power system with zero emission, zero operational cost and silent power. There is no emission from any of our products, ranging from the power systems, to the scooters, the bicycles, the tricycles etc.
Â We live in a world with a lot of carbon emission and there has been so much damage over time. So having these back-up and solar power systems taking over some percentage of the energy supply in the world today, we will find that we can begin to heal the earth. Itâ€™s like we are trying to heal a wound that has already been inflicted. The earth is so fragile but people donâ€™t know, so these energy systems are environment-friendly. They are marked green energy because they are clean, sustainable and renewable. It has a complete cycle so I am inspired to promote and pioneer green energy systems practically by installing these back-up power systems. We reduce carbon emission and pollution (both gas and noise), operational cost of generators and electricity bills.â€
He said the company which was founded and incorporated in 1992 and operates in more than 18 countries, on six continents, is one of the leading developers and installers of clean power systems worldwide, with a total of 265kW power system installed, and with reduction of 40,000 tons in carbon dioxide emissions.
The electronics engineer said he studied engineering because â€œI have always had this ability to change the way things are done. I believe so much in designs and finding better ways of doing things. So engineering was like a challenge to me in that a lot of things are involved. I have a different way of seeing engineering, not the way we were taught in school. In my project in school, I did a back-up system that could be used to power a two-three-bedroom flat. This was designed to power the house for about eight hours a day without supply from the national grid or from the generator.
This idea was inspired by some earlier work done by people and those yearning for green energy – clean, sustainable and renewable – energy.â€
Apart from being environment-friendly, Kodilinye believes that Green Energy systems are also cost-effective and durable. Said he: â€œIt has a triple impact effect. It has a gold value. It is something that has an effect that we could see because if you start comparing these back-up systems to the generator, you will find that there is a lot of savings to be made. It is a very cost-effective solution and in the long run, you would have laid a good foundation for a cleaner future.
Â It is not something you invest in and feel youâ€™ve lost your investment. Itâ€™s something to build on over the years and with time, your energy system would have grown,â€ adding that the systems can withstand very rugged temperatures. â€œThere have been series of certifications to confirm the standard of these equipment. They are patents designed in North America (USA and Canada). They have been tested in very rugged temperatures and have been proven to withstand these temperatures.â€
According to Kodilinye, the company provides independent power systems for rural areas where there is no grid system thereby helping to promote sustainable development in rural areas by making them independent of the urban areas. We have different ways of approaching problems. For people in coastal areas where you have the wind running thousands of rounds per second, we have our wind energy system which generates a lot of energy with our wind turbine. There are wind turbines for offshore application. There is a lot of ocean currents out there which could generate thousands of megawatts of electricity,â€ he stated.
He noted further that â€œNigeria is blessed naturally by lying between longitudes 3 degrees and 14 degrees and latitudes 4 degrees and 140 degrees North of the Equator. We have an unimaginable radiation of the sun so we could tap the solar radiation and generate as much as 70% of the energy needed in this country. Apart from solar panels, we have mirrors that we use to absorb tremendous amount of radiation from the sun. Many of these things have been done in places like Nevada in the US, and they are working, feeding a percentage of the US population but unfortunately, Nigeria being the 7th largest exporter of crude oil in the world, is still promoting the conventional ways of doing things because they want people to keep buying their oil.â€
He said the company has incorporated the power systems in bicycles, scooters, tricycles and even in cars, noting, however, that the only problem is that it is capital-intensive because of the amount of battery needed.
â€œWe are trying to develop applications for commercial use. We have different ranges of products – automatic voltage regulators, automatic voltage switchers, UPS systems (different ranges), hybrid power systems (inverters).