SET Award 2018: Who are the top innovators in the energy transition?

The SET initiative invites start-ups around the world to apply

Bonn/Berlin/London, 14 November 2017. SET, an initiative by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur – the German Energy Agency (dena) – in cooperation with strategic partner, the World Energy Council, has launched the second round of the international award ‘Start Up Energy Transition’ (SET) during the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany. Young companies and innovation projects around the world are invited to apply. The goal is to identify the most promising start-ups working on the energy transition and climate protection. Applications are welcome until 31 January 2018 at

The award forms part of the SET initiative, which also comprises the annual SET Tech Festival and a rapidly growing network. In the current round, the initiative is supported by the Government of Canada as a country partner and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. In addition, SET is joined by over 100 partners from the public, academic, non-government and corporate sectors around the world.

“SET has become one of the leading international platforms supporting innovation in the energy transition,” said Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive of dena. “We believe that innovative business models can make a big difference on the path to a sustainable energy future. Therefore, we are inviting all start-ups to join us and share their ideas for the SET Award 2018.”

Applicants can present their projects in six different categories, all with the aim of promoting clean energy: 1. Low-Carbon Energy Production, 2. Intelligent Grids and Platforms, 3. Energy Efficiency, Smart Devices and Storage, 4. Innovative Mobility, 5. Energy, Water and Food, and 6. Special Prize: UN Social Development Goal 7.

Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council, commented: “The categories reflect the critical issues facing innovation needed for the energy transition globally. The way we produce and consume energy will change, with technology, energy storage and smart data at the very heart of development.”

The award ceremony will be hosted by the ‘Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue’ (BETD) in Berlin in the spring of 2018 – a conference jointly organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Foreign Office. The three most promising start-ups in each category will pitch their ideas at the SET Tech Festival, which will take place alongside the BETD.

More information about the SET Award 2018, the application process, the winners of the first round, and the SET initiative with all its supporters and activities can be found at

About Start Up Energy Transition (SET)

SET is a global initiative for visionaries and vanguards fighting climate change. Its main pillars are the SET Award, the SET Tech Festival, and the SET Network. The SET Award 2017 received more than 500 applications from 66 countries. An international jury chose 18 finalists to pitch in six categories at the SET Tech Festival in Berlin on 20 March. The award was then presented as part of the evening event of the BETD energy transition summit in front of an international audience of 700 high-level attendees. Every year, the SET initiative publishes a list of the top 100 applicants (#GET100); in 2017 it was submitted to the participants of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

The SET Network promotes a continuous global exchange on innovation in the energy transition between start-ups, corporates and investors. The network is supported by over 70 partners from more than 30 countries, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the internationally-renowned alliance Rocky Mountain Institute / Carbon War Room, Climate-KIC, KIC InnoEnergy, the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), and the Renewables 100 Policy Institute.

The initiative’s ambassadors include Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA); Christoph Wolff, Managing Director of the European Climate Foundation; Mohan Munasinghe, former Vice Chair of the IPCC; and Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010-2014).

Corporate partners include the Chinese energy company Envision Energy, the energy company E.ON, the innogy Innovation Hub, the energy company BayWa r.e., the French electricity company EDF, the German KfW Group, and the Austrian electricity company VERBUND.

More information about the SET initiative is available at

About the German Energy Agency (dena)

dena is Germany’s centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. As the agency for the applied energy transition, it helps achieve energy and climate policy objectives by developing solutions and putting them into practice, both nationally and internationally. In order to do this, dena brings partners from politics and business together, across sectors. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Group. More information is available at

Press contact:

Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena), Dr Philipp Prein, Chausseestr. 128 a, 10115 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 66 777-641, Fax: +49 (0)30 66 777-699, Email:, Internet:

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