Meet the 6 Hottest Solar & Wind Start-Ups in 2023
Renewable energy innovations set to change the game
Published: 30 October 2023
By Rose Shohet
Future of Utilities
PV and wind energy have had the greatest takeoff of any renewable generation solutions so far. Together, these technologies are helping drive the energy transition and exponentially growing annual renewable energy output. In the Netherlands for instance, approximately 40% of total energy was generated by renewable sources in 2022.
Europe’s cleantech start-up ecosystem is thriving in both wind and PV – these companies are looking to accelerate the energy transition and differentiate themselves in an extremely competitive market. So which ones are really standing out in an already crowded cleantech market? Here at Future of Utilities: Energy Transition Summit, we’ve rounded up a list of 6 start-ups making truly innovative breakthroughs in their field.
Solease operates on the ethos that PV panels should be accessible to all. As the first company to develop a PV-to-rent model, they have successfully removed the biggest barrier to domestic PV – it’s upfront cost. Solease offer solar panels for a fixed monthly fee, and take care of the cost – installation and insurance of their panels – thereby making their system cheaper than electricity from the grid for the consumer from day one. They already have thousands of satisfied customers throughout the Netherlands, and are constantly looking to expand their product range; they currently offer home insulation services as well as their panels, and are looking to expand to offering heat pumps, home battery storage systems, and EV charging stations in the near future.
This UK-based start-up has designed a prototype for an aesthetically appealing alternative to solar generation systems in the form of solar trees. With the first model looking to be completed by the end of 2023 and commercially sold by the end of Q1 in 2024, these premium solar devices will be available for installation in public and private carparks, public recreational areas and private homes. Their goal is to create trees with uses that fit the environment they are placed in: some will include EV chargers and integrated storage to plug back into the grid, some will have USB chargers for phone charging devices in public parks. The company has already received millions of pounds worth of upfront orders for their prototype.
Many countries with the ideal climate for PVs simply do not have enough available land space to set up solar farms. On top of that, solar power plants on the ground can quickly overheat in very hot climates, which in turn decreases their efficiency rate. That’s where HelioRec comes in – the French start-up developing floating solar farms on unused stretches of water, thereby saving land space and using the water to regulate panel temperatures. This innovative solution has already landed them €436.5K in funding and is being developed across 3 countries.
Kitepower solutions are rethinking how wind energy is collected by developing a more affordable and accessible alternative to wind turbines in the form of kites. The start-up’s products are more lightweight, versatile, and simple to install than traditional turbines, making wind generation possible in locations turbines wouldn’t be a viable option. In simplifying the deployment of distributed wind every systems, their kites can generate wind power in new geographical markets and at a cheaper price.
By replacing the steel and concrete conventionally used to build wind turbine towers with laminated wood, Modvion is developing a method to make wind energy almost entirely free from carbon emissions. Their taller, wooden towers lead to a higher output lower CO₂ emissions, and offer a cheaper alternative to the more tradition energy intensive materials. Founded in 2015, Modvion has already collected €19.4m in funding.
Based in France, Unéole have developed a hybrid rooftop energy generation system. Combining solar panels and silent wind panel, their mini-wind turbines are made from recycled and recyclable materials which can be installed on rooftops and covered by PV panels. This system can be installed on flat building in city centres, a location which rarely features wind a possible source of generation. Unéole claim that prototypes have a 40% higher energy yield than conventional rooftop PV panels and generates enough energy to make a three-story carbon neutral.
This year’s Innovation Stage at Future of Utilities: Energy Transition Summit showcases the most innovative and interesting Cleantech start-ups pitching and presenting their ideas. Meet the founders of Solease, Kitepower, SolarBotanic Trees & more in Amsterdam this March. Secure your place now!
Are you a Cleantech start-up looking to put yourself in front of key industry players and investors? We have a variety of opportunities to get involved at Future of Utilities: Energy Transition Summit. Download the prospectus here.