Energy Efficiency and
Climate Change Tech Accelerator (CCTA) is coming back for the third time with the new aim to reshape the energy sector towards the SDGs.
UNDP ImpactAim Accelerator in cooperation with Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), ISTC - Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center Foundation is calling Armenian and international tech ventures to apply for Climate Change Technology Accelerator (CCTA) 2020 focused on “Energy Efficiency and Renewables”. UNDP ImpactAim CCTA is funded by UNDP Country Investment Facility, Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development, Asian Development Bank Ventures Facility, supported by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Armenia and implemented jointly with the Engineering City, which will provide infrastructure, both technical and environmental, to help startups for piloting their projects and National Instruments Armenia.
Innovation is the engine that drives the global energy system's ongoing transformation. A multitude of innovative solutions have been crucial to transforming energy efficiency solutions and renewables into today's competitive energy alternative. In their move to a safe, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable energy supply, renewables and promotion of energy efficiency are becoming the go-to choice for many countries. Green energy supports continued socio-economic development with job creation and community value creation, while fighting climate change and local air pollution at the same time. Given the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar energy sources, innovative solutions are needed to provide the necessary flexibility and adequacy to power systems. At the same time it is a well recognized fact that investment in 1kWh saving is much cheaper than production of 1kWh energy.
CCTA2020 envisions several challenges* of main technologies for reshaping the energy sector:
* The solutions that also target responding urgent challenges caused by COVID-19 in the short and long terms, will be considered as high priority.
AI for data analyzing and decision making
Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with a slide of advanced technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, and advanced neural networks, has demonstrated huge potential to transform the energy and utilities sector. In the energy sector, AI can enable fast and intelligent decision-making, leading to increased grid flexibility and integration of variable renewable energy (VRE). The combination of big data with artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as one of the most important developments in the energy sector.
Technical solutions >
Artificial Intelligence for Energy Demand Management
Technical solutions may include energy management systems, e.g. for grid operation, automated demand control and other smart control systems; automatic control of HVAC and energy storage systems; learning thermostats, re-powered home appliances with digital controls, etc. The proposed solution can be applied for improving renewable energy integration in the grid; Smart Grids and maintaining their stability and reliability; Improving demand forecast; Ensuring efficient demand-side management; Optimizing energy storage operations by operating energy storage systems (e.g. large-scale batteries, aggregated small batteries) technologies in a more efficient way; Avoiding failures in energy supply by smart preventive maintenance and pick demand management.
e.g. BeeBryte - Energy Intelligence -
Advances and innovations in materials science and engineering have always played a substantial role in civil engineering, building structural design, and construction. Smart materials are used in the built environment and can be deﬁned as those producing speciﬁc functional and adaptable properties in response to thermal, optical, structural, and environmental stimuli. The internet of things (IoT) uses real-time data to optimise the building design, improve construction processes, and manage building operations in order to limit the environmental impact of buildings and enhance sustainability.
Technical solutions >
Passive and Smart living environments
Technological Solutions may include dropping data into their existing architecture whether its PostgreSQL, SQL, MongoDB, or Cassandra because it’s what they have. Others are looking at AWS Green Grass, DynamoDB, Kafka, Spark, and MQTT.
e. g. Lunera - ; Intellihot -
Heating and cooling technologies that are/or energy efficient and supplied from renewable sources
About 80 percent of global energy consumption today is still fossil-fuel based, the energy sector alone accounts for two-third of the total annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Heating and cooling account for about half total global final energy demand. Clean heating and cooling provide opportunities to save money, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, reduce priority pollutant emissions, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching to clean energy sources.
