$20,000 prize for renewable energy solution to provide off-grid power

January 20th, 2013 by Nesta UK

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The United Nations Development Programme have launched a global challenge to find a renewable energy solution capable of providing off-grid power, with a $20,000 cash prize for the winner.

More than 3,000 families who returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina over ten years ago after the war are still waiting for access to electricity.

For most of the returnees, houses have been reconstructed and basic living conditions restored, but they cannot refrigerate their food or illuminate their home.

The challenge, in partnership with Nesta, a UK-based charity that works to bring “great ideas to life,” calls for a sustainable, cost-effective solution for a standalone, off-grid renewable energy supply that can produce an average of 1,25 kWh and 120 litres of hot-water a day, to cover the needs of an average family in rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina that will not cost more than €5,000.

The competition deadline is 12 pm on 1 May 2013. The competition is open to anyone over 18 who can engineer a complete solution, produce it in sufficient quantities, and deliver it within the expected timelines.

UNDP will pilot the winning solution in a rural area for up to 50 returnee families in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2013.

The winning solution, if successful, may be replicated in other parts of the world to produce off-grid renewable energy for refugees and returnees. The market potential for the challenge winner is significant.

The challenge is part of UNDP’s initiative to develop innovative solutions to global problems.

Visit the Nesta UK website for a full description of the challenge including entry and judging criteria.


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