The Award Categories
In this second round of the SET awards, 6 categories that reflect the critical issues facing innovation needed for the energy transition globally have been identified to ensure sustainable development. How is your innovation responding to the global energy transition challenge?
Low-Carbon Energy Production
With an ever-growing need and worldwide emphasis on low-carbon energies and solutions, we are looking for startups that push the envelope by designing game-changing technologies which move us further away from carbon-reliant energy. Which low-carbon fuels and generation technologies can best advance the energy transition? Do you have an innovative product or service that can support the development, operation and maintenance of low-carbon energy? Do you have a brilliant idea which ensures stability in supply, is low-cost, and reduces GHG-emissions? On top of all, can your business model compete with rising stars in the industry? Whether you are in the solar or wind industry, developing hydrogen or biofuel technologies, supporting heating and cooling systems or creating low-cost maintenance solutions, we want to see what you have to offer!
Intelligent Grids, Platforms & Cyber Security
Smart this. Smart that. We need smart grids that are capable of linking the increasing amount of renewable energy sources. There have been significant changes in the transmission and distribution of energy as traditional grid management becomes increasingly complex and decentralization intensifies. Innovative solutions such as predictive supply chain management, digital twinning, and traffic & congestion management through big data-led processes will help improve performance, resilience and ultimately, the resource footprint of existing systems. We are looking for startups which hold the key to balancing the grid, reducing physical and virtual distances and creating new marketplaces. How can we better and more efficiently use the existing infrastructure we have with the help of platforms? Who can explore and incorporate big data into their platforms in the cleverest of ways, while keeping it safe from events such as cyber attacks? How can we further automatize operations and prevent failures? We are looking for the brightest innovators in areas such as smartgrids with decentralized (democratized) energy access, peer-to-peer, blockchain-based solutions and last-mile channels that can bring our energy systems, (and us), closer together.
Energy Efficiency, Smart Devices & Storage
The energy transition is strongly about energy efficiency. We want to see which ideas can help us do more with less. More and more energy consumers are seeking solutions and products to help them manage their energy usage. How can solutions such as smart appliances, internet of things and storage help us do this? Which ideas aide industries, buildings and households to track, manage, reduce or adapt their energy consumption. We want to see who holds the right technologies that allow us to bridge the gap between accessible storage and harnessing fluctuating energy generation levels. We invite all entrepreneurs to show us their smart meters, blockchain-based solutions for energy efficiency and storage, life-cycle assessment software’s , machine- learning technologies and more.
We know that the transport sector is a key element to decarbonization. More and more cities are implementing policies that aim at reducing pollution and GHG-emissions, meaning that the era of alternative drive systems in transport is not far off. So how will you contribute? Which technologies and business models are out there that support us in adopting greener practices and boosting electrification in transport? We want to see who has the best charging infrastructure, alternative fuels, or innovative battery systems. Whether in urban or rural regions, who is able to unlock the potential of this market and make clean transportation the new normal for individuals and companies? Who knows, maybe we will find the next Tesla…
Energy, Water, and Food
The United Nations have projected that there could be a 40% shortfall of water availability globally, between demand and available supply, by 2030. Water deficit, changes in precipitation patterns and increasing competition between water users, adversely affect the resilience of energy services in many parts of the world. Energy is the second-largest freshwater user after agriculture, yet it appears that an assessment of the consumption and use of water by different energy technologies is complex and there are currently limited methods to do it. Therefore, we want to see which startups are able to provide innovation solutions to minimize water use for energy, and mitigate competition between the energy, water and food agendas. If you are making technological advances in recirculating systems, water irrigation systems, the adoption of dry cooling, improvements in desalination processes, or reusing water from oil extraction, we want to see who is best placed to reduce the water footprint of energy.
Special Prize: SDG-7
To achieve a global energy transition, we cannot ignore the matter of energy poverty. UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 is all about “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. While action is needed from the side of policymakers to maintain the Energy Trilemma balance, the entrepreneurial community has a role to play in ensuring access to energy for all – in a sustainable way. Who are the startups out there finding new business models for all parts of the energy supply chain, while improving conditions for underrepresented individuals and areas around the world? Most importantly for this category, we are looking for startups that have the potential to make the biggest dent in ensuring access to affordable energy for all, in an equitable way. We are looking for diverse solutions for technology, financing, awareness, capacity building (to name a few), that can reach far and wide, have a very clear social drive and most of all, will make a large impact.