Dancehall meets Renewable Energy in Jamaica

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (centre), presents winner of the Jamaica Solar Challenge, Ryan Bent, with a trophy for composing a song to communicate the benefits of solar energy. At left is Director of Solar Head of State, James Ellsmoor.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday October 18, 2018
– A university student has emerged the winner of the Jamaica Solar Challenge, a competition that invited young people from across the country to create innovative communication projects and educate their communities about the benefits of renewable energy.

Ryan Bent, a 21-year-old student of the University of the West Indies, won the competition, taking home the first prize of J$75,000 (US$570) for a dancehall song promoting the use of renewable energy.

The challenge was hosted by Solar Head of State, a nonprofit that helps world leaders become green leaders by installing solar panels on government buildings, in partnership with local youth groups.

Students and participants were provided with guidelines to design projects that inspire their communities to recognize and learn about the benefits of solar power. Submissions came in various forms, including written, displayed, and performed.

Jamaica Solar Challenge winner Ryan Bent receives his award from Solar Head of State Director James Ellsmoor.

Solar Head of State said the winning projects were able to demonstrate creativity and ability to communicate effectively, and with originality, the advantages of adopting renewable energy sources for Jamaicans.

Amy Hussey, Adrienne Lee and Eva Wynter from the American International School of Kingston, who submitted a team entry, won the second prize of J$40,000 (US$300); while third place went to 19-year-old Phillip Llewellyn who won J$17,500 (US$130).

Awards were presented during a ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, which has recently commissioned its high-efficiency, state-of-the-art solar PV array.

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