After the success of the first Youth Energy Academy in 2019, the Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT-RRCAP) and the Sustainable Energy Youth Network (SEYN), with the support of the Regional Project Energy Security and Climate Change Asia-Pacific of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS-RECAP) are hosting a second edition in 2020.
Due to travel restrictions laid out in response to the covid-19 Pandemic, this year’s edition will be held virtually. Despite the challenges, the YEA organizing team will strive to deliver a unique and engaging programme.
Communities and cities in Asia are already experiencing the consequences of climate change. Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all needs a faster and more inclusive energy transition. With a growing population, higher energy demand and increasingly harsher climate change impacts, Asia needs to focus more on decentralized renewable energy (DRE) approaches. DRE provides crosscutting benefits, including providing energy to the many millions of people that still lack access, especially in rural and inaccessible areas such as small islands, while also offering possibilities for community development.
The challenges, the scale of changes required, and the potential benefits of more citizen participation call for different forms of engagement from the individual to collective levels. The Youth Energy Academy explores these opportunities, highlighting the new role of the “prosumer” (producer + consumer), renewable energy community groups and cooperatives, entrepreneurship, and others, from practical perspective.
Young people have a crucial stake in the future. For their energy and creativity, there is great potential in involving young women and men in the energy transition, regardless of their background, educational or professional path. In efforts to address the gender gap in energy issues, we encourage young women to apply.
Check out last year's video!
The Youth Energy Academy aims to build on and improve the first edition by increasing the implementation potential of projects and foster replicability across the region. More specifically the Virtual YEA aims to:
1. Raise awareness about the need to shift to DRE approaches and the role of citizens in this transition.
2. Promote the involvement of young people in DRE by sharing inspiring stories and projects led by other young people.
3. Equip young people with the hard and soft skills and tools to design, organize and build small scale sustainable energy projects.
4. Foster leadership, entrepreneurship and a “can-do” attitude, by encouraging young people to develop and apply skills in developing projects in their communities.
5. Increase potential of project idea implementation after the Academy.
6. Promote the replication and ripple effect across the region by equipping YEA alumni to train other people in small scale, decentralized renewable energy approaches.
Date and Format
The V-YEA will take place virtually between 28 September and 4 October 2020, through the Zoom platform, DIY videos, virtual tours, and other digital means. We are also planning some interesting options to keep the dynamics and the irreplaceable human contact, read on!
The 7-day Virtual Academy will include:
Theoretical sessions (max. 120 min a day) with key experts following daily themes.
Day 1 The Energy Trilemma
Climate Change, Energy Access, and Development
Day 2 Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE)
Technologies in addressing the Energy Trilemma
Day 3 People Power
The role of individuals & communities in DRE: Examples from the region
Day 4 DRE on the ground
Virtual field trip to a DRE project
Day 5 Social Business
The role of social entrepreneurship models for renewable energy
Day 6 Mobilizing resources
Sources of funding for CRE and tips for drafting quality project proposals
Day 7 From idea to reality
Lessons learned from CRE Project Implementation: drivers & barriers for success
Practical sessions including basic DIY workshops by trainers (video recordings and live sessions), group work on various topics covered in the theoretical sessions, exercises and feedback from trainers and experts.
Guided virtual tours, to sites showcasing decentralised renewable energy technologies and applications in Thailand.
The Academy will use participative, non-formal, and empowering methods aiming to boost creativity and inspire action. The cases and examples shown will come from knowledgeable, like-minded people, while also being realistic by illustrating the many challenges that are inherent to all projects.
The theoretical sessions over Zoom will use interactive presentations, case studies, group discussions and exercises, where teams will work simultaneously with the support of facilitators and trainers.
The practical sessions will give participants the opportunity to build their own simple energy systems using "Do-it-Yourself" (DIY) and "Do-it-Together" (DIT) approaches, appropriate technology and open source available designs. Teams will rely on the remote guidance of experienced SEYN trainers and whenever possible on in-person support of YEA mentors in their respective countries.
The virtual tours aim to serve a proxy for field visits in order for participants to gain insights on renewable energy technologies and real-life examples of technology applications in communities.
