Deadline: 2019-01-31 Award: $1,000,000 Open to: Start-ups, innovators, businesses*
Energy production and usage is essential to sustaining societies and driving economies, whether providing the electricity necessary to charge phones or run hospitals, the refrigeration to preserve food or cope with heat waves, or the heat for homes and industry. However, dominant sources of energy are also the largest contributor to climate change, accounting for 60 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Over 1 billion people, primarily in developing countries, still lack access to electricity, and hundreds of millions more live with unreliable electricity. Moreover, 3 billion people worldwide are forced to rely on polluting fuels like wood, charcoal, and animal waste to cook and heat their homes. This drives deforestation and exposes them to dangerous levels of indoor air pollution, resulting in at least 4 million premature deaths every year.