Frequently Asked Questions


No. At least for the first year of the Keeling Curve Prize, we will have an open application process.

No. We will accept applicants from anywhere in the world, but the application must be submitted in English.

The deadline for applications is April 1, 2018. No late applications will be accepted.

We will accept only 50 applications (maximum) in the Accelerator category and 200 applications in total, including the Accelerator category. The application process will be closed at 200 applicants or on April 1, 2018 – whichever comes first. Don't miss the opportunity by waiting to apply

The categories are: Decentralized/ Distributed Generation, Climate-Smart Agriculture, Energy Storage and the Accelerator.

The Accelerator is a project that has the potential to alter and accelerate the current efforts to mitigate global warming. Projects must be scientifically sound and scalable and demonstrate innovative thinking. This category is for new concepts that would be valuable for combating the exponential rise in greenhouse gas emissions or accelerating carbon uptake.  

Our research analysts will thoroughly evaluate and score all the applicants, and may email applicants with questions about their projects. The top twenty applicants will become the finalists and advance to the judges. Judges will evaluate the finalists independently, but may communicate with each other and the research analysts with questions and comments. Our staff will tabulate the judges’ decisions.

For the first year of the Keeling Curve Prize we will be choosing up to 10 winners to share in the $250,000 purse. If there are fewer than 10 winners, the prize money will be distributed between those winners based on the judges’ recommendations with $25,000 being the minimum award.

The Awards Ceremony is planned for the end of June in 2018. We hope to hold the ceremony in Aspen, Colorado for the inaugural year. Any changes will be immediately updated on our website.

The Prize is designed to inspire pioneers and honor those in communities, large and small, whose efforts can change the direction of the Keeling Curve by creating and optimizing new pathways to a sustainable future. If your work is designed to bend the direction of the Keeling Curve by reducing emissions or increasing carbon uptakes, then you are a good candidate for the Keeling Curve Prize.

We are looking for leaders, advocates and innovators in order to give them global visibility and leverage for the programs, methods or outputs they champion. We are seeking people who have vision, and the enthusiasm and skill to make their vision a reality.

No. People who work for nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, a mix of these, or independently are eligible. As long as the work leads to global warming mitigation and demonstrates an impact at the local, regional, national or global level, it is eligible.

No. The work can be something existing that you have improved upon; for example, creating a system to make a solar panel more efficient. We welcome new ideas and approaches that improve upon existing work.

Yes, but each person in the partnership must meet all the criteria, and they must demonstrate how they’ve each contributed significantly to the work.

Yes, but we must have reliable contact information. If anything seems shady or insidious, and we cannot verify information in a timely fashion, your application may be deemed ineligible. The Keeling Curve Prize reserves the right to deny any application for reasons we deem appropriate.

Yes, a prior award does not affect your chances of receiving the Keeling Curve Prize.

The work needs to be taking place currently. We will not award past work.

The work must be beyond a theoretical idea or concept, but could be in the demonstration stage.  Projects must be able to establish efficacy and scalability.

No, an idea or concept is too theoretical. Your work must demonstrate a realistic project that can be developed and scalable.

Yes, if they meet the criteria and demonstrate excellence, however innovation and ingenuity will be considered in the scoring.

You may not be a family member or closely related to the Keeling Curve Prize staff, research analysts, judges or advisory council. If attempts to contact you are unanswered or contact information is unavailable or unreliable, your application will be ineligible.

Yes, if it is tightly written and the (under 5%) overflow is critical to a comprehensive presentation of the project. You will have to contact us if this is the case. The online application will not accept more than 10 extra words.

Our research analysts and the director will review all applications and determine the finalists. The judges will review the finalist. Our research analysts and judges will be listed on our website, as they are added to the team.

Twenty finalists will be graduated to the judges, and finalists will be announced no later than June 1st, 2018. We will email the finalist, along with announcements on social media and any other media outlets available.


Awards & Winners Obligations

The Keeling Curve Prize purse is $250,000 and will be awarded to 10 or fewer winners. The prize money should be used as the applicant has described within their application. Our staff will be following the winner’s progress and winners will be invited to the 2019 awards’ ceremony.

Winners will be invited to attend the 2019 Keeling Curve Prize awards ceremony. They will be asked to present on their progress and will be introduced to new avenues of funding and tactical support.

Winners must report on their progress quarterly (a form will be provided). Any email correspondence from the Keeling Curve Prize staff, judges, analysts, or advisory council members must be answered within two weeks. For the 2019 awards ceremony prizewinners must submit a two-minute video of their project and the influence of the Keeling Curve Prize Award.


Background & More Information

Clean energy entrepreneurs face funding gaps that frequently can end a promising technology before it can reach fruition. The Keeling Curve Prize was created to deliver a bridge over the funding “valley of death” that confronts innovators. It is our hope that these strategically designated cash infusions will enable visionary initiatives to not only see the light of day, but also succeed in the long term to the benefit of our climate and humanity.

Our hope is to see the Keeling Curve Prize become a well-respected and prestigious award that can both add an imprimatur of excellence and connect the winners to the resources needed to achieve their next level of success.

The 4 categories provide focus for applicants and, taken together, present a comprehensive suite of approaches to achieving a low-carbon future. The additional ‘Accelerator” category is a progressive and limited category for projects that don’t easily fit under the other award categories, but shows exceptional promise.

Please contact info@kcurveprize.org with additional questions and we will reply as soon as possible.