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The New Energy Challenge has announced the names of the 12 finalists for its fourth edition. The competition is for entrepreneurs developing advanced technologies and disruptive solutions that could be vital to meeting future energy needs. Earlier this week it was announced that the winner of the 2018 edition, Asperitas, has attracted an investment from Shell Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Shell, and the Participation Fund for Sustainable Economy North Holland (PDENH).

The finalists for this year’s edition of the New Energy Challenge were drawn from 27 shortlisted companies and selected after extensive analysis, involving deep dive interviews with a wide range of experts from Shell, Rockstart, YES!Delft and Get in the Ring. This year’s programme is expanded to two separate tracks, one for start-ups and the other for scale-ups.

“The New Energy Challenge is all about finding those ideas that work, both technologically and commercially. The investment in last year’s winner Asperitas is a perfect example of what we’re working towards with this competition,” said Geert van de Wouw, Vice President Shell Ventures.

Asperitas has developed a technology based on immersion liquid cooling to enable datacentres to become more energy efficient. It is already being used by multiple datacentres from cloud providers, banks and universities in Europe. The investment, led by Shell Ventures, will support the acceleration of Asperitas’ mission to enable sustainable datacentres on a global scale.

“Once again, this year we are deeply impressed by the talent and innovation demonstrated by our finalists. These are without a doubt some of the best minds working on the transition towards a lower carbon future. We are all eager to meet this year’s finalists in person,” Van de Wouw added.

Finalists in both tracks will be invited to the Netherlands to join the Finals Week in October, where they will receive coaching tailored to the respective field and maturity level of their company. This intense week will build up to Finals Day, during which the finalists will pitch for a jury of experts who will select winners in each track.

The winning start-up receives at least €100,000 towards a proof of concept within the Shell GameChanger programme to test the technical and commercial viability of their solution. The winning scale-up will develop a pilot together with Shell’s Retail business, ultimately launching at a Shell retail site.

Finalists track one – start-ups:

  • Greenlytics from Stockholm, Sweden: Greenlytics provides probabilistic forecasts of demand and supply of power to optimize the electricity production and consumption, hours to days ahead, to reduce imbalance costs and resulting in up to 20% improvement.
  • Plastic Back from Daliat El Carem, Israel: Plastic Back can convert plastic back into crude oil and other valuable chemicals, using an innovative, economic and environmentally friendly technology, which creates huge opportunities for otherwise wasted plastic in landfills, or other plastic waste.
  • Gravitricity from Edinburgh, The United Kingdom: Gravitricity is developing a unique mechanical grid-scale electricity storage technology that uses the gravitational potential energy of heavy weights in underground shafts to store electricity. This enables a response time of less than 1sec, efficiency of more than 80% and a lifetime of more than 75.000 cycles; and, most importantly, significant cost advantages compared to other energy storage technologies.
  • TerraBattery from Leiderdorp, The Netherlands: TerraBattery makes rechargeable battery systems that are environmentally friendly and fully recyclable, using sustainable and robust battery chemistry, while ensuring a long lifetime, operational robustness and high safety.
  • NanoSUN Limited from Lancaster, The United Kingdom: NanoSUN has developed a low-cost hydrogen refueler, with the potential to eliminate 80 to 90% of the cost of conventional hydrogen refueling, enabling rapid expansion of hydrogen refueling stations.
  • Gulplug from Grenoble, France: GULPLUG developed SELFPLUG, a hands-free charging system, based on a patented magnetic and conductive technology to connect and charge electric vehicles without human intervention.
  • Addionics from Tel Aviv, Israel: Addionics improves rechargeable batteries by replacing the current standard 2D electrode structure with their smart 3D structure, overcoming internal resistance in the battery, a fundamental limitation and degradation factor in standard batteries, paving the way for faster charging, increased battery capacity and safer batteries.

Finalists track two – scale-ups:

  • Amber from Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Amber is a next-generation car sharing platform that uses an AI-driven, intelligent platform and modified electric vehicles to drastically reduce the number of cars needed to service a given number of people.
  • Chargery from Germany, Berlin: Chargery ensures that shared electric fleets can be operated efficiently and profitably by offering a mobile charging service for electric cars which is perfectly fitted to urban areas due to its construction on an electrified bike-trailer.
  • SEaB Energy from London, The United Kingdom: SEaB Energy developed the Flexibuster, a multi-award winning containerized anaerobic digestion unit that produces biogas from food waste, directly at the point where the waste is generated and the energy is required, providing fuel for heating and transport.
  • EcoG from Oberhaching, Germany: EcoG developed a platform and operating system which brings the same to EV (electric vehicle) chargers what the smartphone brought to telephones, thus making these chargers smart and integrated with each other.
  • GRZ Technologies from Sion, Switzerland: GRZ Technologies specializes in the dense, safe and affordable storage of hydrogen to provide an attractive solution to the problem of fluctuating renewable energy sources, by developing the first economically feasible technology to store hydrogen in the form of solid (metal hydride).