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News 15 September 2021

Efficiency for Access launches third year of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge

Today (Wednesday 15 September) marks the launch of the third year of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. As co-secretariat of Efficiency for Access, Energy Saving Trust delivers the Challenge with the support of Engineers Without Borders UK.

The Challenge is a global, multidisciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access, funded by UK aid and IKEA Foundation. It invites university students to create high-performing appliances and technologies for the global south.

Around 789 million people live without access to electricity or electric appliances that boost productivity or provide cooling, refrigeration, and communications. While an estimated 441 million people have gained access to energy since 2010, a further 660 million people will still not have access to electricity in 2030.

It is more important than ever to enhance access to modern energy services powered by renewable energy. We also need more innovators to create appliances that are truly accessible. That means we need to design products with, rather than for, the people who need them most. We must also consider how these products can be used and how they can address inequalities in energy access worldwide.

The Challenge began in September 2019. In the second year of the competition, over 150 students from 23 universities in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Sweden, Uganda and the UK participated, and were supported by over 30 industry partners. This year, 17 universities in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sweden, Uganda and the UK have already signed up to take part.

If you are interested in taking part in the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge this year, you can learn more here.

Last updated: 15 September 2021