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Challenge Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Large Photovoltaic Plants

Mitigating the Environmental Impact of Large Photovoltaic Plants

Award: $15,000 USD
STATUS: Under Eval
Posted: Mar 29 2019
Challenge ID: 9934144
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Enel Green Power (EGP) is the leader in the renewable energy sector and operates in Europe, Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Thanks to innovative energy technologies, EGP produces power from solar and other renewable energy sources. EGP is committed to contributing to sustainable development and in this context, EGP is interested in finding innovative ideas for mitigating the environmental impact of large photovoltaic (PV) plants while maximizing the benefits for local communities.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Solar power is a renewable, alternative energy source that can be harnessed every day in all weather conditions; the number of operational PV power plants has grown rapidly worldwide. While the amount of power generated can exceed a gigawatt, PV plants require large tracts of land for panel installation resulting in ecological changes and other environmental issues such as desertification due to the presence of solar panels, concurrent use with respect to agriculture, reduction of flora and fauna, water contamination, water use for panel cleaning, etc.

Enel Green Power intends to find and promote innovative actions that either mitigate the environmental impact of large PV plants or, preferably, generate a more positive outcome, with a strong emphasis upon LAND USE (so, for example, solutions regarding the disposal and recycling of PV modules and other plant components are excluded).

In this context it could be possible to introduce, in a complementary approach, actions to maximize the social benefit for local communities. The focus of the activity must be the concurrent use of the land and how we can generate a positive impact associated with a LARGE PV PLANT (e.g. avoiding desertification due to the presence of solar panels, reduction on flora and fauna, water contamination of deep wells, etc.)

This Challenge provides contribution to the following SDGs:

•     SDG 7, 8, 15

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This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on July 15, 2019. 

Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.


With a presence in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, Enel Green Power is a global leader of the clean energy sector*, with an annual production of approximately 100 TWh**. Enel Green Power operates in 30 countries and has a managed capacity of over 40.9 GW (including over 38 GW of installed capacity); with more than 1,200 plants (over 100 of which are consolidated) and a mix of generation types including the main renewable sources: wind, solar, hydroelectric and geothermal, an additional 7.8 GW of extra capacity is scheduled to be built by 2020.

Technological and geographical diversification are the main pillars of the Company’s strategy, which focuses its investments in growing markets characterised by an excellent availability of natural resources, high growth rates of the energy demand and stable social and economic environments. Enel Green Power has integrated sustainability into its strategic vision, with the objective of increasing the benefits for the local communities in which the company operates. Switching from a reactive approach to criticism, to more proactive, aimed at identifying opportunities for Creating Shared Value within local communities.

Enel Green Power believes that the renewable energies are an important tool for promoting the competitiveness of the production system of the countries and for guaranteeing the security of the energy supply: indeed, energy production from green sources contributes to creating greater energy autonomy and, at the same time, it helps protect the environment.

* In terms of installed capacity of private operators.

** Data at December 2018.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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