Renewable Transformation ChallengeTwitter

Elsevier and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), are proud to announce the launch of the Renewable Transformation Challenge. The award has been launched to encourage the progress to a world powered by renewable energy and accessible energy for all.

About the Challenge

The vision of ISES is a world powered by 100% renewable energy, used efficiently and wisely, and accessible for all. To achieve this vision, a global transformation of our energy systems to efficient and affordable renewable energy must take place.

Applications for this Challenge can be for ongoing projects, innovative technology, policy initiatives, programs, research, analyses, or complete solutions that demonstrate how this goal is being met. The Renewable Energy Transformation Challenge can include either supply side (energy generation for end-use energy consumption) or demand side (energy efficiency) programs, or both.

In the context of this Challenge, 100% Renewable Energy applies to all end-use energy consumption:  power, heat, and transport. 100% Renewable Energy can apply to either a micro or a macro context; i.e. local, regional, national, or global.  Applicants may address any or all of these sectors.

Applications must demonstrate applicability, impact, sustainability and scalability in how they support the renewable energy transformation to achieve 100% renewables. Innovative ideas will be given preference over incremental improvement projects.

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Congratulations to Dr. Sebastian Groh of ME SOLshare Ltd., winner of the inaugural Renewable Transformation Challenge!

Dr. Groh wins the award for the project The Energiewende 3.0 - Smart P2P Solar Grids. In short, A SOLshare grid is created when rural households or SMEs agree on setting up a “swarm network” that consists of existing and new solar home systems (SHSs) and storage devices and enables the interconnection of larger loads. ME SOLshare provides a peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform empowering individuals and SMEs to become solar entrepreneurs offering pay-as-you-go and cash-in-as-you-go electricity solutions to low-income households. ME SOLshare therefore has potential to play a crucial role in supporting rural development and providing a means of direct income to rural communities.

 Dr. Sebastian Groh of ME SOLshare Ltd., winner of the inaugural Renewable Transformation Challenge!

Photo showing Dr. Groh (third from left) and the ME SOLshare team.

“Elsevier were impressed by the project’s potential to positively impact people and the planet – reducing the cost of energy access; supporting women who are the main energy consumers during trading hours; creating solar entrepreneurs and social empowerment; and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation by increasing use of renewables and reducing reliance on unsustainable energy sources such as kerosene and diesel,” said Katherine Eve, Executive Publisher of Elsevier’s renewable and sustainable energy journal portfolio. “By backing community projects like SOLshare, Elsevier, in collaboration with our partners such as ISES, continues to play a significant role in supporting the UN Sustainability Development Goals.”

“ISES is very excited about this award, and the groundbreaking work being undertaken by ME SOLshare. A major key toward achieving 100% renewable energy globally is for there to be effective business models that provide reliable and clean energy access for all, including the 1.2 billion people around the world who currently do not have access to electrification services,” added Dr. David Renné, President of ISES. “We are confident that ME SOLshare’s efforts will make major strides toward achieving clean energy goals in off-grid regions.”

Dr. Groh, on behalf of ME SOLshare, will receive a monetary prize of €20,000, one ISES Gold membership, and one free registration to the Solar World Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi where he will be presented with the Award during the conference dinner on 1 November 2017.

The winner explained “ME SOLshare plans to use the Renewable Transformation Challenge Award fund to kick-start a new pilot project to support clean energy transportation. By upgrading the existing SOLshare swarm grids to create a multiplier effect, SOLshare will offer free solar charging for the over 800,000 battery rickshaw drivers in rural Bangladesh. The equivalent of the charging cost will be credited to the SHS owners in the SOLshare grids who will jointly provide the charging and receive the financial return.”


There is a €20,000 prize for the first place entry. The winner, or one representative of the winning team, will receive a free registration to the Solar World Congress 2017 in Abu Dhabi, where the presentation of the Award will take place, and one Gold membership to the Society. The winning project will be featured on the Solar Energy journal homepage and on the ISES website.

Judging Criteria

A panel of international scientific experts, jurors, will review the applications, and the top 5 will be put forward to Elsevier-ISES awards’ judging committee for the selection of the winning proposal. The judges will evaluate the applications based on the following evaluation criteria:

  1. Clearly demonstrate that the application supports a transformation to 100% renewable energy
  2. Be replicable, scalable and sustainable
  3. Set a benchmark for innovation
  4. Have practical applicability and a clear demonstration of impact
  5. Be suitable for use in developing countries; consider the project’s social impact on local communities

Read the official application rules for the Elsevier-ISES Renewable Transformation Challenge 2017


The deadline for applications to 2017 Renewable Transformation Challenge closed on Sunday, 14th May 2017.

