Past Opportunities

December 2019

2020 Ashden Awards

Deadline: December 11, 2019

In June 2020, we will be highlighting projects and organisations from around the world that are increasing access to sustainable energy and improving lives through sustainable energy, in response to the climate emergency. 

Chill Challenge: Affordable, Off-Grid Refrigeration

Deadline: December 16, 2019

The objective of the challenge is the development of refrigerators and icemakers that are significantly more affordable for off-grid communities than currently available units. EWB-USA intends to award grants of $25,000-$50,000 to as many as 10 teams to develop proof of concept prototypes. The competition will be open to all interested parties, and open to all refrigeration technologies. Specific design targets call for:

  • Development of a 150-250 liter refrigerator that can chill 20 liters of water/day from 35C to 3C, and cost less than $12/month to own and operate, or;
  • Development of an icemaker that can produce 100-1000 kgs of ice/day at a cost of $0.03/kg or less.

Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge

Deadline: December 15, 2019

The Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge will award up to $350,000 in grant funding to support scalable, innovative, third-party training solutions to the off-grid solar home system sector's workforce needs in sub-Saharan Africa. USAID, as part of its commitment to the Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development, is supporting the Household Solar Workforce Development Challenge run by the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN).

Solar E-Waste Challenge

Deadline: December 15, 2019

The Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge, supported by USAID, will make up to $1.2 million in grant funding available to support the research and development of more sustainable solar home system and battery technologies for the off-grid solar sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
Successful applicants will receive funding to support implementation of their proposed projects over a 18-month period, with individual awards ranging from $50,000-$300,000, 

Solutions innovantes pour l’accès à l’énergie durable hors réseaux

Deadline: December 16, 2019

Les projets déposés devront mettre en œuvre des technologies et/ou organisations innovantes, génératrices d’activités économiques pérennes et réduisant leur empreinte environnementale sur l’ensemble du cycle de vie, et ce exclusivement en Afrique. Tout type d’innovation (technologique, sociale, pédagogique, sur le financement, sur la tarification et le plan d’affaire, frugale, dans les modes d’intervention, dans le suivi/la maintenance des installations…) est éligible.

January 2020

ARE Awards 2020

Deadline: January 31, 2020 (extended deadline)

By organising the Awards 2020, ARE wishes to highlight the clean energy access results achieved by the most passionate and innovative actors in the sector as well as to increase their impact further by sharing latest knowledge to new stakeholders interested to get engaged.

ARE will again reward the most effective initiative and/or project implemented with one Award per category. 

The ARE Awards 2020 will celebrate 6 categories for projects implemented in 2019.

February 2020

Honnold Foundation grant application Spring 2020

Deadline: February 7, 2020

The Honnold Foundation is now accepting grant applications for our Spring 2020 Grant Cycle! We provide unrestricted grant funding to organizations or projects that use solar energy to increase social and economic equity and reduce environmental impact.

Stanford Global Energy Heroes

Deadline: February 15, 2020

Stanford Global Energy Heroes is a global competition to recognize young people around the world who are using sustainable energy to make a positive impact in their communities.  Hosted by Stanford Energy Club and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, it aims to inspire direct action to reduce carbon emissions in communities worldwide to: (a) provide access to affordable energy; (b) minimize environmental impact such as air and water pollution and carbon dioxide emissions; and (c) enable scalability and wide adoption. 

USADF-All On Off-Grid Energy Challenge

Deadline: February 29, 2020

Proposals are invited from eligible Nigerian off-grid energy companies. Selected enterprises will receive funding in the form of convertible debt and grant capital. 
To be considered for the Challenge, applicants must be 100% African-owned, majority Nigerian-owned and -managed private companies registered in Nigeria and must be operating in Nigeria.

March 2020

EEP Africa Call for Proposals: Clean Energy Powering Green Growth

Deadline: March 10, 2020

EEP Africa invites innovative project developers to submit applications for early stage clean energy projects in active development phase in Southern and East Africa. Projects will be evaluated based on Concept Innovation, Development Impact, and Business Model & Financial Sustainability. All applications need to demonstrate a clear need and additionality for EEP Africa financing. 
Applicants can apply for grants and repayable grants between EUR 200,000 —500,000. The minimum required co-financing is 30% of the total project budget.

Enabling Technologies Call

Deadline: March 22, 2020 (extended)

Efficiency for Access invites funding applications for R&D projects that will develop enabling technologies or products for weak and off-grid areas, with a particular focus on inclusivity and interoperability.
Up to £2 million in funding has been made available, supported by UK aid and the IKEA Foundation. Between £50,000 to £300,000 of funding is available per project.
The focus on enabling technologies was made in recognition of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This includes SDG 5 to achieve gender equality, SDG 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for all, and SDG 10 to reduce inequality within and amongst countries.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note due to increasing concerns surrounding COVID-19/coronavirus, the Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund has decided to extend the submission deadline for the Enabling Technologies Funding Call to 6 pm GMT Sunday 22nd March. If you have any questions about this, please email 

2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Competition

Deadline: March 27, 2020

The first ever Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker Competition is accepting nominations for appropriately designed, highly energy efficient electric pressure cookers suitable for use in off-and weak-grid settings. All nominated products will undergo testing by an accredited laboratory for their energy performance, quality, and safety, and an evaluation by a panel of clean cooking experts.
Winners and Finalists of the 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker competition will be eligible for up to $200,000 USD prize money, based on innovation as demonstrated during laboratory and user experience testing. 

