Winners of the national final of the 2023 Renewable Energy Challenge announced

May 19, 2023 | Blog, Climate Change

In the above picture (frames left to right):

F1: Green Queens from St Anna Private School from Springbok, Northern Cape;

F2: Change-makers from Walmer High School, Eastern Cape;

F3: Friendly Footprints from St Anna Private School from Springbok, Northern Cape.

F4: Judging panel with all national final participants of the 2023 Renewable Energy Challenge

Green Queens of St Anna Private School from Springbok, Northern Cape, has won the 2023 Renewable Energy Challenge (REC) national final hosted at the Enlit Africa Conference this week.

Following the regional judging rounds of the competition, the regional finalists were brought to Cape Town for an educational tour of workshops, site visits and an opportunity to present their projects as part of the national final at the Enlit Africa Conference. As part of their excursion, learners were given a tour of the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) and Ener-G-Arica, while being transported in an electric bus which has recently been added to the Golden Arrows Bus Services fleet as part of a viability project by the company. The trip was rounded up by a movie night powered up by Sunshine Cinema where film screenings and fun activities were facilitated.

The regional finalists, in their groups, each had a turn to present their renewable energy projects to a panel of judges as part of the event programme on the Green Hub stage at Enlit Africa. A common approach was taken by the groups, which saw them identify the problems and challenges affecting their homes, schools or communities, develop a renewable energy solution that addresses these issues, and imagine the impact their solution can have on their community. There was a diverse set of renewable energy solutions put forward across categories, with groups demonstrating their projects in the form of technical models, videos and visual posters.

The judging panel comprised of Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape; Noma Qase, Director at the Department of Minerals, Resources and Energy; Ariane Labat, Counsellor: Climate action, Environment, Agriculture of the EU Delegation; and Cecelia Kok, Head of Research and Advocacy at FNF Africa. The judging panel offered words of encouragement to the groups before they took the stage and proceeded to score each groups’ presentation, which saw the final standings emerge as follows:

  • 1st Place: Green Queens, St Anna Private School – Springbok, Northern Cape
  • 2nd Place: Change-makers, Walmer High School – Gqeberha Eastern Cape
  • 3rd Place: Friendly Footprints, St Anna Private School – Springbok, Northern Cape

What these young learners have put forward demonstrated the problem-solving, solution-orientated and impact-driven nature of the future generation of leaders, and can be honourably commended on their achievements for making it to the final round of the competition. All groups can be extremely proud of their projects and presentations at the national final, and for their active engagement and participation in the programme activities during the tour.

As the competition has drawn to a close, a key takeaway was the importance of giving the platform for youth voices to be heard and amplified on topics of renewable energy and climate change. As many shared their vision of what a sustainable future looks like for them and their communities, it is inspiring to see that these climate champs already see the world with a forward-looking lens on.

A thank you is expressed to Enlit Africa for giving these climate champs the platform to present their projects at the conference, GABS for transporting them around the city during their trip, SARETEC and Ener-G-Africa for hosting the participants at their facilities and Sunshine Cinema for facilitating a movie night powered by renewable energy and African storytelling.

This climate change initiative is co-funded by the European Union, implemented in partnership with the Friedrich  Naumann Foundation for Freedom, and presented by GreenCape.

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