SolarX Grand Challenge aims to crowdsource implementable, cost-effective, scalable, and innovative solutions to some of the persistent challenges faced by the solar energy sector of the member countries. The first edition is focused on the African region, aiming to promote innovation and discover local solutions, with the over-arching objective of capacity building.

The SolarX Grand Challenge will address a three-fold benefit for the African region:

  • Promotion of the solar energy sector

  • Thinning of the gap of the energy crisis in Africa

  • Promotion of a strong startup ecosystem in Africa

WAIPA is a partner in the SolarX Grand Challenge, organized by International Solar Alliance (ISA) & Invest India

Who can apply?

Here are the eligibility criteria for participation in the SolarX Challenge

  • Operation Duration: Must be a maximum of 10 years – calculated from incorporation date until public nominations open

  • Revenue: Participant must be generating monthly revenue from operations

  • Innovation: Should have a minimum viable product and/or service explicitly related to innovation

Problem Statements

The broad areas for problem statements include:

  • Technical or financial innovations to boost deployment of off-grid solar applications (mini- grids and SHS), especially to displace diesel, charcoal or traditional biomass

  • Technical or financial solutions to bring down the cost of supply and maintenance of Solar water pumps, solar drying, solar water heating, or other productive use applications

  • Financial or technical innovations to bring down the cost or support grid integration for rooftop solar systems

  • Systems to integrate solar with multiple uses (eg. AgriPV) to save land and boost small holder incomes, particularly in the developing market context

  • Scientific or manufacturing innovations to lower the cost or improve efficiency/efficacy of solar or ancillary equipment

  • Innovative applications of solar power to emerging use cases such as eMobility, floating solar or Green Hydrogen, etc

  • Other technology and software innovations that improve the manufacturing, deployment, or integration of solar energy

  • Manufacturing or commercial innovations for inverter supply

  • Manufacturing or business models for the deployment of solar pumps

  • Developing innovative mechanisms for battery supply and/or replacement for providing RTC solar power

  • Innovative technical and/or financial models for solar and battery waste management

  • Any other problem area in the solar energy sector for Africa

“The Challenge is part of our two-pronged strategy to ease solar deployment in Africa. Under this strategy, we are creating a solar facility to enable investments to flow into African countries. Along with investments, a local pipeline of projects will simultaneously be needed.”*

Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA

*Official press release

Prizes & Incentives

The winners will be incentivized through two modes: