The Efficiency for Access Coalition launched the 2019 Global LEAP Awards today at Unlocking Solar Capital: Africa. The 2019 Awards will identify low-cost, energy-efficient refrigerator and solar water pump technologies appropriate for communities living in off- and weak-grid areas in developing countries, with support from UK aid and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid Initiative. CLASP serves as Operating Agent for the Global LEAP Awards.
Household and productive use appliances like refrigerators and water pumps deliver higher-level energy services like cooling and mechanization of labor-intensive activities. These types of products can enable income-generating activities, like improved efficiencies in agriculture, drive greater health outcomes, and strengthen livelihoods in underserved communities.
Many off-grid solar companies would like to offer such products to their customers, in response to increasing consumer demand and growing awareness of their transformative potential. However, the supply of appropriately designed products remains severely constrained. Advancements in efficiency, design, and cost are needed for nascent off-grid appliance markets to reach their full potential, and the Global LEAP Awards will help catalyze this.
The Global LEAP Awards identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances, accelerating market development and innovation. Awards programmes use a competition-based approach to drive innovation in early stage technologies, while building valuable technical and commercial market infrastructure. This is the programme’s fourth round, featuring the second competition for off-grid refrigerators and the first ever for solar water pumps.
Efficiency for Access Investor Network
Winners and Finalists of the 2019 Awards will have the opportunity to find potential investors through the newly-formed Efficiency for Access Coalition Investor Network, which includes 12 leading investment organisations. “The impact investment community wants to find new technologies and business models and learn how customers can benefit from this next wave of off-grid appliances,” said Leslie Labruto, Global Energy Lead at Acumen who announced the formation of the Investor Network in Kigali. “Programmes like the Global LEAP Awards provide direct insight on the quality and viability of the most innovative solutions.”
Designers, developers, manufacturers and distributors are encouraged to nominate eligible products at www.GlobalLEAPAwards.org. The deadline for nominations is 18 January 2019, with results expected by mid-2019.For more information, please see our two pager.