Aston University student awarded for work to boost renewable energy in Africa
Jun 23 2022
An Aston University post-graduate researcher has won a national award for his work to increase the use of renewable energy in Nigeria.
Prince Anthony Okoro is in the first year of his PhD in bioenergy within the University’s Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI).
He won the Future Game Changers Award at the 2022 British Renewable Energy Awards which have been running for 18 years and celebrate the work of organisations and individuals who are contributing to the push for net zero by 2050.
The audience of around 300 guests voted on the winner after seeing videos of all the finalists played twice during the evening. As well as the accolade Prince took home £2,000 prize money.
With support from Aston University, Prince has founded a start-up called Bebeque Energy which helps develop and set up sustainable energy systems to support Africa’s transition to an affordable, reliable and low emission future.
Projects supported by his start-up include exploring the potential for using rubbish and agricultural waste to create off-grid energy, and examining the potential of chemical production using waste tyres.
For the first time the event took place outside of London and was held in Birmingham at the Botanical Gardens.
Prince said: “I’m so happy to win this prize and gain such high praise for my work.
“I’ve had great support from my PhD supervisors at Aston University. It is wonderful to have my research vision and industry impact recognised."
“This award reflects on the links to industry that myself and my supervisors have developed and how my visions and plans have been brought together in an impactful way.”
The award category was sponsored by global investment company Nuveen.
Peter Dickson from Glennmont Partners from Nuveen said: “Congratulations to Prince on winning this prestigious title, Nuveen has been delighted to support this category.
“We believe that by investing we can make an enduring impact on our world This award is an example of how overseas development assistance funding enables impact; it supports capacity building, knowledge transfer, academia-industry collaboration and policy impact.”
Prince’s start-up is currently among the finalists of the global Milken-Motsepe Prize in AgriTech Competition, 2022. This competition highlights innovative solutions to increase economic value to farmers, from seed to sale.
His PhD is supported by the government’s Commonwealth Scholarship Commission scheme for least developed countries.
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