Future of Energy Challenge

The Future of Energy Challenge is supported by Shell.

Thank you for your interest in the Future of Energy Challenge. This program is no longer accepting applicants, however, we encourage you to follow the progress of participating teams. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at futureofenergy@netimpact.org.

In the Future of Energy Challenge, we asked the next generation of thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to design collaborative, innovative ideas addressing the question: How might we provide much more energy for a growing global population while finding ways to emit much less CO2?

The Challenge inspires solutions around four major opportunity areas: sourcing more renewable energy, scaling novel energy carriers, increasing use of hydrogen, and transitioning to electrification. In addition, participants can submit additional creative, impactful ideas as wildcard solutions. 

In the first round of the competition, participants submitted a proposal with broad business ideas or a system solution addressing the challenge brief. In the second round, 10-15 teams will be chosen as top submissions and will have the opportunity to refine their ideas with Net Impact and Shell. Final submissions are due February 9th. Check back in March to see the winner!

Benefits of participating:

  • Top 10-15 teams hone their idea in a virtual workshop with Shell's Long Range Research team
  • The winning teams will attend Shell's Powering Progress Together conference in San Francisco, April 18-20, 2018. Winners will present their concepts to an audience of cross-sector thought leaders, attend conference sessions, and have an exclusive, invite-only networking opportunity with industry leaders. Winners are also invited to attend the Ecomarathon event at Sonoma Raceway. Travel expenses paid!


  • November 28: Early bird deadline for first round submissions. Teams who submit by November 28 will get feedback from Net Impact. If they choose, they may revise and resubmit their submissions by December 5
  • December 5: Deadline for first round submissions
  • December-February: Top teams refine their ideas with help from Net Impact and Shell
  • February 9: Deadline for final round submissions
  • March 1: Winning teams notified
  • April 19: Winning teams attend Shell's Powering Progress Together conference in California. Travel expenses provided!


  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals are all welcome to apply
  • Teams should have 2-4 members, ideally with a variety of academic backgrounds and perspectives
  • Teams must be based in the Americas

Questions? Contact us at futureofenergy@netimpact.org.

Challenge Rules