Sky over a solar panel farm


Together with Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenACC, IIT Bombay and IIT Madras and we invite you to participate in AI Solar Power Prediction Challenge.

Tackling climate change is an urgent challenge. Shell is transforming to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society and our customers. We are exploring new opportunities to provide more low-carbon energy such as biofuels, hydrogen, charging for electric vehicles and electricity generated by solar and wind power. To achieve this, we are working collaboratively on unproven, early-stage ideas with the potential to impact the future of energy.

Help us harness the power of the sun and win monetary awards or funding for your project!

Solar power is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources. However, there is a major challenge associated with solar power production, and that is its intermittency caused by variable weather conditions. Of course, we know the sun is not going to shine at night. Predicting solar power output during the day is key for grid operators to balance energy generation and consumption.

We believe that bright minds passionate about AI can creatively and effectively address this problem and contribute to increasing the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix. That is why Shell, NVIDIA and Microsoft, with support from SINE (IIT Bombay) and NIRMAAN (IIT Madras), are launching AI Solar Power Prediction Challenge that will focus on AI for predicting solar power output using historical sky camera images and weather data. The winners of the hackathon will be awarded with either monetary prizes or funding to further develop their Proof of Concept.


This edition of hackathon will run in two tracks, providing the opportunity for both individual teams and start-ups an opportunity to compete.


General Edition (Track 1) Special Start-up Edition (Track 2)
Eligibility Open to all individuals and teams of up to 4 members (except Shell, Microsoft and NVIDIA employees and contractors) Open to registered start-ups only (minimum 2 members)
Bootcamp and mentoring Shortlisted 20 teams Shortlisted 10 teams
Winners and awards
  • 3 winners
    • 1st prize: 2,500 USD
    • 2nd prize: 2,000 USD
    • 3rd prize: 1,500 USD
  • Maximum 3 winners
  • A chance to receive Proof of Concept funding and develop their products with Shell GameChanger (up to 150k USD), Microsoft Incubation Hub and potentially SINE (IIT-B) and NIRMAAN (IIT-M) (subject to Shell’s and our partners’ criteria and regulations)

The challenge will consist of three levels:

Level 1

Level 1 – Predict cloud coverage (October 7 – November 7, open for general and start-up edition)

Cloud coverage can cast over the solar farms in a few minutes and significantly bring down the power production. In this level, participants are invited to innovatively predict the percentage of total cloud coverage for the next upcoming intervals using the available weather and sky camera data. The hackathon teams can decide their own methodology to predict the cloud coverage in the sky. The submitted algorithm solutions will be evaluated based on the accuracy of the predictions. The 30 teams (20 from the general edition and 10 from the special start-up edition) with the highest scores will be shortlisted for the next level.

Level 2

Level 2 – Solar farm power prediction (November 15 - 30, open for general and start-up edition)

After successfully predicting the cloud coverage, additional parameters will be shared with the 30 shortlisted teams so they can start working on level 2 challenge (more details coming soon).

The top 3 teams form the general edition will be awarded with monetary prizes. The 1-3 startups with the best pitches and highest-quality algorithm solutions will be selected to participate in the final phase of the challenge.

Level 3

Level 3 – Solutions to reality (for the start-up edition only)

Maximum 3 selected winning start-ups with the best pitch and solution from level 2 will be awarded funding for developing their proof of concept and an opportunity to incubate their solutions with Shell GameChanger, Microsoft Incubation Hub and potentially with SINE (IIT-B) and NIRMAAN (IIT-M) . We will help set you up with the capital and technology you need to bring your solution to life. hackathon key dates and milestones Hackathon timeline with key dates and milestones:

  1. 27th September: Registration starts
  2. 7th October: Start of level 1
  3. 13th October: Technical Q&A Webinar
  4. 7th November: End of Level 1
  5. 15th-26th November: Bootcamps and Mentoring sessions
  6. 15th November: Start of level 2
  7. 30th November: End of Level 2
  8. Shortlist Announcement: to be confirmed
  9. 9th December: Winners announcement and Awards Ceremony
  10. 2022: Incubation period for selected start-ups

Frequently Asked Questions

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Our partners


Digital and AI Competitions

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Shell GameChanger

We work with start-ups on unproven early-stage ideas with the potential to impact the future of energy.


Solar energy is one of the fastest growing renewable energy sources. As photovoltaic technology advances and production costs decrease, Shell is incorporating solar energy into its portfolio as customer choice drives the shift toward decentralised electricity.

1st edition of Hackathon for Sustainable and Affordable Energy

Around 5000 contestants signed up in the 1st edition of hackathon to compete in the Windfarm Layout Optimisation coding challenge. 14 teams have made the finalist shortlist. 8 have emerged as the winning teams. Watch the awards ceremony video below.