How Shell is turning sandbags into electricity in Kenya
The device uses a bag filled with 12kg of rocks or sand, which after being lifted off the ground, slowly falls over 20 minutes, generating enough electricity to power a small light.
This is the second of six projects in Shell’s “energy relay”, as part of its #makethefuture campaign, which is seeing it work with six energy start-ups to promote the adoption of innovative clean and renewable methods of energy generation.
“It’s very important that we support each one of the entrepreneurs in a way that is meaningful,” said Shell’s group head of integrated brand communications Malena Cutuli, who acknowledged that the business faces high public scepticism about marketing its clean energy initiatives.
The way around this, she said, is to ensure that marketing activations always came out of concrete projects, rather than starting as an opportunity for publicity.
“Consumers expect that large-scale marketing has purpose,” she said. “It’s about bringing real ideas into action. You will not see projects from us that are only a PR stunt. Everything has the object of outcome and objective.”