Start Up Energy Transition Award: Paving Way for Sustainable Development Goal 7

How do we see our future? Which trajectories will we take to make sure that our future is one which is prosperous for global citizens and the environment? These are tough but pressing questions which have been climbing further up political agendas for decades. There is worldwide recognition that climate change poses a grave risk in both the present and the future. At the same time, data shows that one out of six people worldwide still lack access to modern electricity. As such, on September 25th, 2015, United Nations member states came together to adopt a new sustainable development agenda, which included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Among these goals is SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy for All.

Why is this goal so vital? In simple, terms, energy is at the heart of socioeconomic growth. It affects the ways in which people move around, improves efficiency, and ultimately, increases production and income. Access to electricity can allow a shareholder farmer in Nigeria or India to harvest more yields, store them longer, and get them to market quicker. At the same time, a growing worldwide population means a growing demand for energy. Currently, 3 billion people rely on CO2 emitting substances, such as coal and charcoal for cooking and heating. Energy usage is already the dominant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, so we need solutions to make energy not only more accessible, but cleaner for all, as well.

The importance of the SDG goals will be recognized at the 2017 G20 Summit taking place in Hamburg this July. Improving sustainability is a key pillar of this year’s Summit, citing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement as the key international frameworks for sustainability. At the same time, they will also be recognized at the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23), which will take place in Bonn this November to discuss and strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Alongside the COP 23, the Sustainable Innovation Forum will be held in Bonn, which will focus on cross-sector partnerships and innovations in an effort of supporting the Paris Agreement.

As Start Up Energy Transition recognizes the importance of SDG 7, we made sure to include “SDG7: UN-target Sustainable Energy for All” as an award category. This category aimed to support entrepreneurs who have found innovative ways to reduce energy poverty. Three inspirational finalists (ColdHubs, Sunculture & InspiraFarms) competed in this category at the Start Up Energy Transition Tech Festival in March. At the Award Ceremony, ColdHubs was announced as the winner, with their solar powered cold storage units for developing countries.

Our support for the SDG 7 goal does not end here. We created a list of our top submissions using the best out of the SDG7 category, which you can find here. dena is excited to be continuing the Start Up Energy Transition initiative in 2018 again! With this, we look forward to receiving more of the best and brightest ideas which support SDG 7 that can help ensure energy access to all. If you wish to join our growing network or support the initiative, please contact us at Let’s keep connecting minds for the greater good.

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