Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has launched a global energy accelerators programme that provides an integrated framework to promote international cooperation to identify solutions to meet future global energy needs.
The Free Electrons programme sets the framework for the cooperation between eight leading global utilities and 25 of the largest clean energy accelerators in the world.
Free Electrons, which has a budget of $1 million, is significant as it has a unique framework to support the next generation of energy entrepreneurs. The programme provides 12 international start-ups with the opportunity to explore and develop innovative solutions in energy through accelerators.
The programme also connects the world’s most prominent energy start-ups with leading international utilities, in cooperation with three of the largest accelerators from San Francisco, USA. This allows the start-ups to cooperate with the largest clean energy business accelerators in the world, benefitting from best practices of the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
The Free Electrons programme was launched based on a framework that outlines cooperation amongst an international coalition of leading organisations. These include Dewa from the UAE, AusNet from Australia, ESB from Ireland, EDP from Portugal, innogy from the European Union, Origin from Australia, Singapore Power, and TEPCO from Japan.
Free Electrons will be moderated by New Energy and Nexus, and funded by the California Clean Energy Fund, and Swissnex from San Francisco, in cooperation with three of the most prominent accelerators from San Francisco.
These include Energy Excelerator, Powerhouse, and Beta-i. The programme is scheduled to run over nine months, and will include three intensive workshops in four separate countries, that each run for over a week. Workshops will take place in Silicon Valley in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The programme focuses on fundamentals such as tools and methods for innovation, funding strategies, business growth, leadership, and organisational development.
“The global energy accelerators programme is prominent because it connects the world’s most promising energy start-ups with leading utilities around the world. It represents the positive cooperation between leading international organisations in energy, in partnership with three leading accelerators from San Francisco, USA,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa.
“Through this programme, we are also cooperating with some of the largest networks, and some of the most important accelerators in the international clean energy sector, who are working together to create a single platform to empower 12 start-ups from around the world to explore the future of energy, based on innovation and technology, benefiting from the best practices and expertise of the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Free Electrons is an opportunity to exchange information and knowledge, and expand into new international markets. The organisations involved have combined total revenues that exceed $148 billion, and are considered leading institutions that provide services to over 73 million customers around the world,” added Al Tayer.
“We are establishing the largest government accelerators programme in the world based on a clear framework based on innovation, Research and Development (R&D). This is being done with incubators to identify solutions, and develop renewable energy technologies. We are always working to keep up with the latest international practices, to place the UAE and Dubai at the forefront, and to ensure a brighter future, for generations to come.
“Launching the Free Electrons programme contributes to the UAE’s efforts to enhance its position as an effective player in making the future. Its importance lies mainly in being an integrated framework for establishing partnerships and innovating effective solutions with a global impact to combat current challenges and keep pace with new developments. This will enable us to predict new opportunities, promote innovation in renewable and clean energy, and pave the way for further future pioneering achievements,” added Al Tayer.
“Dewa’s results are among the best internationally for customer minutes lost per year. Dewa achieved 3.87 minutes compared to 15 minutes recorded by leading utilities in the European Union. Dewa has also reduced losses in power transmission and distribution networks to 3.3 per cent, compared to 6-7 per cent in Europe and the USA. Water network losses decreased to 8.2 per cent, compared to 15 per cent in North America.
“I would like to thank all those involved in turning Free Electrons into reality, as an ambitious project that will benefit the international energy sector. Together, we’ll start a new phase of innovation and excellence by investing in the future of clean energy,” added Al Tayer.