Technical solutions >
Technical solutions may include combined cooling, heating and power generation (trigeneration); Solar thermal (e.g. rooftop); Biogas/biofuel (including blending with natural gas); Solar home systems - PV and thermal; micro-scale trigeneration and combined heat and power etc; Heat pumps; Geothermal energy. The proposed solution can be applied for heating and cooling commercial and residential areas, as well as for household appliances, including laundry, cooling and refrigeration, as well as combined with Energy Demand Management (see below).
e.g. African Clean Energy - https://africancleanenergy.com
Efficient Heating and/or Cooling Solutions
Hydrogen technology has a huge potential for the decarbonisation of the industry, transport and energy sectors. It allows completely emission-free production, storage and utilisation of energy. This technology has tremendous value in achieving the global environment and climate objectives. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published a report naming hydrogen a large-scale decarbonisation enabler. It claims that we should tap into this technology now, describing 2020 as a year of 'unprecedented momentum' for hydrogen.
Technical solutions >
Technical Solutions may include hydrogen energy generation / electrolysis; Hydrogen based energy storage systems; Hydrogen Fuel Cells; The proposed solution can be applied solutions for the mobile hydrogen stations, safety and risk mitigation solutions, etc. The proposed solution can be applied in transport, including aviation, buses , trains and passenger cars; energy generation and consumption for domestic and industrial use, etc.
A microgrid is a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or collaboratively with other small power grids. Any small-scale, localized power station that has its own generation and storage resources and definable boundaries can be considered a microgrid. Microgrids are typically renewable wind and solar energy resources supported by generators and are often used to provide backup power or supplement the main power grid during periods of heavy demand. In order to create microgrids which are financially self-sustaining the business model needs to go beyond access to energy and identify value addition that facilitates sustainable development.
Technical solutions >
Technical Solutions may include renewable electricity production (biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar and wind); digital energy management systems; conversion of biomass to fuels (biogas/biofuel); blockchain enabled peer-to-peer energy trading. The proposed solution can be applied for household energy/electricity supply - for lighting, cooking, phone charging and refrigeration; electricity services for schools and health facilities; processing and cold storage for agribusiness supply chains; telecommunications services (powering telecom towers); electric vehicle charging (e.g. 2 and 3 wheelers, light duty vehicles and watercraft).
e.g SOLshare- ; Teraloop -
Microgrids Based on Renewable Energy
Designing for a better environment is not just making building using less energy, but we should focus on user less material in the construction phase. Better design uses less raw materials, uses materials with less energy during manufacturing, uses materials with a small global footprint (buy local), uses reusable materials without the costs of recycling.
Technical solutions >
Technological Solutions may include Plant-based Polyurethane Rigid Foam, Cool Roofing, straw insulation, 3D printing, etc..
e.g. Design for the environment - The Costs of Recycling
What accelerator participants get?
- To pitch their ideas in front of the evaluating committee, who will select the ones worth monetary awards of up to USD 10,000.
- Participate in worldwide startup targeting events (such as WebSummit, Rise Conference, etc.)
- Implement the PILOT PROJECTS for further scaling in the market
- Pitch face to face or online to worldwide investors
- Be introduced to VCs; investment channels and finance sources
Participating startups will be guided in all phases of business development, including development of product/service, team composition, value proposition, market strategy, customer traction, business model, funding strategy, etc. Uniquely designed and delivered by UNDP Armenia Impact measurement and management track will guide the selected ventures in all phases of impact model building, and will support to understand how to measure, analyze, report and improve social and environmental performance.
The startups will have the opportunity to work with leading business and tech international mentors.
To fuel the further growth of successful ventures, the program is partnering also with ADB Ventures. ADB Ventures was established in January this year to support and invest in technology-driven businesses with significant potential to scale and deliver impact. Its inaugural ADB Ventures Investment Fund 1 has a 17-year fund life and supports early-stage and growth-stage cleantech, agricultural technology, fintech, and health technology businesses. Its focus will be on companies with solutions that can address climate change and empower women. Also, the brightest AIM CCTA vol. 3 ventures will be given the opportunity to present their ideas to Granatus Ventures and seek investment from its Granatus Tech4SDG fund. Established with the support of UNDP in Armenia, Granatus Tech4SDG Fund has the vision to support deep tech startups tackling the world’s fundamental problems. The new fund will make investments in technology-driven ventures that demonstrate strong potential for social and environmental impact.