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Cover photo Meet the participants (Switzerland)

Meet this year’s inspiring Swiss ClimateLaunchpad Contestants

We are excited to introduce this year’s Swiss ClimateLaunchpad participants to you in a mini portrait series. Each week we will be presenting two innovative young entrepreneurs taking part in the challenge. Join us on the CLP journey and read on to find out more about some of the most forward-thinking and sustainability driven ideas out there focused on tackling climate change. This week we present to you: NANUQ – a self-sufficient and CO2-free energy storage system and HAPPIE – a circular economy food service

Nanuq – a self-sufficient and CO2-free energy storage system

Nanuq aims to incorporate hydrogen into the residential sector by offering a self-sufficient energy storage system that converts solar energy to hydrogen. The goal is to use hydrogen as seasonal storage for households to mitigate the temporal mismatch between peak electricity production during summer and peak electricity and gas consumption in the winter months. The excess electricity produced by PV solar panels is converted to hydrogen during summer and is re-converted to electricity and heat through fuel cells in winter, thereby creating a self-sufficient energy system at a household level.

Nanuq energy storage system
Nanuq energy storage system

The system offered by Nanuq should eventually achieve autarkic carbon neutral households. Additionally, renewable heat sources from fuel cells could replace fossil fuels like natural gas in winter, which would further reduce the carbon footprint of the residential sector. As a result, Nanuq also offers an opportunity to decentralize the residential energy source and thus tackle grid congestion.

Nanuq is currently investigating solid-state technologies as a storage type.

Although in the near future household storage will carry higher investment costs, various European countries intend to convert their natural gas grids to hydrogen in the upcoming years. As Nanuq points out, a second phase of the project could envision a combined household and grid connected system to lower investment costs at household level.

Nanuq Founder Antoine Faltz

Founder Antoine Faltz recently graduated from EPFL University and intends to develop his start-up on hydrogen technology with the support of a network of highly renowned professors and potential funding partners gathered through university programs. Antoine Faltz has been fascinated by the potential of hydrogen for several years and was further inspired to work on hydrogen related projects during his Master studies at EPFL. He is certain that hydrogen storage is the future not only for a clean energy environment, but also to mitigate energy shortages and state-to-state dependency. Current global affairs have further encouraged Antoine Faltz to search for viable hydrogen storage solutions as he observes that « the recent geopolitical crisis in Ukraine shows us how unreliable energy prices can be as long as we depend heavily on fossil fuels. A decentralized autarkic system would attenuate strong energy price fluctuations, which should be especially interesting for governmental energy suppliers ».

Nanuq aims to have a first product prototype integrated by 2024.

 

Happie Zero Waste – a circular economy food service

Happie Zero Waste makes use of reusable jars and locally sourced ingredients to provide a zero waste meal kit service. The startup’s mission is to provide an easy and affordable meal kit solution (kits come with ingredients & recipe) with healthy and simple ready-to-make recipes that support a zero waste friendly living. Packaging for the kits is reduced to a minimum by applying reusable containers and bags. Delivery for meal kits and pick-up for used containers is offered to make the service as convenient and effort-free as possible.

Happie offer
Happie meal kit

Through its offering, Happie aims to reduce the number if one-time disposable packaging, avoid food waste, support local production and move forward a circular economy solution within the food service sector.

The Happie Cycle, as co-founders Dennis Beemsterboer and Bram van de Meerendonk like to call their project, consists of five steps: 1. sourcing vegetables from Swiss farmers and buying dry ingredients in bulk, 2.  filling reusable jars with dry ingredients in exact portions combined with tasty recipes, 3. preparing delicious recipes and putting together Happie bags by combining the vegetables and jars, 4. Delivering the Happie bag to your home and 5. Picking up the used jars and bags and getting them ready to be reused.

Dennis Beemsterboer and Bram van de Meerendonk
Happie Co-founders Dennis Beemsterboer and Bram van de Meerendonk

Through their Happie Cycle, the team aims to directly target the waste-avoiding generation segment and offer a solution to two observed market trends: increasing demand for locally sourced low footprint products and a need for convenient food services in a fast-paced environment. Happie acts at the center of these three values and offers a solution to a fustration expressed by health and waste conscious individuals, who would like to eat more sustainably, locally and creatively, but because of a busy working life, do not find the time to source and prepare their food accordingly.

By joining the ClimateLaunchpad challenge, the team at Happie seeks to find synergies with other startups at a global and national level, grow their market in Switzerland and get inspiration for new ideas within the circular economy field.

Learn more about Happie here.