In Sierra Leone, Jeremiah Thoronka founded Optim Energy, a start-up that uses a piezoelectric device.

December 23, 2021

According to the World Bank, only 23% of Sierra Leone’s population can use electricity. In urban areas, 26% of the population has access, and only 6% have access in the rural areas. With the hopes of addressing this chronic energy issue, Jeremiah founded Optim Energy 4 years ago, at the age of 17, while at university in Rwanda.

In November, this invention won the Varkey Foundation’s Chegg Global Student Award 2021 of $100,000. The device works by being placed under a road for pedestrians and traffic to create vibrations that are absorbed and used to generate an electric current. The device harnesses the energy produced by pressure, heat, vibrations, and weather to make affordable & clean electricity. He aims to create a sustainable energy system for rural communities & educate people about energy efficiency.

In addition to this, Jeremiah has goals to expand energy access for communities in Sierra Leone and stop their overuse of natural resources. Jeremiah developed a five-year plan to help the lives of 100,000 people in the most remote places and make sure that they have access to energy is a guarantee regardless of the geographic location.

Optim Energy supplied two devices, free of charge, to 150 households and 15 schools in his home communities of Makawo in the northern part of Sierra Leone and Kuntoluh East of Freetown, thereby benefitting some 1500 people 9000 pupils. Thoronka will use his $100,000 prize to expand energy access for communities in Sierra Leone.

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