Start Up Energy Transition Award 2025

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Start Up Energy Transition Award 2025

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Welcome to the submission page of the Start Up Energy Transition Award 2025. We kindly ask you to take the time to read through everything thoroughly, and in case you have any further questions or could not submit your application on time, please write to:

The Start Up Energy Transition Award is an international competition for start-ups and young companies worldwide who are working on ideas affecting global energy transition and climate change. In the last eight years, the award has received more than 3,500 applications from over 100 countries. SET is powered by the German Energy Agency (dena), in cooperation with the World Energy Council. 


  • Clean Energy & Storage: Clean Energy Generation | Energy Storage | Grid operation & Flexibility | Power DSO/TSO | Hydrogen & applications | Bio & alternative fuels | Waste to Heat/Energy

The generation, storage and distribution of renewable energy is the backbone of the energy transition. It forms the basis of green energy supply and supports many sister services that are creating our net zero future. In this category, we are looking for start-ups developing solutions to decarbonise our most energy-intensive sectors, as well as those accelerating the adoption of new solutions through capacity building.

  • Mobility & Transportation: Smart mobility | Charging technology | Synthetic fuels | Public transport | Cargo & fleet management | Energy efficiency in logistics | Last mile transportation | Maritime & aviation sector

So long as we have space, we will need to move in it. Transportation and mobility continues to be one of the most essential but energy-intensive sectors we monitor (using 26% of global energy). As this sector continues to grow, so does our need for innovations that cut its emissions. This category rewards creative solutions in a sector that can span the large and the physical to the virtual and the digital.

  • Industry: renewable energy applications for industry | new energy sources | Increasing efficiency | waste heat utilisation | Carbon reduction & accounting | Carbon capture / DAC/ CCUS

Industry is one of the most challenging sectors for decarbonisation and energy innovation. But while this sector accounts for one-third of global greenhouse emissions and 38% of energy use, progress is slow, associated with major changes in materials, unwieldy bureaucratic processes, and high upfront costs. Nevertheless, innovation here represents one of the biggest, most important, and most profitable ways for companies to decarbonise. A new category for 2023, could your start-up be the new game-changer here? Apply and surprise us.

  • Buildings & Construction: Heating & cooling | New materials | Low-energy concepts | Urban energy transition | Energy communities | district energy systems | Heat supply/district heating | Building efficiency

Our built environments consume lots   of energy (30% of global energy), whether in construction, materials used, or   the chunk that is wasted in keeping them warm or cold. This last factor is often overlooked as attentions shift to more headline-grabbing projects. But urban energy concepts, digitalisation and new energy communities are playing a vital role in bringing change to this important sector. Everyone, from the private household to commercial properties to the industry itself, have their part to play here. This category rewards those creating the comfortable, cost-effective, energy-efficient buildings of the future.

  • Quality Energy Access & SDG – 7: Affordable, reliable and modern energy for all | Off-grid communities | Micro grids | Expansion and modernisation of infrastructure | Empowerment

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The main goal for us is captured in SDG-7: ensuring all have access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern clean energy. In this category, we reward start-ups who are looking to the future and working with and empowering the communities that are most impacted by climate change. We’re looking for innovations that will make energy services for all a reality.

Participation Guidelines

  • Applicants may only apply to one category. All subsequent applications to other categories will be disqualified.
  • The start-up must not have been founded longer than ten years ago. In other words, the date of foundation cannot exceed 2014.
  • The application, including any attached documents, must be in English.
  • The start-up must be able to present a functioning prototype. In addition, the company must be registered or be in the process of becoming registered and the applicant must be able to present a proof of concept or a client, and/or an industrial/corporate/institutional partner.
  • The applicant must fill out the entire form. Partially completed applications will not be accepted.

Benefits & Prizes 

No matter how far you go into the SET process, there is always a value-added for your start-up. Many of our start-ups have gone on to gain new investors, mentors and customers, received invitations to energy events around the world and won even more awards and recognition for their inspiring work.

  • For the #SET100 2024: Feature in our annual SET100 list publication, which is circulated to investors, corporates, and political stakeholders across the globe | Free tickets to the SET Tech Festival 2025 | Free tickets to the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) 2025 | Content creation: interviews & articles | Access to exclusive partner events globally
  • For all 15 Finalists: Feature in our annual SET100 list publication, which is circulated to investors, corporates, and political stakeholders across the globe | Free tickets to the SET Tech Festival 2025 | Free tickets to the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) 2025 | Content creation: interviews & articles | Access to exclusive partner events globally
  • Winners of each Category: €10 000 Prize money per winner | Profile of start-up celebrated across the World Energy Council’s global energy network in 99 countries | Opportunity to attend events organised by World Energy Council |  Extra visibility and PR | Speaking slot at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2025

Selection Process & Timeline

  • 09 September, 2024 – 27 October, 2024: Application phase 
  • December 2024: Applications ranked and evaluated; high-level jury evaluations
  • March 2025: Top 15 finalists announced; SET 100 announced
  • 17 March, 2025: final Jury Meeting in Berlin
  •  18 March, 2025: SET Tech Festival/ Winners announced 

Partner Program - Free Electrons

Within this year’s application form, applicants have the opportunity to apply for the 8th edition of the Free Electrons program. 

Free Electrons is a global innovation program, where some of the largest energy utilities and start-ups from around the globe work together to deliver pioneering solutions and co-create the future of energy. The program focuses on working to pilot projects, commercially deploy products, and facilitate investment opportunities, learning and development. Learn more about the Free Electrons program here and discover how you can disrupt the market with your solution.

Terms and Conditions

Download the official conditions and legal terms for taking part in the competition here

Start Up Energy Transition Award 2025