WSU International Programs
Global Case Competition explores renewable energy in Nigeria
By Jordana King, Internation Programs intern
PULLMAN, Wash. - A team titled Viable Alternative Energy Council (VAEC) triumphed at the 2012 Global Case Competition, held April 13, and earned the $1,000 cash prize hosted by Washington State University International Programs.
International Program’s Global Case Competition (GCC) engages students from all WSU campuses to utilize their local resources and propose a strategic solution to a global case affecting the worldwide community.
Each team must accurately represent members from a variety of backgrounds and fields of study across campuses.
The 2012 case question asked, "How can renewable energy be developed in Nigeria in a way that would uplift the well being of its people, given the challenges it is facing with crude oil extraction and the recent oil rig burn?”
VAEC’s presentation was set apart from its competitors by a video titled, "My Name is Nigeria,” created by team captain and Nigerian graduate student, Cornelius Adewale.
Because Nigeria is home to over 250 ethnic groups, an estimated 520 languages and a variety of religions and values, the team identified different geopolitical zones of the country and focused implementation structures the production and use of renewable energy in each zone. They proposed a renewable structure which would enable each geopolitical region to be responsible for the production, distribution and use of its energy.
"This would involve creation of a privately driven regional renewable energy grid unto which individuals, companies, communities and interested organization could sell their renewable energy produced," said Adewale. "The following transmission and distribution of the renewable energy to final consumers would be coordinated by an independent regional board of renewable energy."
The team suggested encouraging private investment into renewable energy production and capitalizing on Nigerians' enterprising prowess by initiating adequate incentives including guaranteed energy pricing system for renewable energy; a 10-year tax holiday for renewable energy companies; interest-free loans for renewable energy related projects; premiums for the renewable energy usage; and selling hydro, solar biomass, wind, and nuclear renewable energy sources to the regional grid.
After receiving the case on Monday, April 2, teams were allotted less than one week to collaborate across campuses and submit a two-page, written proposal to the judges by Friday, April 6.
The GCC judges read the written case solutions and narrowed the competition down to five final teams who would prepare for a 10-minute presentation and a five-minute question and answer session from the panel.
"I participated in the International Case Competition to expand my global views," said Chengxuan Wu. "Throughout the challenge, I gained collaborative experience by working with diverse team members, which will help me land a better job."
The winning VAEC team members include: Alyssa Miller, a freshman student from Potlatch, Idaho, studying accounting and international economics; Chengxuan Wu, a senior from Changsha, China, majoring in finance; Leah Thorp, a Pullman graduate student specializing in sociology; Niki Schering, an undergraduate from Kennewick, Wash., studying psychology at the Tri-Cities campus; and Cornelius Adewale, graduate student from Nigeria studying soil science.