The application process for the 2020 Ashden Awards is now open

In June 2020, we will be highlighting projects and organisations from around the world that are increasing access to sustainable energy and improving lives through sustainable energy, in response to the climate emergency. 

Why apply for an Ashden Award?

  • Award of up to £20,000
  • National and international media exposure
  • Tailored support to develop your work even further
  • Media materials to help you tell your story

Detailed information for applicants. 

FAQs: Answers to all the most common questions around the Awards can be found here.
Eligible countries: See a list of eligible countries here.

Apply in:


If using one of the translated application forms above, please send completed forms to apply@ashden.org.

What we're looking for

In 2020 we will be awarding those working to rapidly decarbonise our world, whilst improving lives. We will be looking for those working on solutions to the climate emergency, through new products, services and behaviour change. When completing your application please indicate the specific category/categories you feel are most relevant to your work. We will consider your application in categories other than the ones you have indicated if we feel they fit your work more closely.

  • Energy Access Policy, Planning & Finance: Systemic change is needed if we are to achieve universal access to modern, clean and affordable energy by 2030. We are looking to highlight innovation needed to achieve the necessary pace and scale of change, with particular attention to the hardest to reach. We are seeking applications from initiatives focusing on aspects of sustainable energy finance, policy and planning, and are particularly interested in work which takes an integrated, collaborative approach, bringing together key stakeholders and considering the energy system holistically.    
  • Humanitarian Energy: We are looking for outstanding initiatives providing clean, safe, reliable and accessible energy in humanitarian settings. This work will relate to electricity, cooking or energy efficiency and may feature new, inclusive delivery models, innovative end user or programme finance, multi-stakeholder collaborations, examples of operational best practice or innovation in other areas. It is important that the work is collaborative, ideally involving partnerships between people affected by crisis, support agencies and local authorities and demonstrates inclusive approaches to ownership and management. We are especially interested in holistic approaches which involve coordination with national government authorities and energy provision that benefits the host population as well as displaced people.
  • Natural Climate Solutions: Forest ecosystems play a huge role in capturing and storing CO2 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous Peoples and local communities play a vital role in conserving these ecosystems and should have the right to benefit from their sustainable use and management. We are looking for initiatives which are conserving and restoring forests whilst protecting the rights and economic needs of communities who depend on forest resources. This could consist of strengthening governance rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities, finance initiatives to support community forest enterprise, agroforestry and permaculture programmes, market creation activities for sustainable forest-products, inclusive, sustainable business models, collaborations between the ‘forest-product’ sector and the conservation sector, amongst other approaches.  This award will focus on solutions that either exist within or have the potential to create impact on the critical basins of the Amazon, the Congo and the rainforests of South East Asia. 
  • Energy and Livelihoods: We are looking for organisations or programmes using sustainable energy to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poorest communities. This award seeks examples of ‘productive’ uses of sustainable energy that improves people’s ability to earn a living and meet their subsistence needs. 
  • Energy Access Finance or Business Model InnovationWe are looking for organisations or programmes improving access to energy through innovations in financial mechanisms and business models. The work must be benefiting those in areas where energy access rates are low and the market for sustainable energy products and services is underdeveloped.
    Work can be in one or more of the following areas:

- Innovative financial mechanisms or business models which make products more affordable and accessible for customers and/or end-users (e.g. use of innovative payment mechanisms and end-user/distributor finance)

- Innovations which improve the financial viability of enterprises to bring affordable, sustainable energy products and services to market (e.g. process efficiencies, tertiary business services, structured access to finance)

- Innovations which reduce risk and cost of capital associated with investing in underdeveloped markets (e.g. innovative early-stage finance and support, market-building and information services, interventions to reduce policy-side risk).

Deadline is 11 December 2019 at 11.59pm GMT.