UK-based climate solutions charity Ashden has opened entries for its annual global awards, which honour innovations particularly widening access to clean energy.
The 2023 Ashden Awards announced on Wednesday are seeking trailblazing, empowering initiatives in low-income countries and the UK.
Five of the eight awards are open to African organisations, with one focused purely on solutions from the continent.
The winning innovation will tackle inequality as well as the causes and effects of global heating.
“Africa is home to extraordinary innovation, and also to many of the communities most threatened by climate change. We are particularly keen to reward innovation that puts the power in the hands of communities, and supports the most marginalised and disadvantaged,” said Dr Stephen Hall, Ashden Head of Awards.
“We promise to do all we can to raise the profile of our winners on the global stage and connect them with opportunities for funding and investment. So if you’re a trailblazer creating a fairer zero carbon future, or you know someone who is, please spread the word or apply to the 2023 Ashden Awards.”
Applications opened on January 18 and close on March 8, with winners announced between September and November after a rigorous judging process.
Entry is free, and winners receive a grant of up to £25,000, publicity, and connection to new funders, investors and partners.
Four of the five international awards will boost efforts to widen access to clean energy. In sub-Saharan Africa, 48 percent of people lack access to electricity.
These include awards for organisations supporting smallholder farmers by energising agriculture, helping refugees and displaced people boost their incomes through clean energy, and giving people the skills and opportunities to enter the clean energy workforce.
Another award, purely focused on Africa, is for solutions in integrated energy – work that connects diverse on and off-grid systems to make sure clean energy is accessible and affordable for everyone.