As resource constraints and climate change impacts on our planet become more severe, individuals and communities will lack access to the tools and products necessary to live sustainably. The buildup of greenhouse gases has resulted in urgent challenges such as rising global temperatures, extreme weather disasters, and accelerated sea level rise. At the same time, humans are generating 1.3 billion tons of solid waste per year, straining natural resources and highlighting the need for robust conservation and recycling efforts. Nevertheless, innovators around the world are increasingly exploring the potential of sustainable energy resources (such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower energy, and biofuels), implementing sophisticated waste management strategies, and incorporating circular economy principles into business strategies. As climate change and resource depletion continue to pose a significant risk to humanity at large, there is an urgent need to make these renewable technologies more accessible, affordable, and reliable.

The Challenge

The challenge for this track is to encourage the adoption of clean energy and/or resource alternatives that are sustainable and have the potential for broad impact. Proposals may focus on the design, development or delivery of green energy solutions that can be domestic or international in scope. All proposals should clearly demonstrate the relationship between the proposed intervention and its impact on the environment.

Solutions may focus on several areas, including but not limited to: (1) clean, renewable energy technology; (2) land/watershed management; (3) climate change adaptation; (4) habitat restoration and/or maintenance; (5) Resource reduction/waste prevention.

Examples of proposals that would fit into this track include:

  • A project to accelerate governance, policies, or commerce to spur clean energy alternatives.
  • A program to create economic growth based on alternative energy production.
  • A proposal that integrates carbon sequestration into the design process to create better, more environmentally beneficial, buildings.
  • An initiative focused on low-cost, clean energy solutions that foster adaptation and resilience to climate change.
  • A bioplastics business that recycles natural waste into new consumer products.

Additional Resources


The “Energy & Resources” track is open to all matriculated students across the 10-campus University of California system, as well all matriculated students from Makerere University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Multidisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged. For additional information about general contest rules, timing and how to apply, please refer to the Contest Application Requirements.

Past Winners

Equa (UC Berkeley)

Equa (UC Berkeley)

Feces to Fuel: Saving Trees, Budgets, and Lungs (UC Berkeley)

Feces to Fuel: Saving Trees, Budgets, and Lungs (UC Berkeley)

The Biodiesel Project (UC Berkeley)

The Biodiesel Project (UC Berkeley)

More Winners


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