Navigating the Digital Energy Challenge 2024

The Digital Energy Facility launched the Digital Energy Challenge in 2021, running for four years with annual project calls.

Navigating the Digital Energy Challenge 2024
Navigating the Digital Energy Challenge 2024

The Challenge aims to support innovative solutions for better energy access, renewable energy integration, and energy operator performance.

The 2024 Challenge offers a chance for global innovators to contribute to sustainable energy solutions. Participants from all over the world, including developed and developing countries, can join as individuals, teams, startups, research institutions, or established companies.

The Challenge will fund 2-3 utility and technology partnerships and 5-8 startup projects annually with a budget of €1.8M for grants, technical support, and guidance. The main goal of the 2024 Challenge is to drive energy sector innovation through digital technologies, focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid management, and energy access in underserved areas.

Projects that show clear benefits in energy access, environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and feasibility are prioritized, especially those utilizing AI, IoT, blockchain, and data analytics.

Deadline of the Digital Energy Challenge 2024

The deadline to submit proposals for the Digital Energy Challenge 2024 is May 15, 2024.

Theme Focus for the Digital Energy Challenge 2024

The 2024 project themes focus on:

  • Universal Electricity Access and Mini-Grids: Advancing mini-grid efficiency with digital innovations like energy management systems, integration technologies, and storage systems. It also includes tools for grid connections, nanogrid development, and geospatial data analysis.
  • Efficient Grid Management: Enhancing power grid operations through digital tools and services, such as improving information availability, communication systems, and operational practices for better service quality.
  • Power System Resilience and Decarbonization: Developing greener and more resilient power systems using digital solutions, including increasing renewable capacity, ensuring grid stability and flexibility, and promoting energy savings for both commercial and household users.


Winners of the challenge can enjoy several benefits:

  • Financial support: Winners will receive grants to cover expenses like equipment and software purchases, training, recruitment costs for start-ups, and product/service purchases linked to technology/service providers for utilities.
  • Technical assistance: All utilities and certain start-ups will receive personalized support, including project management guidance, strategic and technical expertise, and help with accounting/reporting.
  • Bootcamp participation: Winners will attend a bootcamp led by experts from various sectors to assist with project implementation, encourage collaboration among winners, and share best practices.
  • Increased visibility: Projects will gain exposure through social media campaigns conducted by AFD during the selection phase, award ceremony, bootcamp, and beyond.

Eligibility Criteria of the Digital Energy Challenge

The 2024 Call for Projects is open to projects based in Africa and owned by:

  • Start-ups in the pre-seed phase or with early-stage activities. NGOs can apply as start-ups.
  • Public utilities, including public power utilities, public Independent System Operators, private companies under a public service concession, power pools, regional organizations, energy regulators, and rural electrification authorities, in partnership with technology/service providers.

Eligible Countries:

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

How to Apply for the Digital Energy Challenge 2024

To apply for the Navigating the Digital Energy Challenge 2024 or a similar program, start by visiting the official website at For more details on each category and to apply.

  • The Digital Energy Challenge for Start-ups
  • The Digital Energy Challenge for Utilities

Tips for Successful Application for the Digital Energy Challenge

  • Clarity and Conciseness: Clearly articulate your project’s goals, methodology, and expected impact within the application.
  • Alignment with Objectives: Ensure your proposal aligns with the core objectives and priorities of the Digital Energy Challenge.
  • Realistic Implementation: Provide a realistic timeline, budget, and scalability plan for successful project implementation.
  • Collaborative Approach: Highlight any partnerships or collaborations that strengthen your project’s feasibility and impact.
  • Review and Revise: Before submission, thoroughly review your application for accuracy, completeness, and coherence.


The challenge represents a significant opportunity for innovators to contribute meaningfully to the global energy landscape. By leveraging digital technologies and fostering collaboration, the challenge aims to drive sustainable solutions that benefit communities worldwide. Interested participants are encouraged to review the official guidelines, prepare their proposals diligently, and submit them before the deadline to maximize their chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can participate in the Digital Energy Challenge 2024?

Individuals, teams, startups, research institutions, and companies worldwide are eligible to participate.

What types of projects are eligible for the challenge?

Projects leveraging digital technologies to address energy challenges such as renewable energy, energy access, efficiency, and grid management are eligible.

What are the key evaluation criteria for project proposals?

Innovation, feasibility, impact, collaboration, and compliance with ethical and legal standards are key evaluation criteria.



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