A woman on Seachar's stove project in Costa Rica

Photograph courtesy Seattle Biochar Working Group

Innovative Energy Solutions

The Great Energy Challenge grant program, in collaboration with a distinguished group of scientists acting as the board of advisors, awards roughly a half-dozen grants per year. The goal of the grant program is to hasten the growth of promising, global energy solutions as a response to climate change, energy resource constraints and environmental limitations.

The grant program highlights innovative efforts addressing these issues and seeks to help leaders navigate the difficulties of early-stage entrepreneurship. The grant program has a global focus, yet aims to highlight solutions for a specific country or community. These promising endeavors make strides toward alleviating energy poverty, developing new technology and/or identifying the greatest potential for large energy gains.

The Great Energy Challenge grant program supports the following grantees:

  • Picture of BioLite


    BioLite launched two products, HomeStove and NanoGrid, that generate low-cost, clean energy in India.

  • Picture of Rural Renewable Energy Alliance

    Rural Renewable Energy Alliance

    Rural Renewable Energy Alliance will demonstrate scalable, sustainable, community-based energy model to reduce and stabilize energy costs.

  • Picture of Nuru Energy

    Nuru Energy East Africa

    Nuru Energy plans to bring basic electricity to rural Rwanda by way of village-level entrepreneurship.



  • Evaptainer.jpg


    Evaptainers are the world's first mobile refrigeration systems requiring no electricity that are ideal for low-income, off-grid areas.

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    Barpak Rural Electrification (BRE-C)

    BRE-C is helping rehabilitate and upgrade micro hydroelectric systems in the Gorkha District of Nepal.

  • Housing in Nigeria from Comprehensive Design Services

    Comprehensive Design Services

    Comprehensive Design Services provides affordable housing with renewable energy in Nigeria.

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    Takamoto Biogas

    Takamoto Biogas has created the world's first lease-to-own biogas product, a system using cow dung as a feedstock to produce gas for cooking purposes.

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    Sanivation is using modern business principles and simple technologies to deliver energy and sanitation services to the urban poor.

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    Qorax Energy

    Qorax enables access to high-quality solar lanterns and home systems for low-income families using mobile payment plans.

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    Elephant Energy

    Elephant is dedicated to helping small-scale solar beat out kerosene in Namibia and Zambia.

  • Bayalpata Hospital.jpg


    SunFarmer provides off-grid solar energy to community institutions in developing countries, primarily Nepal.

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    PEG Ghana

    PEG Ghana is setting up a 24-hour call center to handle customer concerns and technical issues for its metered Pay As You Go solar home systems.

  • Carbon Roots International

    Carbon Roots International

    Carbon Roots International (CRI) has launched a social enterprise venture centered on the creation of carbon-rich char dust from sustainable and renewable agricultural waste biomass.

  • Sanergy toilet in Kenya


    Sanergy makes hygienic sanitation accessible and affordable in Africa's informal settlements.

  • child reading in front of a light in the village of Krishan Kolhi, district Badin

    Eco Energy Finance

    Eco Energy Finance offers a portfolio of renewable energy products that is comparable in cost to what Pakistani villagers currently spend to meet their lighting needs.

Great Energy Challenge Blog