Did you know you can power a light using gravity? Or that it’s possible to create an advanced biofuel using the by-products of whiskey distillation?
These ideas are not only forward-thinking, they’re low-carbon, innovative and winners of Shell Springboard, an initiative that awards funding to low-carbon business ideas.
This year marks the programme’s tenth anniversary – 10 years in which Shell has awarded approximately £3 million to 80 dynamic enterprises. Today, the Shell Springboard alumni make up some of the most innovative companies in the country.
Companies like Celtic Renewables, winner in 2012, who is using the by-products of industrial biological processes such as whiskey distilling to create next generation biofuels.
Or, more recently, 2015 winners Deciwatt, whose innovative GravityLight uses the descent of a 12kg weight threaded through a bespoke electricity generator to generate 20 minutes of light. Not only is the source of energy renewable, but it can also be used to eliminate the significant carbon emissions created by the kerosene lamps it intends to replace in poverty-stricken areas.
It’s an idea that holds vast possibility for use in underdeveloped areas of the world, but the benefit of Shell Springboard and supporting low-carbon businesses isn’t just international – there’s a potential impact on the UK economy, too.
“The cutting-edge ideas coming out of these businesses are not only essential stepping stones in helping to create a lower carbon energy future – they potentially create future jobs and economic growth in the UK,” says Shell UK Chairman Erik Bonino.