2.6 billion people in the developing world lack access to reliable electricity

Challenge Overview

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.


Ensuring access and transition to low-carbon energy for all, not only mitigates climate change by limiting greenhouse gas emissions, but also has the potential to spur progress in a host of other areas, from creating new economic opportunities and jobs to improving education and health outcomes. The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity seeks innovative manufacturing methods and products that allow increased access to, and use of low-carbon energy sources in under-served, remote communities. To do so, the initiative welcomes solutions from innovators and makers around the world that:

Enable communities to harness and transition to renewable electricity sources, e.g. wind, water, and solar, in an affordable way

Deploy clean cooking technologies which fit cultural norms for adoption

Provide refrigeration of goods or homes in energy-efficient, off-grid, or non-electrical approaches


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