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Competition Launched for Second Round of the Solar E-Waste Challenge

Global LEAP Awards Solar E-Waste Challenge Offers up to $1.2 million in Grant Funding

Dakar, Senegal- The Efficiency for Access Coalition announced the launch of the Second Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge yesterday at the USAID Sustainable E-Waste Management: Best Practices for the Off-Grid Sector Workshop in Dakar, Senegal. The Challenge, funded by USAID, will provide up to $1.2 million in grant funding to support the research and development of more sustainable solar home system and battery technologies for the off-grid solar sector across sub-Saharan Africa.

Off-grid solar technologies provide life-changing access to modern energy services for people and communities currently living without electricity. The global market for these products is nascent but growing quickly. According to the GOGLA, the voice of the off-grid solar energy industry, in 2017, the off-grid solar sector provided new or enhanced access to energy for an estimated 73 million households – over 360 million people – with significant year-over-year growth expected into the future.

Nya Abagi, CLASP Manager, announces the launch of the second Solar E-Waste Challenge.

Although most off-grid solar products sold to date have not yet reached their end of life, investment now will ensure the industry’s growth is sustainable over the long term. The first round of the Global LEAP Awards Solar E-Waste Challenge aimed to address logistical challenges in e-waste management in sub-Saharan Africa, including take-back and collection, data gaps, and operational processes. The second round of the Challenge will focus on sustainable product design and battery technologies.

“The pay-as-you-go solar home system was a breakthrough innovation for off-grid energy access. Now, we’d like to see the sector deliver that energy access more sustainably. When we launched the first round of the Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge, we focused on business models at the end of product life. For the Second E-Waste Challenge, we’re focused on the beginning.”

– Katrina Pielli, Director of Scaling Off-Grid Energy

Over the past several years, industry leaders have explored potential e-waste management solutions such as product repair initiatives and preventative maintenance, but these efforts remain nascent and under-resourced. These efforts have, however, shown that improved product design could reduce e-waste generated by the off-grid sector.

This round of the Solar E-Waste Challenge will support research and development to extend product and/or component lifespan; enhance product repairability and recyclability; facilitate more efficient refurbishment, reuse or repurposing; and reduce rare metal and hazardous material composition.

Grant funding is available for solar home system and battery technology companies pursuing innovations around sustainable product design and waste reduction directly relevant to the off-grid solar sector. Successful applicants will receive funding to implement proposed projects over a 18-month period. Individual awards will range from $50,000-$300,000 USD.

The application window closes 15 December 2019. More details about the Global LEAP Solar E-Waste Challenge, and the application forms can be found at www.globalleapawards.org/e-waste

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Media contact: Sam Grant, [email protected]

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About the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development: Scaling Off-Grid Energy (SOGE) Grand Challenge for Development is a global partnership founded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power Africa, the U.K. Department for International Development, the African Development Bank, and the independent charity, Shell Foundation. By optimizing the collective resources and expertise of its partners, SOGE accelerates the growth of a dynamic, commercial off-grid energy market to provide clean, modern, and affordable energy access to the millions of households and businesses beyond the grid in sub-Saharan Africa. Learn more at www.scalingoffgrid.org.

About the Efficiency for Access Coalition: Efficiency for Access first kicked off in 2015 as a year-long call to action and collaborative effort led by Global LEAP & Sustainable Energy for All. Now, a number of donors have joined together under a scaled-up Efficiency for Access – a coalition promoting energy efficiency as a potent catalyst in global clean energy access efforts. Coalition programmes aim to scale up markets and reduce prices for super-efficient, off- and weak-grid appropriate products, support technological innovation, and improve sector coordination. Current Efficiency for Access Coalition members have programmes and initiatives spanning three continents, 44 countries, and 22 technologies. Learn more at www.efficiencyforaccess.org.

About GOGLA: GOGLA is the global association for the off-grid solar energy industry. Established in 2012, GOGLA now represents over 135 members as a neutral, independent, not-for-profit industry association. Its mission is to help its members build sustainable markets, delivering quality, affordable products and services to as many households, businesses and communities as possible across the developing world. Learn more at www.gogla.org.

About the ResilientAfrica Network: The ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) headquartered at Makerere University is a research and innovation network currently operating in 20 African Universities in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. RAN is strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities using innovative, evidence-based approaches developed in collaboration with university students, faculty and the community. Learn more at www.ranlab.org.