As a record-breaking heatwave ravages Europe, we direct our attention to solutions from start-ups & scale-ups to aid in the energy transition process – a vital requirement to reduce emissions and positively impact global warming.
Things are heating up in Europe – literally – the past few days our Rotterdam & Antwerp offices have been dealing with outside peak temperatures of 35-40°C with the heatwave breaking records in Benelux & France. Do not fret, office A/C assisted by fans has ensured our survival. However, these appliances are powered by electricity, which worldwide is still primarily being produced by burning fossil fuels – increasing emissions and leading to higher temperatures through the greenhouse effect. A catch-22 situation.
The need for an energy transition from fossil fuels to green energy has been apparent for a few years now, and there has been a significant increase in the worldwide percentage of renewable energy – up to 19% in 2015, but the process to a full transition is a lengthy one. What solutions are entrepreneurs coming up with to accelerate this vital process?
At PortXL we are positively energized by the amount and variety of our Alumni that tackle this worldwide issue.
Bringing a breath of fresh air to the energy sector are two flower-themed wind energy companies, Tulyp Wind & Flower Turbines.
Tulyp Wind has identified noise pollution, risk contours, shadow flicker, and horizon effects as the primary culprits of failure for many wind energy projects and has aimed to tackle those with their vertical axis wind turbine, with tulip-shaped foils – a true product of Dutch engineering. Find out more about them via the following video:
Flower Turbines styles itself as the wind turbine that you want to live next to. The pain points it tackles are similar to Tulyp Wind, only the approach and design varies. The Flower Turbines are very quiet and don’t need to turn towards the wind to maximize its power output. They can outperform lift-type turbines in situations where wind speeds are low because they start at lower speeds (1.2 m/s instead of the usual 3). They have a lower total cost of ownership, including maintenance and durability, because they are symmetrical and come with two sets of quality bearings. Their efficiency and ability to make their neighbours perform better can give a return on investment per square meter 80% greater than solar.
Other than wind turbines, wind is what “powers” waves, which Eco Wave Power utilizes to produce clean energy using a simple but smart design, with floaters attached to existing man-made structures, simplifying installation and maintenance as well as accessibility.
The company is pioneering in its’ sector by operating the ONLY grid-connected wave energy array in the world, which is operational under a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) and holds substantial number of projects in its’ pipeline. Find out more about them via the following video:
Water is a combination of hydrogen & oxygen, with the former emerging as a key alternative energy source. In fact, US-based start-up sHYp has developed a patented technology to produce hydrogen from seawater (as well as renewable energy sources) at a cost of 0€/kg through their membrane-less electrolyser technology.
Connect with sHYp CEO & Co-Founder via LinkedIn
On the topic of Hydrogen, German scale-up KEYOU has redesigned the traditional internal combustion engine enabling it to run on hydrogen as sustainable and clean fuel, bringing about a quantum leap in propulsion development. The company has succeeded in developing an emission-free, yet cost-effective hydrogen drive for commercial vehicles – without compromising performance, capacity or range. For the first time ever, emission-free vehicles are becoming affordable. Find out more about them via the following video:
Last, but by no means least, the Belgian company Enervalis contributes towards facilitating the energy transition through IOT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) with self-learning algorithms, Their Smartpower Suite® is the backbone to multiple Smart Microgrids which enable and optimize hundreds of homes and buildings, and thousands of Electric Vehicle (EV) charge stations to maximize green charging.
All of the 6 above companies are PortXL Alumni. Tulyp Wind took part in the 2018 Rotterdam Program, Enervalis in the 2018 Antwerp Program, while Eco Wave Power, Flower Turbines, Keyou & sHYp were all part of the 2019 Rotterdam Program, concluded just over a month prior to the publication of this article.