Renewable Transformation ChallengeTwitter

Elsevier and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) are pleased to announce that the 2nd Renewable Transformation Challenge is now open to applications.

The award was first launched in 2017 to encourage the progress to a world powered by renewable energy and accessible energy for all.

Renewable Transformation Challenge

About the Challenge

The Renewable Transformation Challenge is awarded every two years to recognize accomplishments by organizations such as private enterprises, NGO’s, and research institutions for undertaking projects and programs that help move the world toward an energy system supplied entirely by renewable energy sources, or for conducting the critical analyses that provide meaningful roadmaps for the transformation. The award is one step towards furthering ISES’ vision of a world powered by 100% renewable energy, used efficiently and wisely, and accessible for all. This vision requires a global transformation of our energy systems to efficient and affordable renewable energy and can only be achieved through private and civil society initiatives towards innovative and successful programs that adopt the use of renewable energy technologies, and the intelligent application of energy efficiency measures. In the context of this Challenge, the energy transformation applies to all end-use energy consumption: power, heat, and transport.

Applications for this Challenge are invited from organizations who can demonstrate that they have established successful projects, innovative technologies, financing schemes, policy initiatives, or renewable energy programs, or from institutions that have undertaken research and analyses and identified solutions that demonstrate how this goal is being met. The Renewable Transformation Challenge can include either supply side (energy generation for end-use energy consumption) or demand side (including energy efficiency) programs, or both, and applicants may address any or all of the end-use energy sectors mentioned above.

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

Listen to our podcasts from 2017 about the Renewable Transformation Challenge:


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 ISES Solar World Congress 2019 in Santiago, Chile, where the presentation of the Award will take place, and one Gold membership to the Society. The winning project will be featured on this site and on the ISES website.

Judging Criteria

A panel of international scientific experts, jurors, will review the applications, and the top ten 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


The deadline for applications to the 2019 Renewable Transformation Challenge is 30 April 2019.

All submissions must be made online here. Please read the Terms and Conditions.

Please send any queries you may have about the Challenge or your Application to:

2017 Winner

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.”

Watch the ISES webinar Renewable Transformation Challenge: The Energiewende 3.3. - Smart P2P Solar Grids with the RTC 2017 Winner Sebastian Groh

Top 10 entries to the 2017 Renewable Transformation Challenge

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