Energy Vault, the creator of products that combine conventional physics with advanced machine vision software to provide utility-scale storage of clean energy, today announced its selection as one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers of 2020. Energy Vault’s gravity-based, long duration storage technology is transforming the way electricity is stored and distributed, making it possible – for the first time – for renewable energy to be dispatchable and competitive with fossil fuels all day, every day.
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Energy Vault Tower in wind farm. ©Energy Vault All Rights Reserved. (Photo: Business Wire)
The World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers of 2020 are 100 of the most promising companies that are shaping industries from agriculture to healthcare, while also working on sustainability issues and much more. As governments around the world consider the possibility of pursuing a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Energy Vault’s technology is providing a cost-effective solution for governments and commercial enterprises to “build back better” while maintaining their commitments to tackling climate change.
Consumption of fossil fuels has dropped dramatically in recent months, reducing costs while increasing demand for renewables. As renewable energy is dependent on intermittent sources, reliable and affordable energy storage is an essential component of solidifying this progress and eradicating dependence on fossil fuels.
Energy Vault’s specially designed crane uses proprietary technology and machine vision software to autonomously orchestrate the lifting and lowering of massive composite bricks made from locally sourced soil or waste materials. Able to connect directly into national utility grids or to directly support off-grid renewable generation, the storage systems are deployed by energy providers such as utilities and other large industrial energy consumers. Energy Vault installations also localize their brick manufacturing, construction and ongoing maintenance, bolstering local economies and creating jobs. The company’s first utility-scale, commercial demonstration unit is under final commissioning in Switzerland and will be directly connected to the Swiss national grid in order to demonstrate full charging and continuous power discharging capabilities.
The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society. The Technology Pioneers community is an integral part of the larger Global Innovators Community of start-ups at the World Economic Forum.
“We are pleased that the World Economic Forum continues to recognize both innovative and economic solutions that will help reduce our fossil fuel dependency,” said Robert Piconi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Energy Vault. “Now is the time for the world to take substantive action. In the U.S., for example, the pandemic period has resulted in renewable energy consumption surpassing coal power for the first time in 130 years. Government policy makers and private sector companies have an historic opportunity to make a bold and fundamental choice: seize this opportunity to invest in powering our future economic growth with clean energy to preserve our planet for all future generations to come, making 2020 the inflection point in carbon emissions in our world’s history – or return to carbon emission growth to meet energy demand through the irresponsible expansion of fossil fuel energy generation, jeopardizing the future quality of life of our global ecosystems. A clean, sustainable recovery will help avert another devastating global crisis, and Energy Vault is uniquely positioned to make that an affordable reality while supporting local economies as they recover. As a member of the Global Innovators Community, Energy Vault will continue to pursue our mission to accelerate the pace of sustainable clean energy adoption while stimulating economic recovery to more locations and institutions around the world.”
“We’re excited to welcome Energy Vault to our 20th cohort of Technology Pioneers,” said Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “Energy Vault and its fellow pioneers are developing cutting-edge technologies all over the world. Beyond their innovations, these firms are contributing greatly to improving the state of the world.”
This year’s cohort selection marks the 20th anniversary of the Technology Pioneers community. Throughout its 20-year run, many Technology Pioneers have continuously contributed to advancement in their industries, while some have even gone on to become household names. Past recipients include Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.
Following Energy Vault’s selection as Technology Pioneer, Mr. Piconi will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year. Energy Vault will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with policymakers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.
About WEF Technology Pioneers
2020 Technology Pioneer firms are shaping the future by advancing technologies such as sustainability, AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The diversity of these companies extends to their leadership as well, as more than 25 percent of 2020 Technology Pioneers are female led. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley.
Technology Pioneers have been selected based on the community’s selection criteria, which includes innovation, impact and leadership, as well as the company’s relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.
About Energy Vault
Energy Vault is the creator of renewable energy storage products that are transforming the world’s approach to long duration, utility-scale energy storage. Applying conventional physics fundamentals of gravity and potential energy, the system combines an innovative crane design that lifts specially designed, massive composite bricks with a proprietary, cloud-based software platform which orchestrates the storage and discharge of electricity. Utilizing 100 percent eco-friendly materials at unprecedented economics, Energy Vault is accelerating the shift to a fully renewable world.
The company was created at Idealab Studio, the leading technology incubator founded by Bill Gross.
About World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (weforum.org and @wef and @Davos)
About the Global Innovators
The Global Innovators Community is a group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation. The World Economic Forum provides the Global Innovators Community with a platform to engage with public- and private-sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome current crises and build future resiliency.
Companies who are invited to become Global Innovators will engage with one or more of the Forum’s Platforms, as relevant, to help define the global agenda on key issues.