Europe’s young talent heading for US shores


Smart Energy International met several up and coming start-ups at European Utility Week this year, as the Initiate! programme shone the spotlight on key innovation, young talent and the future landscape of the energy sector.

What we found is that Europe is home to some forward-thinking entrepreneurs, many of whom are planning to hit US shores with some exciting, cutting edge and disruptive solutions to meet current and future challenges head-on.

To gain a greater glimpse into the kind of innovation headed for the US market from across the pond, Smart Energy International interviewed Klaas Akkerman, Founder of Greener Power Solutions, an Amsterdam based start-up taking a fresh look at power storage. Akkerman and his team took part in Initiate! and received a positive response from key stakeholders and investors alike.

Please tell us more about your innovative approach
We see a great demand for temporary power solutions. This can be from a few Watts to charge a smartphone (think about those power banks you carry around) to over 1,000,000 Watts to power a larger part of an event and everything in between. This demand has been covered for over 120 years with diesel generators. But they burn fossil fuels while putting toxic fumes and CO2 into the air, right where we use them.

With the introduction of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries have made major progress in quality and affordability. An advantage of this technology is that it can produce massive power in a fraction of a second, something diesel generators have disliked doing since they were first invented.
Smart implementation of battery systems in on- and off-grid situations makes it possible to bring down on-site emissions by 100% whilst cutting operating cost by up to 30%.

Currently Greener owns two mobile battery systems and will see her fleet growing to 10 by April 2019. Most of these batteries will be deployed at numerous events held in North Western Europe throughout the year.

Some of the batteries will be used for pilot projects with TSOs, DSOs and major industrial players to prove that the battery technology can also play a major role in transitioning these parties towards a Greener future.
Greener power solutions makes sure that these batteries are in the right location, at the right time and always perform as our clients expect them to perform.

What are your plans for the US market?

In order to deliver the quality we guarantee, we only work with high quality companies like our partner Alfen. Last summer we started testing the batteries on numerous locations and applications to see how the systems cope with different workloads under varying conditions. Throughout the winter and during Q1 2019 we will continue testing and improving our services.

Starting in the summer of 2019 we will be ready to deliver in the Americas; however we have to look for a local partner to successfully service the overseas market. At first we will, as we did in Holland, focus on the event market. This is because it brings the biggest buzz and is currently where our expertise is focused.

What other trends are you seeing in the energy start-up space that might breach EU borders to find a global market?

We see the following trends will define movements in the sector: Decentralised energy, local grids, energy forecasting using AI, big data processing and block-chain.

This article was originally published in Smart Energy International 1-2019