It’s a known fact that the energy crisis is affecting many advanced nations. Europe as a continent is one of the most badly affected. Dependence on foreign fuel sources, as well as high demand, make for a worrying trend in the area of energy.
The UK, in particular, has one of the best collections of international talent and investment around the continent. Combined with the fact that over half of the energy in the country is wasted, this makes it a perfect place for startups to address and solve energy problems. Part one of this two-part series on European startups will look at British based energy startups.
Bulb is on every single list of startups in Britain to watch. This energy startup provides green energy to reduce the costs associated with fossil fuels. They run on a membership basis and have managed to get over 300,000 members across the country signed up in a few short years. According to the company’s CEO, energy companies of the future will be energy “managers”, not simply energy suppliers. Bulb has managed to draw customers from traditional, older providers like British Gas. Their secret? Good customer service, better prices, and word of mouth marketing on social media. With their referral system, both the referrer and the new customer get discounts on their bills.
Hailing from an unexpected location – Bristol to be exact – Green Hedge also focuses on renewable energy. It develops and operates systems that produce low carbon electricity generation. The company’s projects also involve storing the electricity that it produces.
It operates in a niche area, only serving customers on a large scale. The main customers are landowners and large energy users who can benefit from the grid-connected services the company provides. The hard work has paid off in investment. Private equity firms have already put £30 million into the company, which shows that it has the confidence of the business community. Future projects will focus on battery energy storage.
Kite Power Systems
The founder of Kite Power Systems has taken the expression “go fly a kite” literally. His idea to use wind-generation kites may sound far-fetched, but actually has a sound basis in science. Since they can fly higher than wind turbines, these kites have access to higher winds. They are also light and able to be folded, making them great them great for transport, which can be a logistical problem for larger devices.
Oxford PV’s stated goal is to get rid of solar panels completely. For now, though, they are focused on increasing the current efficiency of these panels which are being used commercially. Their claims are that they can triple the efficiency at an extremely low cost.
They do this by using a compound called perovskite. This crystallized wonder boosts represents an invention that could be the biggest thing since solar panels came on the scene. Using this compound could be the future of the industry, meaning all panels will be made with perovskite.