The Global LEAP Awards is an international competition to identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances.

The 2016-17 round of competitions will identify super-efficient, high quality off-grid refrigerators.

The Global LEAP Awards competition will recognize best-in-class off-grid refrigerators, and offer cash prizes to recognize and incentivize innovation in off-grid refrigeration technology and design. All nominated products will be evaluated for their energy performance, quality, design and reliability according to rigorous international best practice.


Benefits to Winners and Finalists

Global LEAP Award Winners and Finalists benefit in the following ways:

  • Consideration for up to three Innovation Prizes of $200,000
  • Eligibility to participate in the Global LEAP Procurement Incentives Program, which accelerates large-scale distribution of Winning and Finalist products in key off-grid markets (for commercially-available products only)
  • Acumen and Shell Foundation will consider Global LEAP Awards Winners and Finalists as they work to identify breakthrough innovations and impact investment opportunities in off-grid appliance enterprises
  • Use of the Global LEAP Awards logo and brand
  • Inclusion in a global promotional campaign, including publicity and networking opportunities with distributors and investors


About the Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition

All Global LEAP Awards nominations are tested according to internationally-accepted laboratory test methodologies to confirm their energy performance, durability, and reliability, and are also evaluated by a panel of off-grid market experts. Winners will be identified through a combination of expert evaluation and energy- and cost-based quantitative assessments.   

Nominations for the 2016-17 Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition must be submitted by 20 January 2017, and must fall into one of the following categories:


In addition, cash prizes will be awarded to products that demonstrate market leading innovation in energy efficiency, off-grid appropriateness, and overall value.

Please see the competition overview for more information about eligibility requirements, the nomination process, and timeline. Nomination is free. 


The Emerging Off-Grid Refrigeration Market

Refrigerators hold unique potential to unlock economic and social progress for the billions of un- and under-electrified people globally. Access to refrigeration can facilitate the development of income-generating micro-enterprises, prolong the shelf life of fresh foods, reduce spoilage and waste, diversify and enhance the nutritional value of diets, and reduce the time that households, particularly female household members, spend shopping for or gathering food. But the market for off-grid refrigeration products is nascent and the prevalence of refrigerators in developing countries, particularly in rural areas, remains extremely low. Highly energy-efficient, appropriately designed and priced refrigerators are essential to this market’s development and to its subsequent positive development impacts.

The off-grid household and small business refrigeration market could quickly become a major commercial opportunity. By 2020, the market could see 38% year-over- year growth and total annual spending approaching $1.1 billion. In order to be viable in off-grid settings and suitable for off-grid customers, however, refrigerators must be considerably smaller, cheaper, and run on far less energy than most conventional products. Few refrigerators available today can satisfy the needs of the off-grid market. Increasing the availability of appropriate off-grid refrigerators at affordable prices will increase demand for off-grid solar solutions such as solar home systems and mini-grids.


The Global LEAP Awards Off-Grid Refrigerator Competition is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development initiative, the U.K. Department for International Development's Ideas to Impact Programme, Power Africa's Beyond the Grid initiative, and the U.S. Department of Energy.