RTC application review system

Top 10 entries to the Renewable Transformation Challenge award

The following entries were selected as the top 10 (in alphabetical order):

Shreya Agarwal, Boond Engineering and Development Pvt Ltd, India
Smart Metering Technology for Microgrids

Christian Breyer, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
Global-local 100% RE Modeling in High Resolution

Ajay Chandak, PRINCE (Promoters, Researchers & Innovators in New & Clean Energy), Suman Foundation, India
Virtual Rooftop Solar Power with Retail Exchange

Andy Cloud, Cirrostratus, USA
Pumped Storage Hydropower with Floating PV Power

Sebastian Groh, SOLshare, Bangladesh
The Energiewende 3.0 - Smart P2P Solar Grids

Jemma Green, Curtin University, Australia
Citizen Utilities

Kate Greenwood, Alternative Technology Association (ATA), Australia
Light Up East Timor

Venkat Rajaraman, Cygni Energy Private Limited, India
Solar DC Micro-grid

Brian Somers, Standard Microgrid, South Africa
Re-imagining the African Utility

Varun Vohra, University of Electro-communications, Japan
Eco-friendly Low-cost Energy Devices for Everyone


David RenneDr. David Renné

President, International Solar Energy Society

Dr. David Renné is President of the International Solar Energy Society and Associate Editor of Solar Energy Journal, working in the field of solar resource assessment. Dr. Renné is also the Operating Agent of International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme Task 46 titled, "Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting."

Yogi GoswamiProf. Yogi Goswami

Editor-in-Chief, Solar Energy

Yogi Goswami is the Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Clean Energy Research Center at the University of South Florida. He is a renowned researcher, entrepreneur and solar energy expert. In 2016 he won the Karl W. Böer Medal and this year he was shortlisted to the Global Energy Prize 2017. He conducts fundamental and applied research on Solar Thermal Power and Cooling, Photocatalytic Detoxification and Disinfection, Thermodynamics, Third Generation Photovoltaics, and Hydrogen production and storage. He has served as a consultant for government policymakers and is the editor in chief of the Solar Energy journal. He also holds 18 patents, some of which have been successfully commercialized.

Philip EarisPhilip Earis

Editor-in-Chief, Joule

Philip Earis studied physics at Cambridge University, and has over 10 years of experience in publishing impactful energy research.  He recently joined Cell Press as the launch Editor-in-Chief of Joule, a prestigious new journal spanning scales and disciplines in sustainable energy research. From 2013-2016 Philip was living in India where he founded and ran Project Light, an organisation bringing solar power to marginalized off-grid Indian communities.  In this role he worked closely with Indian and international scientists to develop and install appropriate solar energy technology. Prior to this Philip worked at the Royal Society of Chemistry, where he led a portfolio of 7 prominent physical science journals, including launching the journals Energy & Environmental Science (developing it to have an Impact Factor of 25) and Nanoscale.

Monica OliphantMonica Oliphant

Past President, International Solar Energy Society

Monica Oliphant, is Past President of ISES and an Adjunct Associate Professor at 3 Australian Universities. She was employed for 18 years in the electricity supply industry but now runs her own consultancy. She has received several awards in recognition for her work in renewable energy and has served on a number of Australian Federal and State Australian Government Energy Related Committees.

Eicke WeberProf. Eicke Weber

Vice President, ISES; Berkeley Educations Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS); Former Director, Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems (ISE)

Larry Kazmerski

Editor-in-Chief, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Alex ZahndDr. Alex Zahnd

International Advisor, RIDS – Nepal

Alex Zahnd's PhD in Renewable Energy has contributed to the successful implementation of context-related, holistic community development (HCD) solutions in remote high-altitude Nepal Himalayan communities.  These applied development solution brought significant improvements in regard to improved overall living conditions through newly developed, contextualized (renewable) technologies and infrastructures.

Alexandros CharalambidesDr. Alexandros Charalambides

Assistant Professor, Cyprus University of Technology

Dr Charalambides is a full-time Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science and Technology . He is the founder of a young start-up, ENERMAP, and of Chrysalis LEAP, the first accelerator in Cyprus.


Aldo SteinfeldDr. Aldo Steinfeld

Professor, ETH Zurich

Aldo Steinfeld is a Professor at the Dept. of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH Zurich, where he holds the Chair of Renewable Energy Carriers.

Andreas HaberleDr. Andreas Häberle

Director, SPF Institute for Solar Technologies; Professor, HSR University of Applied Sciences

Anna Leidreiter Anna Leidreiter

Senior Programme Manager - Climate Energy, World Future Council

As Senior Programme Manager for Climate Energy, Anna carries out policy research and develops advocacy campaigns with the climate energy team. In her main capacity Anna works on enabling policy frameworks for a global energy transition towards 100% renewable energies and is the campaign coordinator for Global 100% RE.

