How do we leverage innovation in hardware, software and business models to increase urban energy efficiency?
Urban centers have always been the hearts of economies, driving growth and creating jobs. But cities also strain under the burden, their transport and utility arteries often overloaded with the pressure of supporting rapid urbanization and development.
As a result, access to energy can be both costly and unreliable. In many fast-growing cities, the demand for energy outstrips both total supply and the capacity of the grid to deliver that energy to businesses and households. Blackouts are a typical result and they are costly and dangerous. Energy generation is also often very inefficient. As such, energy efficiency holds a big opportunity for reducing wasted energy resources, freeing up financial resources for private and public actors, and reducing the carbon footprints of the mentioned cities.
Negawatt Challenge is an open-innovation competition that will leverage entrepreneurial ecosystems to surface software, hardware and new business solutions to transform cities into more sustainable places. Negawatt is unfolding on the Climate CoLab (for online submissions) as well as in four cities around the world — Accra, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, and Rio de Janeiro.