The Virtual YEA will target teams of 2-5 people from South and Southeast Asia, ideally with a concrete project idea to be developed during the training. The team members do not necessarily have to be from the same nationality, as long as the geographical scope or the project idea is the same.
Selected teams will be asked to work together on-site during practical sessions and therefore should plan to demonstrate their ability to meet for the duration of the program.
The selection panel will look for gender balance and diversity of expertise and backgrounds, combining participants with engineering and energy backgrounds, experience with community work, business, project management skills, etc.
The programme is free of charge. Besides the live sessions and dedicated videos, participants will receive the full support of the team of trainers and YEA mentors during the entire week. Materials and basic tools for the energy system will be provided by AIT-RRCAP to each team, though teams are also expected to play an active role in sourcing and reclaiming used materials.
Teams of 2 to 5 people, ideally with a project idea under the themes of the Academy
A Focal Point in charge of compiling the application and liaising with V-YEA Organizers if selected
18 to 35 years of age
Nationals of South and Southeast Asian countries
Passion about sustainability, renewable energy, community development, entrepreneurship, climate action, or related topics
Commitment to actively participate and attend the entire programme
Note: Previous YEA applicants and alumni will be considered, as long as they apply as part of a team. Once again, women will be strongly encouraged to apply.
Read the info above and the FAQs
Download the Team Summary Form template here, fill it in with each member's info and save it as "name of the focal point_Country" (example: John Doe_Thailand)
The Team's Focal point complete and submit the online form, including the Team Summary Form by 5 August, 2020 (23:59 ICT)
Only complete team applications submitted through the online form will be considered.
A minimum of 2 members is required. Additional members could join the team if selected (up to a maximum of 5 people).
Submission for Team's motivations as part of the form can be done via a short video instead of written answers. Get creative!
For more information on the application process please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
28 September - 4 October 2020
Frequently asked questions
What is the geographical coverage of the Youth Energy Academy?
What’s included in the participation?
Besides full access to training materials (videos, ppts, recording of the sessions, designs of energy systems, etc.), each team of participants will receive a kit of materials and basic tools to build their own energy systems. All participants will receive a Certifiicate of Attendance signed by AIT-RRCAP and KAS, provided they attend the full duration of the programme.
I am national of one of the countries listed above, but I do not live there. Can I still apply?
Yes, but only if at least two of the remaining team members are currently residing in one of the eligible countries.
Please note that, in this case, participation in the practical workshops will be limited, as the core team is expected to work together on-site to build the energy systems.
Is there a course fee for the Energy Academy?
There are no fees to attend this programme and all training costs are waived for selected participants.
When and how will the selected participants be notified?
I am a student at AIT. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, absolutely, and you should! One of the reasons for doing the Academy at AIT is to involve the students, faculty and alumni community. We encourage eligible students to apply, but please do so as part of a team (minimum 3 members all staying on-campus). AIT teams can be a mix of different nationalities.
I have no experience with renewable energy and I don’t even know exactly how electricity works. Can I still apply?
I have studied energy and have previous knowledge about electricity. Is this course still relevant for me?
Yes! The approach used in the Youth Energy Academy will be quite different from usual academic classes, and previous workshops have shown that even participants with engineering/energy backgrounds find the sessions interesting and contribute in a positive way. The uniqueness of the Youth Energy Academy lies in the diversity and richness that participants of all backgrounds bring with them.
I cannot find an answer to my question
If you still have questions regarding the Energy Academy please contact us at:
What will be covered at the Virtual Youth Energy Academy?
Our team members are spread accross different locations. Can we still apply?
Yes, but at least two members of the team have to be on the same place during the programme, especially for the practical sessions on building the energy systems. The team can connect remotely with other members during the week.
I am the focal point for my team. What do I need to do?
You are a regular member of the team, with some additional responsibilites. Besides being responsible for submitting the online application, you will be the point of contact with the YEA organizers before and during the Academy, if your application is successful.
I have a team, but we don't have a clear project idea. Can we apply?
Yes! Ideally the team should have some general idea of what they will want to work on during the Academy (a problem you want to solve, a community that needs support, or a technology you want to focus on), but the level of detail at the time of the application can vary. The aim of the YEA is also to help refine the problem and the objective and help participants design and plan their projects.