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Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development Competition

Solicitation Number: SOL-OAA-13-000017
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Washington D.C.
Location: USAID/Washington
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There have been modifications to this notice. To view the most recent modification/amendment, click here
Added: Dec 03, 2012 5:40 pm

Dear Interested Parties:

The purpose of this notice is to announce that United States Government, represented by the Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3) will be seeking proposals from industry and other interested parties around the world on the attached program initiative outlined below.

Issuance of this Notice does not constitute a binding commitment on the part of the Government to issue a Solicitation, nor does it commit the Government to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission. Thank you for your consideration of this USAID initiative. We look forward to your organization's participation.

Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development

1. Objective

The objective of the Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development initiative is to improve agricultural productivity and value by increasing access to clean energy solutions to those along the agricultural value chain that suffer from no, or poor quality, grid power in developing countries. The program aims to foster innovative clean energy technologies and business models and catalyze private sector investment to enhance access to the clean energy inputs required for the agricultural value chain while simultaneously mitigating CO2 emissions from agricultural intensification. Furthermore, the energy/agriculture nexus provides an excellent opportunity for economic empowerment of women and gender sensitive approaches and all applicants will be required to address gender impacts of proposed programs.

2. Areas of Interest

The Grand Challenge for Development model reflects an understanding that there is seldom just one way to solve complex development problems. In this regard, this CFP is designed to attract a diverse range of market-driven approaches to accelerate the design and deployment of clean energy solutions for farmers and agribusinesses.

The specific clean energy needs of farmers and related agribusinesses vary widely among different geographic regions. Countries differ significantly with respect to their natural resources, existing infrastructure, trade relations, energy policies, income levels, and maturity of clean energy markets. For these reasons, PAEGC is designed to support a wide range of activities that build on Applicants' individual strengths and the particular market environments in which they operate/plan to operate.

It is expected that proposals received through this solicitation will respond to one, two, or all three of the following areas of need - "Clean Energy Demand Generation," "Clean Energy Technology Innovation," and "Clean Energy Business Model Development."

Technology and Business Model Innovation
The partners anticipate that individual awards between $300,000 and $1,500,000 will be available for the following activities:

• Clean Energy Demand Generation. PAEGC supports efforts to design affordable, scalable approaches to increasing farmers' and agribusinesses' demand for clean energy technologies that increase their productivity and profitability. PAEGC financial support may be used for designing and piloting innovative demand generating activities, social marketing, and behavior change strategies to overcome the risk aversion associated with applying new technologies to long-standing agricultural practices.

• Clean Energy Technology Innovation. PAEGC support is available for development and/or adaptation of affordable technologies focused on clean energy generation, storage, and more efficient end-use within the agriculture sectors of developing countries that have potential for achieving commercial scale. This support may be for new technologies that are still in the incubation/demonstration stage, and/or existing technologies that are modified to respond to the demands of a specific target market. Successful Applicants will be able to clearly articulate the nature of the technology, its strengths and weaknesses over current/alternative practices, as well as opportunities and barriers to its commercial deployment within the identified target markets.

• Clean Energy Business Model Development. It is not only weak demand and technology constraints that hinder the adoption of clean energy solutions. PAEGC is also looking for innovative business solutions that make clean energy technology affordable and accessible to farmers and agribusinesses. PAEGC support may be used to develop and test, for example, new service delivery options; payment arrangements; financing; marketing techniques for energy service businesses that would improve their financial sustainability.

3. What Will Not Be Funded

It is important for Applicants to note that there are certain types of activities that are not eligible for funding through this PAEGC solicitation. These include:
• Activities focused on improving energy access without an identified benefit to the agriculture sector, or agricultural projects without a clean energy component;
• Project ideas that are managed from or include activities to be implemented in ineligible countries;
• Approaches that reinforce harmful gender norms;
• Activities focused on research and development for a product without a clearly defined market demand or credible commercialization prospects;
• One-off renewable energy installations or pilot projects to support proven technologies for proven applications - unless they include an innovative component(s) that clearly outline realistic potential for replication and/or ability to achieve commercial scale;
• Projects that are based solely on fossil fuel-based generation technologies. Please note: Hybrid technologies that couple fossil fuel-based power generation with clean energy generation are acceptable;
• Projects focused on increasing utilization of mechanized agriculture utilizing fossil fuel based technologies, e.g., tractors;
• Projects that jeopardize the resiliency of agricultural practices or supply chains; and
• While it is understood that policy and trade reforms are often critical for technology development/deployment and for increasing energy access, such issues are better addressed through more conventional international development programs and/or bi-/multi-lateral negotiations. Thus, proposed remedial interventions of this nature will not be eligible for funding.

Added: Dec 18, 2012 2:38 pm
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Sweden, and Duke Energy Corporation invite proposals to respond to Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development Competition.

This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is for a funding competition component of this Grand Challenge for Development, designed to address barriers to increasing access to clean energy services within the agriculture sectors of developing countries. The BAA describes the purpose of the program and the types of activities that it will fund; indicates the process for preparing and submitting proposals; and outlines criteria that will be used to evaluate the proposals. Through this competition, Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development anticipates disbursing $10-$20 million USD in award funding. Individual awards are expected to be between $300,000 USD and $1,500,000 USD. The period of performance for individual awards is up to three years; the actual period of performance for each award will be determined at the time of award. Awards made through this BAA may be in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and collaboration agreements, depending on the nature of the submitting organization and the proposal.

This BAA and any future amendments can be downloaded from and Prospective Applicants that are unable to retrieve the BAA from the Internet can request an electronic copy by e-mail at

DUE DATE: Proposals shall be received no sooner than January 15, 2013 and no later than February 06, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST via the Online Application Platform accessed at: Applicants should retain a copy of their proposals and accompanying uploaded documents for their records.

QUESTIONS: Prospective Applicants who have questions concerning the contents of this BAA shall submit them in writing no later than January 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST to the e-mail address:

Issuance of this BAA does not constitute an award commitment on the part of USAID, nor does it commit USAID or any of its funding Partners to pay for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of proposals. Further, USAID reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received.
Added: Jan 15, 2013 12:18 pm
Amendment One
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Solicitation 1

Posted Date:
December 18, 2012
Description: Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development Competition.

Amendment 1

Posted Date:
January 15, 2013
Description: Amendment No. One (1) to Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Number SOL-OAA-13-000017: "Powering Agriculture: An Energy Grand Challenge for Development Competition"

Questions and Answers

Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Questions and Answers
Posted Date:
February 8, 2013
Description: Responses to questions.

Amendment 2

Posted Date:
February 8, 2013
Description: Amendment 02 revises and clarifies portions of Sections II and III of the BAA.
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