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Besides an increasing need for food and clean water to ensure a decent living standard for a growing global population, the world is in need of sustainable energy sources. Therefore, this week we are taking a look over innovations that are able to accelerate the energy transition

Problem Statement: Globally, the primary sources of CO2 emissions are electricity and heat. An increasing need for energy translates into growing CO2 emissions. Therefore, the way we produce and use energy must change in order to tackle perhaps the world’s greatest challenge – climate change.

Scope for Innovation: Initiatives like the New Energy Challenge organized by Get in the Ring together with Shell, Rockstart and YES!Delft stand to discover bold solutions that are ready to accelerate the energy transition. However, the energy sector is broad, thus one single solution cannot solve this challenge. Instead, we need a range of sustainable solutions that are making an impact in each area of the energy sector: generation (e.g. renewables), storage (e.g. batteries), management (e.g. IoT sensors), delivery (e.g. pipelines), and more. An important area of innovation is energy generation. From wind and solar energy to hydrogen, other sources of energy that have been developing over the past years are from bacteria and algae. Since the algae are often crushed to produce oil, not all methods are sustainable.

Founded in 2019, our solution of the week is Phycobloom, an UK-based startup that creates a sustainable energy source from living organisms. The company is leveraging the ingenuity of algae to produce a sustainable oil which scores better than even solar-, wind-, and lithium-based energy sources. Algae are nature’s most efficient photosynthesizers, and Phycobloom is transforming carbon dioxide into oils that can be used as fuel. By applying innovative technologies in synthetic biology, Phycobloom adapted the algae to produce oil more efficiently. The algae stays alive, capturing as much carbon as it releases as oil. Thus, the production process becomes carbon neutral.