We are excited to announce the results of the 2019 Global LEAP Awards Solar Water Pump and Off-Grid Refrigerator Competitions. The 2019 Awards identified the world’s best and most innovative refrigerators and pumps designed for use with small-scale distributed solar energy systems, with support from UK aid and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid Initiative.

Detailed information about all 53 Winners and Finalists—including product performance data and sales contact information—is available in the 2019 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator and Solar Water Pump Buyer’s Guides.

Off-grid refrigerators and solar water pumps have the potential to drive significant development impacts. Approximately 95% of farmed land in sub-Saharan Africa and 60% of land in South Asia relies solely on unpredictable seasonal rainfall to meet water needs. Solar water pumps can play an important role in delivering a sustainable water supply to millions of unelectrified smallhold farmers in these regions, increasing yields and improving livelihoods. Refrigeration provides a wide range of benefits, from improving human health and productivity to enabling new income-generating activities for small businesses and entrepreneurs while reducing the domestic burden on women and children.

“Many off-grid solar companies are expanding into the household and productive use appliance market, with particular interest in refrigerators and solar water pumps, but don’t know how to find the right products. The Global LEAP Awards provides critical market intelligence on product quality and performance, helping these companies scale up quickly,” said Andrew Herscowitz, Coordinator of Power Africa.

The results of the Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition demonstrated substantial gains in the efficiency of best-in-class products from the 2017 Global LEAP Awards, with 2019 Winners averaging 28% greater overall efficiency compared to 2017 Winners. However, these products remain too costly for most off-grid customers. To address this, the results released today also included the Global LEAP Awards’ first-ever innovation prizes focused on affordability, sponsored by UK aid.

“Off-grid refrigeration can help transform people’s lives, but too few people today can afford the best available technologies. The Global LEAP Affordability Prizes are rewarding innovations to help refrigeration become far more widely available,” said Professor Charlotte Watts, DFID Chief Scientific Advisor.

The Consumer Affordability Prize, for commercial innovations that make it easier for customers to purchase products, was awarded to Devidayal Solar Inc. for improvements to their logistics and after-sales services as well as new financing options for rural customers that together will drive down the overall cost of their products. The Unit Cost Affordability Prize, for technical innovations that reduce the cost to manufacture products, was awarded to Youmma for R&D focused on driving continued efficiency gains in the compressors and inverters used in their products, as well as partnerships with local manufacturers in target markets to pilot local assembly. Each company will receive a £50,000 cash prize.

All Global LEAP Awards winners and finalists undergo testing by accredited laboratories for their energy performance, quality, and reliability, and an evaluation by a panel of off-grid market experts.

For more information about the Global LEAP Awards, visit www.globalleapawards.org.

A collection of videos featuring previous Global LEAP Awards Winners and Finalists is available on vimeo.


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