​​As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to combat climate change, the clean technology sector continues to grow and evolve. Clean energy technologies are renewable in nature and offer less environmentally invasive ways to power the global community.  They not only improve our quality of life by reducing air and water pollution, but also mitigate energy dependence by creating renewable resources in local communities.

Despite these challenges, the transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower, is underway. Not only are these technologies increasingly cost-effective, but they are also a key part of the solution to climate change. In fact, renewables are now the cheapest source of new power generation in almost every market in the world, thanks to technological progress and changes in government policies.

In this publication, issued in collaboration with tech scouting platform Linknovate, we will take a closer look at the major trends in clean-tech and what we can expect in the energy sector.

Water Treatment

The importance of water treatment technologies has grown exponentially in recent years as the global water crisis continues to escalate. These technologies encompass a variety of approaches, such as water purification, desalination and water reuse. 

Efforts are underway to create newer, more effective and affordable water treatment technologies that reflect the current trend, and small and medium enterprises are leading this developing sector.

Some of the startups offering water treatment solutions include the following:

Warranium is an Indian manufacturer developing a membrane bioreactor for efficient ultrafiltration and microfiltration, WarraniumMBR. It also acts as a disinfectant for bacteria, coliforms, cryptosporidium and viruses. It additionally applies reverse osmosis, so that the water quality is suitable for potabilization.

Oxyle  is a Swiss startup that has developed a nanocatalyst reactor that removes toxic micropollutants from wastewater. The nanocatalyst harnesses the energy of bubbles and vibrations in the water to activate the chemical disinfection process, avoiding the need for multiple filtration steps and reducing energy consumption.

Spherag, a Spanish startup that has created an agricultural water management solution using IoT technology and cloud services. This approach allows sensors to be installed anywhere and the cloud platform collects and manages real-time information from satellites and weather stations. This helps farms adapt to current crop needs and reduce energy and water consumption.

Green hydrogen

During 2022, green hydrogen production increased significantly, with project proposals for nearly 250 GW of electrolysis capacity compared with 70 GW in 2020 and less than 15 GW in 2019, according to IHS Markit’s P2X tracker.

Green hydrogen is expected to account for up to 20% of global renewable capacity in the long term. Both the EU and China have put forward hydrogen strategies, including efforts to increase investment, expand infrastructure and boost demand. In addition, many oil majors are investing in green hydrogen on a large scale, which is seen as another catalyst in its growing production. 

As shown in the following graph, research and development in the topic has boomed in the last few years.

Among the startups offering Green Hydrogen solutions, the following stand out:

KEYOU is a German startup, whose hydrogen technology converts diesel engines into zero-emission hydrogen engines by combining efficient injection, exhaust gas recirculation, turbocharging and a patented hydrogen catalyst.

Lhyfe is a French startup that produces renewable hydrogen both on land and at sea, using a production process that reintroduces oxygen into the aquatic ecosystem. Its offshore hydrogen production provides a clean solution for transportation while addressing the declining oxygen levels in the oceans caused by marine pollution.

HiiROC, is a UK startup that offers a solution for low-cost, emission-free hydrogen production using its plasma torch technology. The patented technology breaks down molecules into carbon and hydrogen ions, which produces plasma. This enables them to produce hydrogen from biomethane, flare gas and natural gas without emissions and at low cost.

Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU)

Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCUS) is a suite of technologies that capture and store CO2 emitted by industrial processes and power plants, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the effects of climate change. The portfolio of large-scale CCUS projects increased by 26% in 2021, and both governments and the private sector are investing in this technology for the decarbonization of industries such as cement and steel.

The US is leading the sector both in terms of organizations working in the topic and publications.


The startups offering Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) solutions include the following:

LanzaTech is a UK-based start-up which provides a bioprocessing platform that captures and recycles carbon to enhance carbon waste management. It leverages carbon recycling technology to reuse carbon from industrial exhaust and syngas produced from biomass resources.

Climeworks, a Swiss start-up which creates and produces devices that extract carbon dioxide from the surrounding air. The company offers three models – Demonstrator, Collector, and Capture Plants – that differ in their carbon dioxide extraction capacities. The devices are targeted towards F&B companies and greenhouse owners. It also aims to promote the creation of carbon-neutral synthetic fuels using the extracted carbon dioxide.

Solugen, US-based startup, is developing plant-based substitutes for traditional chemicals using industrial biotechnology and green chemistry. Their patented process utilizes synthetic biology, metal catalyst engineering, and modular plant design to produce chemicals from bio-based feedstocks. The company’s solutions aim to improve various aspects of sustainability, such as clean water, sustainable materials, safe food, and healthy personal care.


Learn more about the rise of clean technologies and their contribution to achieving climate goals at DES- Digital Enterprise Show 2023, Europe’s largest event on digital transformation and exponential technologies, from 13-15 June.
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