The goal of the IEEE Empower a Billion Lives competition is to foster interdisciplinary innovation in the global community to develop and demonstrate solutions to electricity access that are designed to scale, regionally relevant, holistic, and leverage 21st century technologies that feature exponentially declining prices.
The competition is agnostic to energy sources, technologies, business models, and will primarily evaluate potential impact and ability to rapidly and sustainably scale the solutions to one billion customers.
More of the same may not be the answer. New strategies are required to scale deployment 1000x. The IEEE Power Electronics Society is launching a global competition - Empower a Billion Lives - to crowdsource the innovation needed to overcome this scaling challenge.
Tier 2 electricity access (200 Wh/day) and above including but not limited to
These are solutions that are already commercially available, meeting the electricity needs of the target customer group, and have radical scaling potential.
These are new solutions that meet the needs of a single household in the target customer group. They provide lighting and cell-phone charging as a basic service, but any other value streams are highly desirable, such as telecommunication, TV, radio, refrigeration, fans, water pumping and purification, etc.
These are solutions that meet the needs of multiple users as well as extends out to meet the needs of the community. These devices are expected to be able to create, interconnect and manage a grid (including market functions) from the bottom up. They provide lighting and cell-phone charging as a basic service, but meeting complex energy demand is highly desirable, such as public lighting, public water works, sanitation, milling, welding, sewing, construction, light manufacturing, electric bike and tuktuk charging, cooking, air conditioning, etc.