Anne Grete HestnesAnne Grete Hestnes

Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Anne Grete Hestnes is an architect with degrees from M.I.T. and UC Berkeley. She has been full professor of building technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology since 1985. Her main scientific interest is in the areas of energy conservation and the use of solar energy in buildings. In 2005 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Chalmers University for her work within the field of sustainable development, and in 2011 she received the Farrington Daniels Award for her contribution to the advancement and knowledge of solar energy in the built environment.

Ben EllistonBen Elliston

Senior Consultant, IT Power (Australia)

Ben Elliston is a consultant with IT Power (Australia), a renewable energy consulting firm. He previously worked at the University of New South Wales researching the integration of renewables into electricity systems at high penetration. He has a keen interest in all forms of renewable energy.

Bernhard Weyres-BorchertBernhard Weyres-Borchert

DGS - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie e.V. (ISES German Section)

Elias Stefanakos Prof. Elias Stefanakos

Director, CERC, University of South Florida

Elimar FrankDr. Elimar Frank

CEO, Frank Energy; Dept. Head Research, Forma Futura Invest; Lecturer, Techn. University Rapperswil

Kamal Gani BayraktarDr. Kemal Gani Bayraktar

Technical Marketing Manager, Izocam

Dr. Kemal Gani Bayraktar is Technical Marketing Manager of Izocam, with a mechanical engineering background in the field of energy. His interests are mainly focused on energy, renewables, insulation and construction technologies, policy, environment and climate change, low carbon economy, innovation, sustainability, clustering and vocational training.

Ken GuthrieKen Guthrie

Chairman, International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Program and Chairman of the ISO Standards Committee on Solar Energy

In addition to his chairmanships, Ken is Director of Sustainable Energy Transformation Pty Ltd, a specialist consulting service that undertakes activities that aim to transform markets to support greater use of sustainable energy.

Klaus VajenKlaus Vajen

Professor, Kassel University

Klaus Vajen is Director of the Institute of Thermal Engineering at University of Kassel, where he holds the chair of Solar and Systems Engineering.

Manuel Romero

Deputy Director, IMDEA Energy Institute

M. Romero received the “Farrington Daniels Award” in 2009, a prestigious award in the field of solar energy research, created in 1975 by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), conferred for R&D contributions to the development of high temperature solar concentrating systems. At present Manuel is Deputy Director of the Madrid’s Institute for Avanced Studies on Energy (IMDEA Energy) and Principal Researcher of its High Temperature Processes R&D Unit with activities in high-flux modular concentrating solar power technologies and sustainable fuels production (

Michael EckhartMichael Eckhart

Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance, Citigroup

Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance at Citigroup, serving clients in renewable and clean energy with investment banking services, project financing, and equity and debt capital raises.  He led Citi’s work in establishing the Green Bond Principles and has served on its Executive Committee. He is on the Steering Committee of REN 21, a member of the IEA’s Renewable Industry Advisory Board, an Observer to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and a financial advisor to the UN’s SE4All. He is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School for International and Policy Affairs, teaching Environmental Finance.

Paulette MiddletonDr. Paulette Middleton

Secretary, ISES; Co-Chair, American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Co-Chair

Paulette is a strong advocate for the rapid transformation of the global energy system to renewable energy for all, used wisely and efficiently. Her Professional experience includes leadership positions at University of Texas and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Peter Rae

President, World Wind Energy Association (WWEA)

Rabindra Kumar SatpathyRabindra Kumar Satpathy

Rabindra Kumar Satpathy has more than 34 years of professional experience in renewable energy, specifically in the fields of solar photovoltaic power systems and wind power generation. He is a Board Director at ISES and is also a member of the Renewable Energy Committee of Confederation of Indian Industry. Currently, he is playing a key role in the development of large-scale solar PV power plants in India, along with the business development of other solar PV applications at Emami Power Limited, Kolkata, where he is the CEO of Renewable Power.

Richenda van LeeuwenRichenda van Leeuwen

Chair, International Institutions at the Global LPG Partnership

Richenda Van Leeuwen founded the Energy Access initiative at the UN Foundation and led engagement with the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) Initiative 2010-16. She is currently Chair, International Institutions at the Global LPG Partnership, and a member of the Technical Advisory Group to the Energy Sector Management and Assistance Program of the World Bank. She serves on the board of solar pioneer, SELCO India.

Roberto Román

Steven MeyersSteven Meyers

Researcher, University of Kassel

Steven Meyers is a researcher and PhD student within the Department of Solar and Systems Engineering at the University of Kassel in Germany.
Before this position, he served as a solar engineer at Saudi Aramco and earned his M.S. in mechanical engineering at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi.

Torben EsbensenTorben V. Esbensen

Treasurer, ISES; Esbensen Consulting Engineers A/S