April 2020

GBE au Bénin Call for expressions of interest (EOI)

Deadline: April 17, 2020 (extended)

The "Grüne Bürgerenergie für Afrika" (GBE, Green People’s Energy, in English) initiative is a project that supports the development of decentralized renewable energy in rural areas of Africa, involving local actors and private investors. It also promotes local value creation, productive and social use of energy, as well as job creation.
GBE supports energy access to consumers through standalone solar systems by means of any commercial business model. Although cash sales are the easiest to monitor and most widespread in Benin, GBE would like to promote instalment sales over a longer period, which renders energy access more affordable. Such models include Fee-For-Service (F4S) models, particularly in the case of electrifying larger customers and social institutions such as health centres.

Starter Business Acceleration

Deadline: April 27, 2020 (extended)

Applications for Starter Business Acceleration, a global accelerator for startups in the energy sector, start this Monday, February 17, and will continue until April 20. This year, the program created by EDP to unify the several instruments that support the group's entrepreneurship, reinforces its position as a business accelerator with startups and SMEs.
The ten projects with the greatest potential will later be selected for the final and the winner will be announced in Lisbon, in November, during the Web Summit, and will win a prize of 50,000 euros.

May 2020

Fond des Energies Renouvelables pour la Résilience du Burkina Faso

Deadline: May 2, 2020 (extended)

A travers une assistance technique et/ou financière, le projet 'Fond des Energies Renouvelables pour la Résilience du Burkina Faso (FERR-BF)' voudrait accompagner des projets qui puissent renforcer et accélérer la croissance des activités génératrices de revenus par l’adoption des énergies renouvelables (dont le solaire photovoltaïque et les foyers améliorés).

Siemens Design Challenge

Deadline: May 4, 2020

Now accepting applications for designs that meet global challenges in water and agriculture. Enter for a chance at two $10,000 awards.
Engineering for Change and Siemens USA are challenging innovators to design technology that helps provide abundant food and clean water globally. The challenge has two tracks: 
•    Zero Hunger (SDG 2): Design a post-harvest off-grid preservation technology.
•    Clean Water (SDG 6): Design low-cost, energy-efficient, scalable technology for desalinating brackish water. 

June 2020

Orange Social Venture Prize (OSVP)

Deadline: June 5, 2020

Awarded by Orange (, this prize recognises technological projects with a positive impact that improve living conditions for populations in Africa and the Middle East, in essential fields such as education, healthcare, agriculture, mobile payment or sustainable development.

OSVP is aimed at students, employees or entrepreneurs aged over 21 years and start-ups that are less than three years old, in the following countries: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Tunisia.

REACT Kenya Relief Fund

Deadline: June 11, 2020

The REACT Kenya Relief Fund will provide emergency grants to distributed energy service companies who are struggling to maintain access to energy to their thousands of rural customers because of the unprecedented disruptions and challenges from operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BRILHO Mozambique market development fund (1st call)

Deadline: Each call will be operated on a first-come, first-serve basis, open for four months in each round, with no deadline but a closing window date

BRILHO’s mandate is to support private sector initiatives by leveraging its capacity for innovation and resources to develop and invest in off-grid solutions and services; and thus improve the lives of people through savings, well-being and livelihood opportunities, while providing commercial benefits for the private sector.

To achieve its objective, BRILHO’s Market Development Fund offers to selected businesses a mix of non-reimbursable funding for up to £ 1,500,000 per company and specialised technical support, to de-risk business initiatives that aim to achieve competitive commercial returns. Alongside this, BRILHO supports the sector ecosystem development by improving access to information, stimulating demand, setting quality benchmarks and advocating for a better regulatory framework.

GDC Innovation Challenge

Deadline: July 13, 2020

The GDC’s new Innovation Challenge aims to support innovative ideas that increase the ability of last mile distributors to respond to shocks.

  • Up to £50,000 in funding to pilot the innovation
  • Expert technical assistance to support implementation
  • Connections to key stakeholders who could help make your idea an even bigger success
  • Profile and support to disseminate learnings and insights across the sector following implementation

PREO will fund Action Learning Projects up to €300,000 in value

Deadline: July 30, 2020

We are officially welcoming applications for grant funding from PREO for Productive Use of Energy (PUE) projects in sub-Saharan Africa. While we expect for the average project size to be between €100,000 and €200,000, we will consider projects up to €300,000 in value.

Ignite opens International Tender for 300,000 SHS 

Deadline: August 22, 2020 (submission of EOI)

Ignite is the fastest-growing Pan-African developer of vital infrastructure projects, currently executing several nationwide projects in Africa, distributing, deploying and financing solar home systems (SHS). 

We are working to expand operations and impact further, and increase our product offering through a structured, formal procurement process of 300,000 SHS reaching last-mile communities, with affordability and reliability leading the way.

RFP - Assessment of Quality Verified and Non-Quality Verified Solar Products and Off-grid Appliances in Kenya 

Deadline: August 28, 2020

CLASP is seeking a consultant (firm/consortium) to work closely with VeraSol, the leading quality assurance program serving off-grid solar sector, to carry out a consumer study in Kenya that:

  1. Assesses the state of the quality verified & non-quality verified solar product market
  2. Characterizes the market for off-grid appliances

The project is expected to commence in September 2020 and be concluded by the end of February 2021.

PFAN Call for Climate or Clean Energy Projects

Deadline: September 1, 2020

Are you looking for funding for your climate or clean energy project or to scale up your existing business?  

We accept applications for projects and scale up businesses in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Central America and Caribbean Islands.

To be eligible for PFAN support, your project or business must provide climate change adaptation benefits, or offer or use clean energy technologies, products or services.