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Students walk away with cash for innovative ideas.

on 15 Mac 2010.

By JADE CHAN

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TEAM D’Regen from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, and Feng from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Sarawak, were crowned the champions of the main and topical challenges, respectively, at the inaugural Digi Deep Green Challenge for Change.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway graced the competition’s awards ceremony.

The six-month competition was aimed at inspiring young Malaysians to discover new, meaningful and innovative renewable energy solutions.

It saw undergraduates from eight participating universities working on a series of challenges that focused on energy efficiency solutions for the mobile telecommunications industry and renewable energy solutions for Malaysian communities.

 

 

Simple steps: Prince Haakon (left) and Princess Mette-Marit (third from left) being briefed on the D’Regen project by the team members.

Challenge for Change is aligned with Digi’s Deep Green programme, which addresses energy efficiency within the company’s business, and broader areas of sustainability with related stakeholders.

In his speech, Prince Haakon noted that the development of green technology at a micro-level was needed for the future.

“Preserving the environment can be regarded as the greatest team-building session the world has ever seen.

“The development of new and innovative technologies is a key factor in fighting climate change and preserving the environment,” he said.

“It is, however, important that this technology is also made available for all communities and all levels of society.”

As a key player in the ICT sector, Telenor Group executive vice president Sigve Brekke said the group and Digi are well positioned to play a leading role in reducing carbon emissions.

“If we are successful in bringing out ICT’s full potential, this industry can deliver a 15% reduction compared to the business-as-usual scenario in 2020.

“The biggest role ICT can play is that of an enabler. These days, it is no longer just about green products and services, but also smart buildings and smart consumption on a daily basis,” said Brekke, who is also Telenor Region Asia head and Digi.com Bhd chairman.

Internally, he said Telenor’s goal was to reduce the carbon emission intensity of its global operations by 40% by 2017.

Winning solution: Brekke (right) and Dennelind (second from right) take some time to find out more about D’Regen.

“In Malaysia, DiGi’s Deep Green programme addresses all business aspects of the company, and aims to directly reduce its CO2 footprint by 50% by 2011,” Brekke said.

“Deep Green is a core business of Digi, and it is our strategy to embed sustainable development into every aspect of our organisation,” Digi CEO Johan Dennelind added.

“Challenge for Change is one of many CSR programmes we have undertaken to address global issues that impact the environment,” he said.

Competition chief judge and Digi chief technology officer Ole Martin Gunhildsbu said the students’ projects had given Digi a lot of new ideas and hoped the teams would find corporations to industrialise these creations.

Ole Martin said D’Regen’s prototype was easy to mount and mass produce while Feng delivered a solid solution that worked.

D’Regen’s solution for the application of renewable energy for under-served communities in Malaysia was the EzE wind turbine.

“It’s economical, easy to transport and made of lightweight material. The generator is the most unique part as it is custom-made for low wind speeds,” Electrical and Electronics student Tsang Kian Hoe, 23, said.

“The wind turbine is powered by wind energy, with the Eze Pedal to generate kinetic energy as a backup.”

Tsang said they were inspired by the Ikea concept to create something that the under-served community could buy at a lower cost, and assemble and maintain themselves.

To increase the efficiency of existing community-based micro-hydro projects, Feng conducted a case study in Kampung Semulong, Sarawak, on the village’s micro-hydro system.

“We applied amendments to the reservoir, penstock and power house, and basically improved the existing system from top to bottom,” said Electronics and Civil Engineering student Mohd Ridhzan Roslan, 21.

“We used ladles to create the water turbine, which converts energy from the water to produce electricity.”

On why they used ladles, Ridhzan said it is a common item used for scooping, and had to be easy for the villagers to source.

D’Regen won RM50,000 while Feng received RM20,000.

An industry dialogue session entitled The Challenge for Climate Action: Is the Industry Really Serious? that was attended by representatives from the communications industry, government, civil society and youth was also held at the event.

Extracted from The Star Online.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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