The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation have launched the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy, a $2 million prize competition to reward entrepreneurs and innovators working to address access to green and renewable energy in Africa.

Teams from anywhere in the world can register now and submit designs and business models. An independent panel of expert judges will select semi-finalist teams to receive $20,000 each to develop small-scale prototypes. In the final round, teams will demonstrate their entries in field tests, which will evaluate their ability to: 

  • Dramatically expand access to green, affordable, renewable energy 
  • Reduce the exposure of vulnerable communities in Africa to the impacts of climate change 
  • Stall and reverse greenhouse gas emissions.

The winning individual or team will be awarded $1 million, with an additional $1 million disbursed throughout the competition as finalists progress and field test ideas. There is no cost to apply, and the competition is open to any innovator across the globe.

According to a press statement, the competition is designed to cast a wide net for inclusive innovation, by providing funding, support, and product testing to find the best solutions for sustainable and renewable energy.

“Entrepreneurs and new technologies can provide the solutions that will secure sources of sustainable and renewable energy for generations to come, in Africa and around the globe. The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy will catalyze market creation for innovative, renewable energy solutions and drive private sector growth as well as improve the socioeconomic living conditions of millions in Africa,” stated Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, co-founder and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation.

Winning teams will have to demonstrate their ability to deploy innovative green energy solutions at scale in Africa, with the goal of dramatically expanding renewable energy access. Teams will be required to make use of new technologies or adapt existing technologies in innovative ways to generate at least 60 kWh of off-grid electricity daily (24 hours) using green energy sources.

“Population size and energy needs are both rising rapidly, creating an urgent need to find sustainable sources of renewable energy…we hope to see a broad range of innovative ideas on how to create scalable, green energy systems that will allow for increased economic activity on the African continent and beyond,” added Emily Musil Church, PhD, senior director at the Milken Institute.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy is focused on the energy crisis in Africa, where currently 600 million live without access to electricity, but the ideas and solutions generated could be used to help the 940 million people, or 13 percent, who do not have access to electricity globally.

Registration is currently open and can be done here.

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