Competition Requirements

Target customer

Solutions are expected to serve customers with the following characteristics and needs.

Primarily off-grid

Tier 0-1 energy access

Purchasing power
below $2.15 per day

Living in rural areas

Limited access to banking

<50% have bank accounts

Using smartphones

<40% have smartphones

Energy needs

Solutions must provide Tier 2 energy access (200+ watt hours per day), which includes:

Household uses

Household uses include: single house lighting, phone charging, telecommunication, entertainment, air circulation, refrigeration, water pumping, home cooling, smart cooking, electric two- and three-wheeler charging, etc.

Community uses

Community uses include: multiple home solutions for public lighting, water pumping & purification, education and health facilities, etc.

Productive uses

Productive uses include: agriculture processing, light manufacturing (sewing, pottery, weaving, carpentry), construction, food processing, commerce, new incoming opportunities, etc.

The following are the Competition Tracks

For more details please see the Competition Guidelines to be published in June, 2024

Technical Solution Tracks:

Track A: Energy Supply

Track P: End-Use/Productive Use

Track C:  Clean Cooking

Track E: Enabling Technologies

Local Entrepreneurship Tracks:

Track D: Last-Mile Distribution

Track L: Leave No One Behind

Energy Supply (Track D):

The proposed solution can be decentralized or centralized.

The decentralized solution will serve single homes at Tier 2 or higher without creating an entire distribution infrastructure in advance of when it is needed. The solution should address the entire power generation, delivery, and management system.

The centralized solution is a centrally planned and implemented power generation and distribution model offering the core service at the community level. Individual families are served as customers by the centralized service. The solution should address the entire power generation, delivery, and management system.

End-use Energy (Track P):

The proposed solution will address appliances that enable productive use of energy (including clean cooking). The solution can be aimed at a single user solution (e.g., solar water pumps for irrigation, refrigerators) or the community level (e.g. cold-storage rooms, agri-food processing hubs).

Enabling Technologies (Track E):

The proposed solution in this category does not address the entire energy system but enables solving some of the key challenges of energy access solutions such as scaling, affordability, sustainability, interoperability. The competing solution can be a component or sub-system as long the solution addresses the above challenges.

Clean Cooking (Track C):

Last Mile Distribution (Track D):

Leave No One Behind (Track L):

Student Teams (Track S):

This category is open only for teams composed of tertiary education institutions. The proposed solution in this category can be covered in the above five categories (Energy Supply, End-Use/Productive Use, Clean Cooking, Enabling Technologies, Last Mile Distribution, Leave No One Behind)). The main difference with the other categories is in the requirements for field testing — student teams are not required to demonstrate their solution in a target community. However, a student team can compete in one of the other categories if they can comply with the field-testing requirements.

If you intend to compete in Empower a Billion Lives 2025 please register your team for direct updates on the guidelines and resources for the competition. EBL 2025 will accept 3-page Concept papers from July 1, 2024 – November 1, 2024. Please register your team as soon as you have a Team Leader for direct updates on guidelines and important competition updates.

Register Your Team!

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