Onions grown with the help of SunCulture's solar-powered irrigation

To become a New Energy Pioneer, organisations have to be addressing big opportunities in global energy with innovative solutions and a proven track record.  Big thinking that will help transform the world’s energy and resource infrastructure as well as the potential to demonstrate strong traction are key.

Every year 10 game-changing companies are identified globally in the field of clean energy technology and innovation and it’s gratifying to see that SunCulture, one of our current finalists for the 2017 Ashden Awards, is a 2017 New Energy Pioneer in the off-grid category for their solar-powered irrigation systems for smallholder farmers in Africa.

What’s really exciting for me is that out of the 10 Pioneers this year, half of them are working in the energy access sector which is so close to our own hearts at Ashden. 

It was a particular pleasure to see that the winner of our International Gold Award last year, SunFunder, has been announced as a 2017 New Energy Pioneer in the category of energy finance for their work to address a key bottleneck for emerging market solar.

We Care Solar market a solar suitcase which provides lighting for medical procedures with maternal and child care in rural settings in developing countries particularly in mind.  

Envirofit is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of clean cookstoves and has sold some 1.2 million to date in 45 countries.

I was also really impressed and excited by the full range of different technologies being demonstrated by this year’s New Energy Pioneers, especially in the fields of energy storage and electric vehicles.  

Take EV-Box which is one of the largest suppliers of electric vehicle charging system hardware and software and have focused on low power charging for electric vehicles at long-stay parking locations. 

Or Fluidic Energy who supply rechargeable zinc-air batteries – an alternative to lithium-ion for energy storage – and off-grid rural electrification solutions.

Then there are organisations like Thermondo in the energy smart technologies category who are like the Uber of boiler installation and use extensive data to determine the best-fit heating system for homeowners.  

Many congratulations to all the 2017 New Energy Pioneers, and all power to you going forward!