The award was first launched in 2017 to encourage the progress to a world powered by renewable energy and accessible energy for all.
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 about the Renewable Transformation Challenge:
- About the Challenge background, prize and judging panel with Joanna Costello and Fernanda Ogochi
- Learn about the judging criteria with Yogi Goswami and Joanna Costello
- Learn why this challenge is so important and what the judges are looking for from the winning entry with Dr David Renné and Joanna Costello
- About why we launched the Challenge, and what we learned from the 2017 award with Dr David Renné and Adam Fraser
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.
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:
- Clearly demonstrate that the application supports a transformation to 100% renewable energy
- Be replicable, scalable and sustainable
- Set a benchmark for innovation
- Have practical applicability and a clear demonstration of impact
- 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 has been extended to 14 May 2019.
Please send any queries you may have about the Challenge or your Application to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.”
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
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
Prof. Yogi Goswami
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.
Christine Lins works as Executive Director of GWNET, the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition, which aims at empowering women in the sustainable energy sector, and. Furthermore, she is Member of the Board of Directors of ISES, the International Solar Energy Society. From July 2011 until March 2018, Christine Lins acted as Executive Secretary of REN21, the Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century, headquartered at UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris/France. Between 2001 and 2011, Ms. Lins served as Secretary General of the European Renewable Energy Council. Previously, she worked in a regional energy agency in Austria promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. Ms. Lins holds a Masters degree in international economics and applied languages. She has more than 20 years of working experience in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
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.
Dr. David Renné
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."
Ibrahim Togola is a WindBoard Member/Founder at WWEA & Mail-Folkecenter Nyetta
Prof. Eicke Weber
Prof. Eicke Weber's field of research is Semiconductor Materials Science for microelectronics and photovoltaics. He was co-founder of CaliSolar, later Silicor, and more recently Chair of the Board of Nexwafe, a start-up out of the Fh-ISE institute developing a very promising kerfless wafer technology for Solar cells. He serves since its founding as well as Chair of the InterSolar North America conference in San Francisco.
As deputy, Doug Arent supports integrating the Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis (SCEA) directorate’s cross-cutting technical capabilities and will bolster the strategic positioning and growth of the entire laboratory.
In addition to his NREL responsibilities, Arent is Sr. Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, serves on the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Steering Committee on Social Science and the Alternative Energy Future, is a member of the National Research Council Committee to Advise to U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), and is a Member of the Keystone Energy Board. Arent is the Editor-in-Chief for Renewable Energy Focus and is Associate Editor for the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Arent serves on the World Economic Forum Future of Electricity Working Group, and is a member of the International Advisory Board for the journal Energy Policy and for Energy Academy Europe.
Dr. Kemal Gani Bayraktar
Dr. Kemal Gani Bayraktar is working as Marketing Director 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, NGOs and vocational training. He is representing Republic of Turkey as the ExCo member in IEA SHC TCP. He is also Past President of International Solar Energy Society – Turkey Section, GUNDER and General Secretary of Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers, TTMD, and Board Member of the International Solar Energy Society.
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.
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.
Torben V. Esbensen
Aoife Foley is Editor in Chief of Elsevier’s Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, and a member of the Editorial Board of Elsevier’s Renewable Energy and an Editorial Panel member of the Institution of Civil Engineers Proceedings in Transport. Dr Foley has a BE(Hons) (1996) in Civil Engineering and a PhD (2011) in Energy Engineering from University College Cork and an MScEng (1999) in Environmental & Transportation Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.
Dr Foley returned to academia in 2009 after 12 years in industry. Prior to joining the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Queen’s University Belfast in 2011, she worked in the School of Engineering in University College Cork as a Lecturer and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Fellow. While in industry Dr Foley worked for ESB International, Siemens, PM Group and SWS Energy primarily in projects in the energy, waste, pharmaceutical and telecommunications.
Dr Foley is interested in the global sustainable energy transition, smart cities and transport systems. Another interest is the food energy water (FEW) nexus considering extreme weather events, global warming and the environment. A theme in her research interests, greenhouse gas emissions, energy economic and energy policy regulatory aspects in developed and developing countries. Dr Foley has three research areas under the ‘Clean Energies’ theme in my School; wind power integration, power and gas systems and transport electrification. Specific topics includes turbine performance, life cycle analysis, wind power forecasting, unit commitment modelling, power from biogas, levelised cost of energy, demand response using intelligent ICT, energy storage, microgrids and electric vehicles, battery modelling and drive cycle analysis.
Dr Foley’s research objective is efficiency and robustness for a sustainable energy future. As a result her work is interdisciplinary and she collaborates closely with the ‘Energy, Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC)’ research cluster in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) and the Bryden Centre for Advance Marine & Bio-energy Research in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering led by Professor David Rooney.
Dr. Ivan Gordon
Dr. Ivan Gordon obtained his PhD in the field of novel magnetic materials for sensor applications from the University of Leuven, Belgium in February 2002. He is currently leading the Silicon Photovoltaics group at IMEC in Belgium, developing novel c-Si wafer-based solar cells and modules. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. Since January 2016, he is the coordinator of the joint program on Photovoltaics of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and a steering committee member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP-PV).
Prof. Anne 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.
Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes is a renewable energy expert with more than 20 years of professional and honorary experience. He is currently serving as a Vice-President of the European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF), after being the associations President from 2010 to 2014. He also is a Board Member of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE). Rainer is representing both EREF and BEE at the Global100%Renewables platform.
From 1998 to 2005, Rainer was a Director General in the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), inter alia co-chairing the International Steering Committee (ISC) preparing the 1st International Renewable Energy Conference (IREC), the renewables2004 conference in Bonn, Germany. The ISC was later transformed to become REN21.
Dr. Andreas Häberle
Dr. Lawrence L. Kazmerski
Research Professor, RASEI, University of Colorado Boulder
Kazmerski has a 50-year professional career in solar energy, primarily photovoltaics. He holds appointment as Gandhi Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT-Bombay and is a Visiting Research Professor in Energy at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (PUC Minas) in Brasil. His current research is on PV reliability, especially soiling issues for solar components. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Electron Devices Society. He is a Fellow of ASES, IEEE, APS, and AVS. Kazmerski is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and he was recently elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Indian Academy of Engineering.
Dr Tomas Kåberger is affiliate professor of Renewable Energy at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg. He is also Executive Board Chairman of Renewable Energy Institute in Tokyo and a senior advisor to GEIDCO in Beijing. He also serves as a non-executive director of the energy company Vattenfall. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and The Swedish Association of Energy Economists. He started his career as energy campaigner for the Swedish Society for the Conservation of Nature, and has since he has servedin different leading position of solar, wind and bioenergy companies and as Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.
Dr. Viktoria Martin
Dr. Viktoria Martin is Professor in Energy Technology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. A graduate from KTH (MSc in Chemical Engineering 1993) and the University of Florida (PhD in Mechanical Engineering 1998), she has pursued a career in international research collaborations within the International Energy Agency as well as the EU, providing insight into a variety of leading research and education arenas. Dr. Martin has over 25 years of experience in education, research, and entrepreneurship in the area of sustainable energy, with special focus on thermal energy storage and heat driven heat pumping technology. She is the author/co-author of 100+ publications within her research area. Equally important to research is her work on high quality education within the field, and she is presently the director of a two-year MSc degree programme in Sustainable Energy Engineering with participants from all over the world.
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.
Dr. Paulette Middleton
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.
Marcelo Pinho Almeida
Board member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).
Marcelo Almeida is a Researcher at the Institute of Energy and Environment of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and he’s been working with renewable technologies, in particular solar photovoltaics, for over a decade. He’s vice-president of the Brazilian Solar Energy Association (ABENS) and a Board member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).
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 (www.energy.imdea.org).
Rabindra 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.
Joao Tavares Pinho
João Tavares Pinho is Electrical Engineer by the Universidade Federal do Pará in 1977; Master in Electrical Engineering by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro in 1984; and Doctor in Electrical Engineering by the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Germany) in 1990. Full Professor at the Universidade Federal do Pará from 1998 to 2018; Head of the Grupo de Estudos e Desenvolvimento de Alternativas Energéticas from 1994 to 2018; Head of the Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Energias Renováveis e Eficiência Energética da Amazônia from 2008 to 2016; Technical Director of the Instituto para o Desenvolvimento de Energias Alternativas na América Latina from 2012 to 2018; Director of Science and Technology at the State Secretariat of the Government of Pará from January 2015 to May 2016; ad hoc consultant for several councils and financing institutions in Brazil and abroad; member of several national and international scientific societies; President of the Brazilian Microwave and Optoelectronics Society from 2004 to 2006; President of the Brazilian Solar Energy Association from 2009 to 2011; President of the Brazilian Section of the International Solar Energy Society from 2007 to 2011; member of the Board of Directors of the International Solar Energy Society from 2014 to 2015; current President of the Brazilian Solar Energy Association.
Klaus Vajen is Director of the Institute of Thermal Engineering at University of Kassel, where he holds the chair of Solar and Systems Engineering.
Rachana Vidhi is a storage and solar expert, and has led the engineering of some of the first utility scale solar PV + battery storage projects. She has several patents related to renewable energy deployment and long term operations, and was named in the 2018 GreenBiz 30 under 30.
Roberto Román L.
Hon Peter Rae AO. Peter Rae is a lawyer who spent 18 years in the Australian Senate including as a member of the Committee examining Water Pollution. He has spent 11 years as Chairman of Australia’s largest renewable energy company and then formed the first major renewable energy association in Australia which he chaired for ten years (REGA). At the international level he has been heavily involved for more than 20 years. He is a Fellow of ISES having served on the Board as he has with the International Hydropower Association of which he is an Honorary Life Member. He is now in his fourth year as President of the World Wind Energy Association. He was a founder and is the Hon. Chairman of the International Renewable Energy Alliance which brings together the five major renewable energy associations of the world - ISES, IHA, IGA, WBA and WWEA. He was a founding member of REN 21 of which he has been a Vice Chairman for five years and is still a committee member. He was the University of Tasmania Alumni of the Year in 2005, with part of the recognition being for achievements in renewable energy development. His ambition is to see the world “Rollover to Renewables “ take place smoothly and sustainably with all the technologies working together to achieve that result as early as can be practically achieved.