France-headquartered EDF Group an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services has announced the winners for the first edition of EDF Pulse India competition.
The EDF Pulse India programme is aimed supporting young and innovative start-ups committed to provide low carbon and sustainable energy solutions to support India’s energy transition. The competition was launched in April 2020, and saw over 80 applications from startups across three categories designed to meet the Indian energy market challenges : Sustainable smart living, resilient smart infrastructures and e-mobility infrastructure.
As part of a multi-stage selection process, 9 finalists were shortlisted to present their solutions to the Grand Jury on November 10. A panel of 13 jury members including experts from EDF Group in France, India and Singapore, as well as prominent leaders of Indian energy industry, chose the most innovative and progressive projects, based on the viability of their solutions in answering societal challenges and applicability of their business models.
The winners of the competition are Nunam (1st prize), Charge+ Zone (2nd prize), Solavio Labs (3rd prize) and Temperate Technologies (special prize).
Based in Bangalore, Nunam is a startup that has developed a storage system that runs on second life lithium-ion batteries. It buys discarded laptop batteries from scrap dealers in the Indian state of Karnataka and uses their battery cells for stationary energy storage systems that can supply electricity to customers with small amounts of power needs such as smartphones, fans or lamps, and can serve as a power source for people in rural areas of India. Based on the assumption that old laptop batteries have an average remaining capacity of approximately two thirds, the start-up takes care of the entire cycle of our used battery system. The start up is also working on a model to better predict the wear and tear of used batteries.
Charge+ Zone provides a hassle-free and reliable charging services for all types of electrical vehicles (EVs), including charging station management system, App to locate charging stations and solar integrated EV charging stations. Its ambition is to create an electric vehicle charging network for more than one million charging points by 2030. Charge+Zone app works on a simple and intuitive process that enhances EV user experience of finding the nearest charging station, availability status, advance reservation through slot booking, digital payment charging and battery swapping systems to name a few.
Solavio Labs awarded solution is a fully autonomous innovative solar cleaning robot with a modular design, using dry cleaning that addresses the water shortage issues. The robot removes impurities deposit on the surface of solar panels which reduces the intensity of the solar radiation that reaches photovoltaic cells and lowers panels’ efficiency.
EDF also announced a special price for Temperate Technologies for addressing the issue of lack of proper cooler storage facilities across India which leads to $2 billion (Rs14,802 crore) worth loss in fruits and vegetables per year. The startup is developing a new proprietary energy-efficient, mobile, and solar-powered storage solution at temperate temperature for off-grid pack houses. Those mobile cold rooms allow for a significant reduction in farmers’ overall energy consumption while at the same time enabling them to increase their revenues.
The four winners have been rewarded a comprehensive business development support package including: a cash prize of $20,000 (Rs 14 lakh) for 1st prize, $5,000 (Rs 3 lakh) for 2nd prize, 3rd, and special prize winners; access to EDF network and expertise to develop further business opportunities as well as EDF’s innovation labs and EDF’s research and development network. The company says the winners will benefit from opportunities to validate products and test them in a live environment, along with customer feedbacks and consumer insights in order to enable start-ups to move from the development phase to commercial roll-out.
Since its launch in 2014, the EDF Pulse Programme has been already implemented in France, the United Kingdom, Africa and Brazil.
Harmanjit Nagi, India Director, EDF said, “The success of the first Indian edition of the EDF Pulse contest is an illustration of EDF’s commitment to growing the entrepreneurial potential in India and empowering young entrepreneurs. The incredible submissions this year demonstrate the passion and commitment of the youth to resolve the country’s energy challenges. For the winners and the particpants, this is only the beginning of their business journey which we are happy to support. We are proud to encourage innovative and sustainable solutions supporting India’s transition to a low carbon future while at the same time matching the momentum of our business portfolio in the country”.
Jean-Philippe Buisson, SVP, EDF in charge of Asia said “At EDF, we believe that the future of energy is electricity. We also believe that innovation is paramount to develop low carbon energy solutions to support energy transition and sustainable electricity consumption. Our four winners have showcased a very promising business case, supported by enthusiastic teams, to meet with the Indian market needs and challenges. They are very much aligned with EDF ‘Raison detre’ to build a net-zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions and services, to help save the planet and drive wellbeing and economic development.”
Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France in India: “The first EDF Pulse India Awards are a commendable initiative at the crossroads of two priority areas of Indo-French cooperation: sustainable development and technological innovation. I warmly congratulate the nine finalists who made it to the top - out of 80 startup candidates, and EDF for proving that innovative and sustainable initiatives can and must continue despite the difficult times that we are going through. I look forward to seeing the implementation of all the Indo-French collaborations initiated today. They will contribute to building a more sustainable and inclusive future together.”