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Innovative water current picoturbines for the economic and sustainable exploitation of the renewable energy from rivers and estuaries

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EcoCurrent (Innovative water current picoturbines for the economic and sustainable exploitation of the renewable energy from rivers and estuaries)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-03-31

In 2016, over 1.1 billion people in the world – 16% of the world population – still did not have access to electricity. Off-grid villages commonly use expansive and polluting diesel generators or mainstream renewable technologies (i.e. solar, wind) which produce energy intermittently. Besides, 50% of the world's population lives closer than 3 km to rivers. By developing a new generation of picoturbines, specifically designed to capture free flow hydrokinetic energy, EcoCinetic aims to deliver a low-cost, environment-friendly, simple and low maintenance power generation solution to satisfy the needs in both developing and developed countries. After 7 years of continuous testing all our picoturbines are well operating, however additional redesign-to-cost is required to gain competitiveness. Also, our incipient commercial network must be enlarged.
A Feasibility Study focused on the identification of target markets and technical challenges was prepared, confirming the feasibility of EcoCurrent. Technically, we defined the roadmap for our four product portfolio optimization under a redesign-to-cost approach. Budget, schedule, resources and tasks were settled. Risks were identified and mitigation/contingency actions proposed. The market trends showed a large demand of solutions for green electrification expected in upcoming years and free flow hydrokinetic energy represents the best technology choice at certain locations. By defining and analysing a set of indicators we established our target countries in Asia, Africa and Europe as well as the penetration strategy. We prepared a realistic business case. The financial estimations brought back attractive returns on investment, even in a conservative scenario. Therefore, we decide to go ahead with the EcoCurrent project.
EcoCinetic expect to boost sales, from 320 picoturbines in 2021 up to 2,200 in 2024, targeting 8,500 picoturbines/year in the mature market (by year 2029, 17% SOM). Through a permanent optimization of our cost structure we expect to maintain a net profit between 15% - 19% from 2021. EcoCurrent exploitation will lead to 28-30 jobs created in 5 years. Moreover, by selling and installing around 4,400 units (8.8 MW) along the period 2020-2024 our company will provide access to quality electricity to almost 300,000 people in off-grid areas. Our long term view is to give access to electricity to more than 10 million people by 2040.