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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    EnergyLab Australia

    Location

    New South Wales
    Queensland
    Victoria

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start Date

    December 2019

    Status

    Past

  • Project Partners
    Origin Energy Retail, Powerlink, AusNet Services, University of Technology Sydney, Clean Energy Finance Corporation
    This renewables project was completed on 25 February 2021.

Summary

The Clean Energy Startup Support Programs project will launch four programs designed to accelerate the progress of entrepreneurs deploying renewable energy and complementary technologies.

Key results

EnergyLab supported 35 startups and 43 entrepreneurs during this project, helping them to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies.

Collectively, the Pre-Acceleration, Acceleration, Scale-up and Women in Clean Energy Fellowship programs has contributed to the:

  • increase of the level of expertise, skills and capacity in the renewable energy technology sector
  • improved technology readiness and commercial readiness of renewable energy
  • technology by identifying pathways to commercialisation, and
  • increase of the value delivered by renewable energy by bringing together multiple value streams to help develop technologies, businesses and markets to reduce cost and increase renewable energy uptake.

This project has also supported new startups to form and existing startups to grow (both now and in future), seeing an increase in the number of staff hired and laying the foundation for further job creation in the months and years ahead.

Need

Clean Energy Startup Support Programs project acknowledges that startups can play an important role in the decarbonisation of the energy sector, with their ability to challenge the status quo to accelerate the uptake of clean energy solutions.

However, energy startups also face significant challenges in reaching scale, such as capital intensity, geographic constraints and revenue delay. Most startup support organisations are focused on assisting software startups, which have very different needs, and as such aren’t equipped to help energy startups overcome these hurdles.

Action

The Clean Energy Startup Support Programs project will offer four key programs held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane:

  • Women in Clean Energy Fellowship: Equip women interested in energy entrepreneurship with the skills, knowledge and support they need to start a company
  • Pre-Acceleration Program: Assist entrepreneurs with an idea for an energy startup to test its commercial viability
  • Acceleration Program: Help the most promising energy startups refine their product/service, increase revenues, and raise capital
  • Scaleup Program: Connect the best later-stage startups from around the world with potential utility partners, mentors who have successful scaled energy startups, and Australia’s most active energy-sector investors.

Outcome

Through mentoring and supporting startups, the project is expected to

  • increase the level of expertise, skills and capacity in the renewable energy technology sector
  • help identify pathways to commercialisation
  • bring together multiple value streams to help develop technologies, businesses and markets to reduce cost and
  • increase renewable energy uptake.

Additional impact

The project also aims to increase gender equality in the energy sector. This will predominantly be achieved by helping more women start clean energy startups through the Women in Clean Energy Fellowship. Graduates will receive ongoing support to set up and scale their businesses through the other three programs.

Last updated 23 April 2021

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