Skip to main content

Energy from water in motion: efficient, customisable off-grid hydro-electricity for rural areas with stream access

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HYDROGO (Energy from water in motion: efficient, customisable off-grid hydro-electricity for rural areas with stream access)

Período documentado: 2018-11-01 hasta 2019-02-28

An estimated 1.2 billion people in the world live without electricity. The absence or unreliability of power supply is particularly prominent in rural areas of developing countries, where the percentage of people without electricity can reach 99.64%. According to the United Nations, the goal to end energy poverty and meet decarbonization targets can only be achieved by accelerating the penetration of off-grid renewable energy. Our project would bring to the market 2 off-grid small hydropower (SHP) plants that allow users to produce power efficiently (>80%) from water heads as low as 2m and install them outside of the water current in less than a week. These plants would also act as a Power Hub, a never-before-seen concept in this market, by redistributing energy from other renewable sources to other service systems plugged into them (e.g. waste water treatment plants, communication towers).
We quantified the target market for SHP plants in 12 European countries and 6 developing countries. We reviewed competing solutions and determined the main differentiating factors of our plants: the Power Hub and the lower cost per kWh. We redesigned our turbines and made a careful selection of trusted parts suppliers which lowered the costs of the plants in 37-44%. We also defined the main objectives for a phase 2 project: to reduce the weight (70%) and cost (20%) of the plants while maintaining their efficacity (>80%) and adding all the Power Hub features. This will be done by modifying further the design of the turbine and manufacturing the turbine housing with a polyethylene composite material instead of steel. Finally, we developed a business model tailored to our situation, a commercialization plan and a strategy to protect our IPR during Phase 2 and beyond
After Phase 2, our plants will allow users to produce power at a cost of 0.011-0.024 €/kWh. The sale of these plants will allow us to expand and solidify our business internationally, earning 8.2M€ during the first 4 years and achieving a ROI of 2.3. Besides, HYDROGO will allow more than 300 off-grid communities to become self-sustainable with renewable energy and more than 400 emergency services and aid organizations to easily set up basic services for affected populations.