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Are Energy Start-ups Contributing to the Net-Zero Emissions World?

Are Energy Start-ups Contributing to the Net-Zero Emissions World?

Date: November 5th 2020

Author: Alenka Lena Klopčič

Category: En.vision

Topic: New technologies , Economy , En.vision

The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the ‘here and now’. Still, it is vital that we boost the European sustainable energy system, stressed the Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, in the opening of the EIT InnoEnergy TBB (The Business Booster), the biggest energy start-up event in Europe, which this year took place, of course, online. Recently, EIT InnoEnergy, which opened its first office overseas, has signed a partnership with Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech start-up incubator in North America, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Bill Gates.

Diego PaviaIn EU, investments in sustainable energy, including hydrogen projects, reached EUR 60 billion in 2019, whereas in China this figure was EUR 70 billion, meaning that the EU did better considering the investment per capita, hinted InnoEnergy’s CEO, Diego Pavia. “We have made tremendous progress, but we must continue our work,” said Šefčovič in his speech, referring to reducing the EU’s dependence on raw materials and making the Union more energy sustainable.

Maros SefcovicInnoEnergy has closed eleven investments during the pandemic so far, said Pavia in response to Šefčovič’s appeal, adding that Europe will soon – within just ten years – be recycling batteries and will therefore become self-sufficient. In this regard, Pavia mentioned the Swedish company Northvolt, which became the first ‘unicorn’ in the InnoEnergy start-up portfolio. At the beginning of 2020, Northvolt, founded by former Tesla VPs, was valued at EUR 1.6 billion and, as Energetika.NET previously reported (HERE), the European Investment Bank (EIB) is also financing Northvolt’s first home-grown European gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries by providing an amount of USD 350 million.

Furthermore, French Verkor, which is a new venture launched to accelerate the production capacity of low-carbon batteries in Southern Europe to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles and stationary storage, in collaboration with EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric and the Groupe IDEC, was mentioned arguing in favour of a ‘lithiumised future’.

InnoEnergy expanding into the U.S. and connecting with the wealthiest men on planet


ekonomijaTalking about the future, Pavia also stressed the importance of green hydrogen and the need to connect hydrogen and battery technologies. The EU will become a net-zero emissions continent, and green hydrogen will play a major part in this decarbonisation, said Ann Mettler, Senior Director of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which was founded by Bill Gates and has several of the wealthiest people in the world on board, including Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Michael Bloomberg, and Richard Branson, among others.

Recently, EIT InnoEnergy, which opened its first office overseas – in Boston, has signed a partnership with Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech start-up incubator in North America, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, TDK Ventures, City Light and Arctern Ventures.

“Make no mistake. The challenge ahead of us is enormous – and it’s extremely complicated. But we know our strategy. Focusing on innovators and partnerships is the right way forward,” reads Gates’s statement published on the Breakthrough Energy website. A venture follows the mission to help lead the world to net-zero emissions by 2050 by supporting cutting-edge research and development, investing in companies that turn green ideas into clean products and tools, and advocating for policies that speed innovation from lab to market.

Start-up winner: SOLshare with P2P solar sharing grids – in Bangladesh


fotovoltaikaThis year, the pitching sessions featured start-ups offering solutions not only for energy storage and grid and off-grid solutions, but also energy solutions for municipalities, non-residential and residential buildings, as well as for industry, transport and mobility. Additionally, solutions were presented for bioenergy, waste-to-energy, renewable gas and hydrogen solutions, as well as renewables, including solar PV, ocean power, and onshore and offshore wind start-ups.

The winner of this year’s TBB start-up competition, which was awarded EUR 100,000, is SOLshare, a Bangladesh-based start-up established by the German entrepreneur Sebastian Groh. SOLshare in 2018 also won the ‘Free Electrons international competition’, and was the target of a USD 500,000 investment by EDP Ventures. SOLshare has developed SOLbazaar, an IoT-driven trading platform, which enables people to trade the excess solar energy generated by solar home systems.

“Consider the SOLbazaar as a dynamic energy marketplace where SHS users (solar home system users) come to sell their excess energy to non-SHS users, or people who can’t, unfortunately, afford a SHS for that matter. One party earns money, while the other party finally gets access to affordable electricity. The energy sellers can also choose to keep the excess energy for themselves and instead utilise it to run extra appliances such as TVs, fridges or computers,” explained SOLshare.

This led the company to install the world’s first cyber-physical peer-to-peer (P2P) solar sharing grids in remote areas of Bangladesh.



This article is available also in Slovene.



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