Announcing the 3rd Renewable Transformation Challenge 2021

Elsevier and ISES are pleased to announce the third biennial Renewable Transformation Challenge.

If you have an innovative proposal which contributes to the goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy, submit your application for a chance to win €20,000. The winner also receives an ISES Gold (lifetime) membership and free registration for the Solar World Congress 2021.


Below, learn more about the challenge, the 2017 and 2019 Renewable Transformation Challenge winners and find our podcasts for even more background on the challenge, why it is important to the work ISES does and much more.

About the Challenge

The objective of the Elsevier-ISES Renewable Transformation Challenge Promotion (“Challenge”) is to recognize and honor outstanding work encouraging progress towards a world powered by renewable energy and with accessible energy for all. This objective is consistent with the vision of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), which is for a world powered by 100% renewable energy used efficiently and wisely and accessible for all.

The Challenge is administered every two (2) 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 winner represents one step towards furthering ISES’ vision of a world powered by 100% renewable energy. This vision requires a global transformation of our energy systems to efficient and affordable renewable energy sources. This transformation 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 the 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 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.

For the 2021 prize, the Judges and Jury are particularly interested in applications which demonstrate applicability, impact, sustainability and scalability in how they support a green recovery from COVID-19 at local, regional or global scales. However, applications that do not directly address this topic will still be considered

Innovative ideas will be given preference over incremental improvement projects.

The Challenge is not a funding body and applications still in conceptual stage with little supporting evidence of viability are unlikely to proceed past the first evaluation phase.

Details of how the application supports the renewable energy transformation must be very clear.

The winning proposal will be the one that best demonstrates the potential to widen access to energy, particularly in developing countries, through a transformative application of renewable energy technologies, taking into consideration societal impacts, project replicability, environmental improvement, economic viability, and energy access.

How to Apply

Applications to the 2021 Renewable Transformation Challenge are now open. Submit your proposal before 13 September 2021.

Please send any queries you may have about the Challenge or your Application to: challenge [at]

Please see the full terms & conditions for more information.

Learn More: Past Winners and RTC Podcasts

Meet the 2019 Renewable Transformation Challenge winners - Team SUNSPOT here. Team SUNSPOT works to replace polluting fuels with a solar-powered home cooking system.

In 2017, the team at  ME SOLshare won the first ever Renewable Transformation Challenge with their project  "The Energiewende 3.0 - Smart P2P Solar Grids". 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.


To learn even more about the challenge, have a listen to our podcasts about the Renewable Transformation Challenge: