Start of application period: German Energy Agency launches global Energy Transition Award for start-ups

Numerous internationally-renowned climate activists and more than 70 partners from over 20 countries are already supporting the “Start Up Energy Transition” initiative/ Taking a stance for a global energy transition

The Deutsche Energie-Agentur – the German Energy Agency, or dena for short, has initiated the international competition, “Start Up Energy Transition”. Start-ups and young companies worldwide are invited to apply with their business models and visions. Applications may be submitted at

Within a few short weeks, the initiative has managed to attract numerous internationally-renowned supporters from the field of environmental and climate protection, including Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. The initiative’s patrons include the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The aim of our initiative is to bring pioneers and enablers of global energy transition together, and to establish an international network of companies, start-ups and sustainability-conscious organisations. We can only make energy transition and climate protection a worldwide success with the help of innovation,” says Andreas Kuhlmann, dena's chief executive. “We are proud that this unique initiative has been set into motion with so many great partners in such a short time, not least because of the support of both of our patrons”. At the same time, we are open to more visionary cooperation partners, ambassadors and sponsors from all over the world who want to get involved in our project and support this global movement to make energy transition a reality.”

There are six categories in total: “The Urban Energy Transition” for contributions to digitalised and sustainable cities; “Cleantech against Climate Change” for technologies that are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a wide range of sectors; “Future of Production and Manufacturing” for digital solutions in the industry; “Mobility meets Energy Transition” for sustainable mobility concepts; and “Platforms and Communities” for the expansion of networks. The special prize “Start Up SDG 7” will go to a company whose project contributes to the United Nations' sustainable development goal (SDG) 7: affordable, clean energy for all.

Large stage for energy transition start-ups

The award will be presented as part of the “Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue” (BETD) in March 2017 in Berlin, where over 1000 delegates from 70 countries are expected to attend. The day before the BETD, the winner in each category will be announced from a selection of three nominees as part of an international Tech Festival in Berlin. They will therefore have the opportunity to network and exchange knowledge with companies, decision-makers, political visionaries and non-governmental organisations. The annual global Energy Transition summit, jointly organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Foreign Office, brings political decision-makers from all over the world together with experts from business, science, administration and civil society, and promotes the expansion of international cooperation in climate protection, energy efficiency, and renewable energies.
More information about the Start Up Energy Transition Award and how to apply for it can be found at

About Start Up Energy Transition

Over 70 cooperation partners from more than 20 countries support the project, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), the internationally-renowned alliance Rocky Mountain Institute/Carbon War Room, the High-Tech Start-Up Fund (HTGF), the 2° Foundation, the international incubator Hub: raum, Climate-KIC, KIC InnoEnergy, the European Climate Foundation (ECF), as well as a long line of important German industrial associations and organisations from all over the world. Key initiative partners include the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability, the KfW Group and Deutsche Welle.

The initiative’s ambassadors include: Patricia Espinosa, General Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Maria Krautzberger, President of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA); Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); Ortwin Renn, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS); Christoph Wolff, Managing Director of the European Climate Foundation; Ewald Woste, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Thüringer Energie AG; Martha Isabel (Pati) Ruiz Corzo, Mexican environmental activist and winner of the UN environmental prize, the Champions of the Earth award; Mohan Munasinghe, former Vice-chair of the IPCC; Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010-2014); Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board; and Felix Zhang, CEO of the Chinese energy company, Envision Energy, and platinum sponsor of the initiative.

About dena

ena is Germany’s centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. It supports the implementation of the energy transition in politics, industry and society. It views the energy system as a whole and promotes energy generation and use as efficiently, safely affordably and as environmentally friendly as possible – both nationally and internationally. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany, the KfW Group, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG.


Press contact:

Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena), Stella Matsoukas, Chausseestraße 128 a, 10115 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 72 61 65-657, Fax: +49 (0)30 72 61 65-699, email: presse(at), Internet:

DWR eco GmbH, Doreen Rietentiet, Albrechtstraße 22, 10117 Berlin
Tel: +49.30.609819-500, Fax: +49.30.609819-509, email: rietentiet(at), website: