100 energy startups to provide glimpse into the future

September 03, 2019

ABU DHABI — Hi-tech mobile solar containers that can provide energy in remote parts of Africa, an alternative to firewood made of sugarcane waste and a driverless electric haulage vehicle - are among the impressive innovations the top 100 energy transition and climate protection startups will showcase at the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi.

The fledgling firms were shortlisted as the ‘SET100’ earlier this year from a list of more than 450 nominees from 80 different countries. The Start Up Energy Transition (SET) Awards is a global initiative to reward and encourage pioneers in energy transition and climate protection.

The SET100 will now give the 15,000-delegate audience at the World Energy Congress Abu Dhabi a glimpse into the future in the innovation hub area of the event, by demonstrating how their pioneering new products and services will help battle against climate change and improve energy efficiency.

One impressive start-up firm, Einride, from Sweden, aims to provides transportation as a service, based on all-electric, autonomous vehicles, or “T-pods”. Another, Zeleros from Spain, designs and develops new technologies that will allow electric hyperloop transportation to travel at 1000 km/h using renewable energy. While Glowee, from France, is using bioluminescence to produce light using certain living organisms such as fireflies, glow-worms, and marine organisms.

Many of the other innovations being showcased by the SET100 aim to bring clean energy solutions to some of the most remote and poorest communities in Africa and Asia.

Acacia Innovations in Kenya has created biomass briquettes, an alternative to firewood made of sugarcane waste, while Divine Bamboo based in Uganda, provides charcoal briquettes produced from local bamboo. Coolar, based in Germany, is working on a 100% electricity-free and solar heat powered, water-based refrigerator to cool vaccines in remote hospitals that are off the grid.

The SET awards are presented by the German Energy Agency (dena) in co− operation with the World Energy Council and are part of Berlin’s annual Tech Festival, which has become the world’s leading platform for sharing successful innovations and new business models driving the energy transition.

Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy & Industry, said: “The World Energy Congress is ‘the’ event for the global energy sector to come together to discuss the greatest issues facing our industry, and the planet, so that we can identify solutions together and learn from each other. With new technology being invented constantly to help improve energy production, efficiency and a reliance on fossil fuels – looking at what solutions will be available in the near future is a very important part of the event.

“This year we are particularly excited that the 100 SET 2019 finalists will also be invited to play an active role in the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi. They will have the opportunity to participate in dynamic pitching sessions and interactive presentations, thus bringing a unique entrepreneurial dimension to their activity at the Congress”.

Sponsored by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA), the Innovation Hub at the World Energy Congress 2019 is dedicated to showing the SET100 products and services and the business models behind them.

“The UAE attaches great importance to developing clean and renewable energy through its strategies and investments and by supporting innovation as a forward-looking approach to develop sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the world. Our leadership realizes that young people are the driving force towards building a brighter future. DEWA’s sponsorship of the SET Innovation Hub at World Energy Congress 2019 is in line with its strategy to support entrepreneurs in the clean and renewable energy sector, and our efforts to support creative minds who develop effective solutions to achieve the sustainable development goals and support global efforts to mitigate climate change,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

Other impressive startup firms in the SET100 include DCX of Poland, which delivers liquid cooling solutions for IT & telco infrastructure, helping to reduce the power needed for cooling by roughly 50%. Laava Tech, from USA, has developed a combination of software and hardware that enables significant energy decrease for indoor farming.

Nanvio of Sweden is a cleantech startup with a patent-pending nanotechnology which can purify wastewater to enable household water recycling to save energy. Pyro-E, from USA, has an electromechanical device that can extract energy from low-frequency, intermittent vibrations befitting of buildings, train rails, oil/gas pipelines, and more. — SG

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