Students are part of the answer against climate change

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Samia A. Nadi has been working at Schneider Electric Netherlands since January 2020 after completing her Ph.D. research work from Germany. Being a scientist for the past 7 years, her focus has always been on sustainability through R&D in the solar energy research field. Currently, at Schneider Electric, she is working as a Specifier Account Manager influencing the Design Engineers/ Specifiers with Digital Energy Management & Sustainable Solutions for Smart & Sustainable Cities. Samia participated in the 2014 edition of #SchneiderGoGreen when she was a Master’s student and became the Champion in Malaysia and 1st runner up in the East Asia region. Read about her experience with the competition!

Climate change and energy inefficiency are the biggest challenges that we are facing regarding sustainability. Both these challenges go hand in hand. Inefficient usage of energy causes increased carbon emission which is undoubtedly the biggest cause of climate change hence a barrier towards sustainability. Back in 2015, during my MSc. Studies in Renewable Energy, I was triggered to participate in the annual global student competition Schneider Go Green by Schneider Electric and in collaboration with AVEVA to challenge myself to find a bold and innovative idea that contributes to tackle climate challenges. I truly believe that students and young adults around the world can contribute with meaningful ideas to help decision-makers to make a difference.

If we look at our day to day energy usage, 67% of the primary energy is wasted across generation, transportation, heavy industry, and buildings. It is surprising to realize that we spend 90% of our time in buildings and these buildings contribute to 40% of the total carbon emission. To combat climate change and drive towards sustainability, it is not only about having better materials or efficient solutions anymore- but we must also increase efficiency dramatically, increase usage of electrification and utilize renewable energy in these areas to achieve the sustainability goals. It must be a combination of all connecting with digitization. Digitization utilizes IoT, artificial intelligence, big data, etc. that allows us to achieve a high level of efficiency with much lower cost.climate change student competition

Currently, I work for Schneider Electric, a company that believes that saving energy and electrification is the equation to achieve decarbonization and sustainability. In terms of climate change, I believe that reaching the 1.5 °C climate trajectory should not be the end of the goals since we need to move towards a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative territory. For that, we need to discover more technology, brainstorm more innovative ideas and methods. That is why I believe that it is very important to host sustainability challenges like Go Green.

Students: you have the ability to change the world

Students and young adults around the world know better what will work for the companies and industries in their village, their city, or their country. We need ideas and meaningful approaches to help the decision-makers take a new look at their communities. Students should believe that each one of us has the ability to change the world. As Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” So think, what are some of the things that must be done?

My Schneider Go Green Idea: a solar-powered water bottle

Schneider Go Green finalistsThe idea my team pitched in the competition was the simple idea to provide the smart cities as well as rural villages with a solar-powered water bottle: the Portable SolarClean water filtration system. Cities around the world face more water pollution than rural areas because of industrialization and natural disasters like forest fires, earthquakes, floods, etc. These don’t just take away lives and properties; they also introduce our air, land, and water with potentially dangerous substances. I proposed a complete package of solutions named Portable SolarClean water filter to assist all cities, underserved communities, and the smart cities around the world with clean drinking water without interrupting their harmony with the surrounding nature.

The bottom part of the Portable SolarClean water filter had a sealed compartment that consisted of a storage battery and a pump with the circuit needed for the system. The attached thin-film solar Photovoltaic (PV) strips produced the electricity using solar energy to charge the battery and activate the pump. Once the pump was switched on, a pressure gradient was created and the unclean water entering through the bottom part could be sucked instantly through the filter and clean filtered water could get stored in the top sealed compartment. The storage battery enabled the bottle to be used even without the presence of sunlight and the connected USB port allowed charging of mobile devices. This solution not only could save energy, but also create cohesion within the community, meet the energy demand of the newly formed community and preserve the local environment. This water filter could be used in smart buildings (home, office, gym, etc.) in compliance with the rainwater harvesting system. It could also be used as disaster relief support throughout the world which would provide the victims with a technology to survive during the crisis. The proposed solution also included eco-tourism prospects as it would be a good companion for people who love adventure, hiking, or trekking.

Go Green competition for climate change

Go Green Challenge

I strongly encourage students to make a change and participate in a student challenge like Schneider Go Green. Students can help companies with fresh thinking which is much needed towards a more sustainable future. Personally, I not only learned a lot about myself but also I could make a difference with my thinking and it can lead to a great job and a career.

Our future is in the hands of the students of the present. People are emerging into a different uncertain world with a new appetite for change. Students are critical thinkers, innovators, and change-makers. They are the future leaders who will promote and mobilize the advancement of digitization and sustainability to improve the lives of people and make this planet carbon positive. So, it is important for young adults to gain confidence and be the change. The next 8-10 years will determine the quality of life for the next 100 years! So, we need to act on sustainable innovations now!

Interested students can now participate in Go Green 2021. Put your skills to the test and push the boundaries of digital transformation in energy management.

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