Solar water pumps can improve the lives and livelihoods of the nearly 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide who lack energy access, by increasing productivity, yields, and incomes. They present a far-reaching opportunity to reduce the labor burden on women and girls especially, with direct educational and nutritional impacts.
Solar water pumps, however, present significant technical challenges since their performance is highly dependent on use case, intended application, size of the associated energy system, other environmental factors. The high up-front cost of SWPs relative to other appliances also makes financing a particularly strong barrier to scaled deployment and commercial viability.
The Global LEAP Awards for solar water pumps will identify and recognize innovative early-movers and best actors in the appliance market, as well as catalyzing innovation in the early stage of market development.