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16 companies receive catalytic funding to fight energy access

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Cycle 8 of the UK government-funded Energy Catalyst program has announced its next wave of promising clean energy innovations that address the energy “trilemma”.

The energy “trilemma”: clean energy, affordable energy and accessible energy, to transform the energy landscape while addressing gender equality and social inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

This latest round of awards is part of Energy Catalyst’s efforts to support developing economies by improving access to clean, reliable energy and shifting away from fossil fuels through the commercialization of new clean energy technologies and new business models.

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The 16 funding winners represent market-driven technologies across a range of innovations, including next-generation storage batteries, cutting-edge ventilation and air cooling for schools, healthcare facilities and offices, the use of AI and machine learning, and a mobile mini-grid that can be transported from village to village to bring clean energy to remote communities. [See the list of funding winners below]

The ambitions of the program are in line with the growing momentum around energy access, highlighted at COP26 with increased emphasis on the need for an inclusive global transition to clean energy, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Alice Goodbrook, Innovate UK, Innovation Lead – Energy, said: “The impact of companies supported by Energy Catalyst is already being felt in almost 30 countries around the world, boosting access to clean energy and improving lives. people in developing economies. I’m excited to see how Round 8 companies can extend that impact even further.

The 16 innovative Energy Catalyst Round 8 projects on energy access

  • Smart villages – Innovative mobile mini-grid scale service and storage for rapid scaling up of rural energy access in Kenya.
  • InvestinGreen.Energy – Independent renewable energy power producer, an advanced and innovative battery extension for scalable and sustainable mini-grids.
  • Solveteq – Sustainable alternative to informal recycling of lead-acid batteries.
  • Queen Mary University of London – Microgrid powered by Sea Wave Energy for remote islands and rural coasts.
  • Pilio – Establish an insertion program in Pakistan to provide affordable renewable energy to rural communities of cotton pickers in extreme poverty with the support of fashion brands.
  • Nova Innovation – Feasibility of Larantuka and Tidal Power of Indonesia (FLITE).
  • Green Fuels Research – PoWGEN – Pangasius and other waste for green energy needs.
  • Aquatera – IESSLA Integrated Energy Systems site selection assessment for accelerated development of activities and projects in off-grid islands.
  • Blockchain Climate Policy Studies Ltd – Blockchain-based off-grid energy trading system to improve the sustainability of less affluent communities in Indonesia.
  • Buildings in free circulation – FREECOOL+ – Adaptation of passive ventilation and zero energy cold for sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Power of integrals – NexGen battery (NGB).
  • Aceon – Development of an innovative off-grid energy storage system for sub-Saharan Africa using a portable and affordable sodium (Na)-ion battery system.
  • Verditek – Development of a robust and ultra-light portable solar power system – providing scalable renewable energy (50W-1.5kW) to off-grid communities in Zimbabwe and SSA.
  • Technological Solutions – Implementation of photovoltaics through an innovative model of mini-grid expansion for African and Asian rural communities – (IMPHORAA).
  • enee.io – Increase access to energy through improved battery life and performance.
  • Azuri Technologies – Unplugging the generator: solar power takes on the intermittent grid in Nigeria.

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Goodbrook added: “I am truly encouraged by the massive interest the program has continued to receive and the high level of applicants in this latest round of funding. The program’s progress to date underscores the vital importance of this type of funding in helping clean energy innovators bridge the gap to commercialization. [Look out for the ESI Africa podcast with Alice Goodbrook discussing what it takes to be an Energy Catalyst innovator – Podcast coming mid-June]

Energy Catalyst is an Innovate UK program co-funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Carbon Trust runs the Energy Catalyst business accelerator program with support from Energy 4 Impact, Power for All, Intellecap and Open Capital Advisors.

Launched in 2014, Energy Catalyst has supported over 566 organizations, including 119 international partners. The program has provided £60m of funding for energy access technologies and business models and has improved energy access in 36 countries.

IInnovative financing mechanisms to create energy projects across Africa will be discussed at Enlit Africa.

Enlit Africa (the unifying brand for African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa) invites you to join the conversation from June 7-9, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.