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Prize trip to Utsira for young power-producer

June 30, 2006, 11:00 CEST

14-year-old Zaid Khalid from Etterstadsletta in Oslo won first prize in Hydro's competition concerning the energy of the future, launched in Norway in June in connection with the company's profiling campaign about future energy sources.

Zaid is interested in both sun and wind. Now a trip to the island of Utsira, west of Haugesund, with its combined hydrogen and wind power facility, awaits him.

"Yes, I’m interested in energy, and work a bit with it myself," says the 14-year-old modestly. Unlike most people his age, he has procured several solar panels and batteries that generate enough power for him to be "self-supporting" in his bedroom.

Not surprisingly, it was use of solar power he was most concerned about when he participated in Hydro’s competition, "Where will we get our energy from in the future?" In his answer, Zaid wrote about how he used solar cells to generate electricity he needed in his room, and that he is certain that the energy carrier of the future is the solar cell. The Hydro jury concluded that the 14-year-old was a worthy winner who has a genuine interest in the energy question and who demonstrates creativity and an ability to think in new ways.

The competition was part of a web campaign for Hydro and new energy, heralded by "wind-up cars" in the streets of Oslo and by newspaper ads with pictures of trains and planes that looked as if they could be wound up.

But Zaid also knows a lot about other forms of energy, and says that he has read about Hydro's combined hydrogen and wind facility on Utsira. In the past he has attempted to produce electricity using a windmill.

"He has worked on projects like this since he was ten, perhaps even a bit longer. This is his hobby," Zaid’s mother explains.

"Before, we had an outdoor light that shone whenever the wind blew. Perhaps it wasn’t surprising that some of the neighbours wondered a bit about this lamp that shone at strange times," she says.

"I really want to visit Utsira. I reckon it’ll be interesting to go there and get a closer look at the plant there. I hope we can go there soon, because even though it’s the summer holiday, there are lots of things happening this summer. I am pretty busy," says the energetic young boy Zaid Khalid.

After hanging around for a while, we managed to take a couple of picture of him. Zaid was out on a trip, because he had a solar panel that had to be repaired on the day he found out that he had won first prize in Hydro’s energy competition...