Startups to shake up Australia’s energy market

Ten energy startup companies participating in a global accelerator program have pitched their new energy technologies in Melbourne.

The demo day, held last week at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, is the culmination of the Startupbootcamp EnergyAustralia Accelerator program, launched last year.

An Australian-first, the event showcased energy-focused startups from Lithuania, India, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States, Poland and Australia.

“Our startups have just had a year-and-a-half of business development condensed into three intense months,” EnergyAustralia executive Andrew Perry said.

“They’ve tested their ideas and done trials. They’ve refined their products, their business models and their pitches.

“Now, it’s exciting to think that the next great idea, the next great advance in energy, might be unveiled right here.”

Mr Perry said it would certainly not be the last demo day held in Melbourne.

“The city has embraced the program, developing a smart energy community to support the startup businesses with mentoring, coaching and investment,” he said.

“It’s helped establish Melbourne as a hub for energy innovation.”

Mr Perry said the broad challenge faced by Australia was developing a modern energy system that delivers reliable, affordable and cleaner power.

EnergyAustralia has committed to further trials with at least three startups aimed at finding solutions to the “energy trilemma”:

  • 1Ansah uses natural language processing and machine learning to intelligently maintain complex equipment, helping engineers and maintenance staff in power plants better identify and fix faults to maximise output and minimise downtime. The technology will be put on trial at the Mt Piper power station in New South Wales.
  • WePower is a blockchain-based green energy trading business. Its platform allows producers of renewable energy to raise capital by issuing their own smart energy contracts and then selling them to energy buyers and investors. It means individual energy buyers and investors can participate in the benefits of financing new renewable energy projects.
  • Sirius is a platform that presents household energy data in a meaningful way and provides consumers with real-time information to change usage behaviour. The business will concentrate on improving digital engagement and demand response programs for residential energy customers.

EnergyAustralia has committed to be the major partner for the Accelerator program for three consecutive years.