UGWEM ENEYO, H’16
Designing Cost-Saving Clean Energy Solutions for Nigeria
The rate of urbanisation in Nigeria puts tremendous pressure on the power grid, with people often only receiving 4 to 6 hours of power each day. With her educational background in civil and environmental engineering, Nigerian entrepreneur Ugwem Eneyo knew that she could design a clean energy solution that would put the power back into Nigeria.
“We are using data-driven approaches to help solve the energy challenges of millions of Nigerian households.”
A Data-Driven Approach
THE CHALLENGE. Upon her many trips to Nigeria throughout her childhood, Eneyo saw firsthand the detrimental effects of power cuts and a fragmented energy grid. With some people receiving just 4-6 hours of power a day, the abilities for Nigerian businesses to grow and thrive was limited. Alternative power sources such as diesel generators were costly and inconvenient. There were limited methods for monitoring energy consumption and the high level of maintenance meant that people would simply leave their generators running, not understanding the end cost and resulting pollution.
THE PROCESS. Eneyo set out to help Nigerian homes and small businesses find reliable and cost-saving clean energy solutions. Her experience as an Environmental and Regulatory Advisor at ExxonMobil provided her with the knowledge and insights to create a solution for Nigeria’s energy grid problem. Wanting to make a bigger impact, she left her position at ExxonMobil to co-found Shyft Power Solutions. With the creation of e-box — an integrated hardware and software, that combines mobile application with internet connected hardware — Eneyo was able to help people suffering power cuts to save money and live smarter. The company’s platform uses the latest technology to provide energy solutions that are convenient to use and easy to manage from a smartphone.
THE RESULT. This data-driven technological approach is building models that can design and seamlessly operate nano- and microgrids in emerging markets. Shyft Power Solutions’ award-winning IoT and software is now being utilized by real estate developers, solar and genset providers, and home and business owners. The company has received funding from 6 major investors and has won numerous awards for its technology, including the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge and the MIT Clean Energy Prize. With this technology, Shyft Power Solutions is bringing intelligence to solar, generator, inverter, and utility power in Nigeria. Eneyo estimates that users will decrease their energy costs by up to 30 percent.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SHYFT POWER SOLUTIONS
Founded in 2016, Shyft Power Solutions provide innovative, mobile-first technology, enabling people who are suffering power cuts to save money and live smarter. The company’s data-driven clean energy solutions are reaching Nigerian households and industries, along with millions of other people on the African continent. Unlike other solutions that can only monitor one or two power sources, Shyft Power Solutions technology can monitor several. From a phone or a computer, people can monitor and secure all of their power sources.
Driving Clean Energy Solutions
ABOUT UGWEM ENEYO
Driving Clean Energy Solutions as a Nigerian Entrepreneur
Ugwem Eneyo holds a master’s degree and is an admitted Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. She often visited Nigeria growing up, and witnessed the negative impact of industry activity and how that affected the lives of Nigerians. The experience changed her from wanting to share people’s stories to wanting to make changes to people’s stories from an engineering perspective.
Feeling blessed about her opportunities in the United States, Eneyo realized that she too easily could have been one of the kids who were struggling at some of the primary and secondary schools in Nigeria. She wanted to take on the task of providing these students with opportunities for education that she had been so greatly blessed with. She started ‘Inspiring a Global Impact’ in Illinois, working with a secondary school in her father’s hometown. From there she interned and worked with ExxonMobile, nurturing her desire to work in clean energy solutions and connecting what she was learning in the classroom with the real world.
“As a PhD student and an entrepreneur, I’ve been told more than once that whatever I’m doing, there is someone, somewhere in the world with the same idea and the only difference between the two of us is our ability to execute, so execute swiftly and well. You can’t cut down a tree with a single swing of an axe, it takes several efforts to achieve this.”
Eneyo travelled to Tanzania and throughout Nigeria, learning more about water quality and sanitation issues that rural communities were facing. She soon left ExxonMobile and teamed up with fellow Stanford graduate student Cole Stites-Clayton to launch Shyft Power Solutions. The two embarked on creating real-world solutions that could drive sustainable development in emerging markets at the nexus of energy and environment.
I AM A HARAMBEAN
“Harambe showcases the unique stories of Africa’s most amazing young entrepreneurs. It is an honour to be part of such an organisation of young people with impeccable ideas that will elevate Africa.”