Wednesday , May 29 2024

International Solar Alliance launches Asia Pacific edition of SolarX Challenge


ISA’s SolarX Startup Challenge accelerates solar energy deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, fostering government collaboration and investment to meet unique renewable energy challenges. Photo courtesy of ISA

HCM CITY — The International Solar Alliance (ISA) launched the SolarX Startup Challenge for the Asia-Pacific region at COP28 in Dubai, showcasing its commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and driving solar projects in the region.

The initiative aims to cultivate scalable business models, accelerate global energy transitions, and bridge energy and investment gaps.

Under the SolarX Startup Challenge, 20 startups from across the Asia-Pacific region will be selected, each receiving a US$15,000 cash grant, totalling US$300,000.

This initiative, symbolising a commitment to excellence, provides a transformative platform for entrepreneurial success, innovation, and strategic networking.

Successful entrepreneurs will undergo an intensive acceleration programme and receive mentorship from seasoned professionals. To facilitate market penetration and expansion, SolarX winners will be connected with potential investors and granted access to diverse markets within the Asia-Pacific region.

“The SolarX Startup Challenge epitomises our commitment to accelerating solar deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. We recognise the unique challenge of developing projects in economies requiring renewable energy. ISA is addressing this challenge from both ends. We are collaborating with governments to establish favourable policies and, through SolarX, attracting investments to create a demand where there was none,” said Dr. Ajay Mathur, director general of the ISA.

“ISA has established a Global Solar Facility to unlock investments, and by cultivating entrepreneurs, we aim to foster locally relevant business models and create a robust project pipeline. Through entrepreneurship, finance, and increased investments, we anticipate a transformative shift in enabling a swift energy transition. Our vision is to nurture a new generation of leaders shaping the future of solar energy and contributing to global climate action,” Mathur said.

The ‘Solar for She’ programme, launched alongside SolarX, aims to encourage more women-led startups, building on the success seen in the Africa leg of SolarX.

The Sequoia Climate Foundation is supporting the Asia-Pacific edition of the SolarX challenge.

Christie Ulman, President of Sequoia Climate Foundation, said, “Sequoia Climate Foundation looks forward to continuing its partnership with ISA in championing the widespread deployment of clean, affordable energy solutions across ISA’s member countries, which is critically important to the global energy transition. To that end, we are excited to partner with ISA to launch the Asia Pacific edition of the SolarX Challenge, which supports solar scale-up and capacity building in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.”

Following the success of SolarX Africa, which received 182 applications from 28 countries and produced 20 winning companies, including seven women-led ventures, ISA anticipates that the Asia-Pacific region will play a crucial role in ushering in a sustainable and low-carbon future.

ISA is an international organisation with 118 Member and Signatory countries. It works with governments to ease solar deployment and promote solar power as a sustainable transition to a carbon-neutral future. — VNS






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