Green energy from gravity: Cleantech innovation receives funding boost
An innovative new technology which uses the force of gravity to generate electricity that can be used off-grid has won £150k of funding to be scaled up across the world.
London start-up Deciwatt stood out from more than 150 applications to win the Shell Springboard programme which will kick-start the development of the cutting-edge GravityLight technology.
Deciwatt have developed an affordable, reliable and safe alternative to kerosene lamps used by the 1.3 billion people around the world living without access to electricity.
Using a 12kg bag threaded through a patented electricity-generating device to power a small light, the GravityLight technology eliminates the emissions created by the kerosene lamps it replaces. In practice, it will enables families in the developing world to break out of the ongoing poverty trap caused by the costs of buying kerosene for traditional lamps.
Deciwatt's commercial director Caroline Angus said: "Support from Shell Springboard has come at a critical moment for Deciwatt. The funding will help us to convert existing links in the relief market into orders and sales, as well as further refining our technology.
"We are targeting three key sectors across the developing and developed worlds: kerosene replacement, humanitarian relief, and disaster preparedness. Shell's support will allow us to pursue all three, improving quality of life while reducing carbon emissions."
Shell Springboard aims to help UK low-carbon enterprises to meet the scale-up challenge. An average of 81% of Shell Springboard winners are still operational three years after starting up their business, compared to a national average of 40%.
Shell UK chairman Erik Bonino added: "The cutting-edge ideas coming out of these businesses are not only essential stepping stones in helping to create a lower-carbon energy future - they are creating future jobs and economic growth in the UK.
A recent study by Imperial College in partnership with Shell Springboard found that the UK low-carbon sector is valued at £130bn. However, significant scale-up challenges are hampering entrepreneurs from taking advantage of this opportunity, and failure to address this could see the UK miss out on £6.7bn of annual economic growth in the sector by 2023.
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