Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the launch and call for applications for the AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0, a high-pace, non-equity dilutive accelerator designed to facilitate partnerships with mature start-ups developing breakthrough clean energy technologies
The opening of the Clean Energy Accelerator was announced by Kara Hurst, vice president of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, during a session at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 10 November.
Inaugurated in 2021, the Clean Energy Accelerator was AWS’s first accelerator programme focused on fostering innovation and rapid growth of clean energy technology, which is needed to address the global climate crisis.
“The path to rapid decarbonisation is not simple or straightforward, and we need to partner with and highlight companies advancing the development of clean energy technology,” said Hurst. “Start-ups are at the forefront of much of the innovation that can help accelerate the energy transition. With the support of the Clean Energy Accelerator, this year’s cohort will be able to move faster to tackle the toughest challenges and create a cleaner, healthier planet.”
Clean energy innovation is starting to emerge from new pockets around the world
The AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 is designed to spur co-innovation through energy partnerships, and is centred on the needs of mature start-ups from across the globe. Through the programme, industry and thought leaders will mentor start-ups on topics like energy, digital competency, investment, public policy, innovation, and advanced research. Leading energy organisations will work with selected start-ups on addressing clean energy and decarbonisation challenges, while AWS provides guidance in accelerating experimentation, expanding automation, and delivering deep insights by leveraging the cloud.
Building stronger structure for clean energy innovation
The AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 will include 12 weeks of virtual and in-person programming, kicking off in Seattle in Q2 2023. The programme will have an expanded reach and scope, which includes the addition of two new cohorts and international exchange sprints to foster tech innovation hubs around the world, including one in the UAE. The Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 will culminate in an Innovation Showcase that will be held at the 2023 COP28 next November in Dubai.
The chosen finalists will receive technical, business, and go-to-market mentorship from AWS; and up to US$100,000 each in AWS Credit through AWS Activate to kick-start their data and operations transformation in the cloud. Additionally, the selected start-ups will gain access to guidance in using Amazon’s Culture of Innovation and Working Backwards mechanism to achieve solution alignment and accelerate pilots. The finalists will also receive visibility and overall guidance from supporting partners. European based finalists will receive access to the new Unicorn Factory Cleantech Hub in Lisbon, Portugal, while enrolled in the programme.
Climate innovators are making a positive impact
Shifted Energy, one of the 12 start-ups selected to participate in the Clean Energy Accelerator 2.0., is using advanced machine learning to identify maintenance issues before they become problems, which is helping to cut home utility bills by up to 90% in some cases. The company has developed a distributed energy resources platform that is specifically aimed at engaging chronically underserved communities into energy programmes that help accelerate their transition to renewables—with 95% of installs in low income, multi-family, and rental communities.
Forest Frizzell, co-founder and CEO of Shifted Energy, said, “To illustrate the scale of energy inequity, one only needs to evaluate which rebates, tax credits, and solutions would be accessible to renters, low income families, and families not living in single family homes.”
“Shifted Energy’s software enables these appliances, even in rental communities, to be aggregated into commercially viable grid stabilisation programmes providing monthly energy bill credits to residents. Through the Clean Energy Accelerator programme, and utilising the cloud, we are scaling our solution globally, and empowering building managers and residents with the opportunity to support clean energy in their communities.”