The Next Big Thing? Let’s Discuss CleanTech in South Africa

The Next Big Thing? Let’s Discuss CleanTech in South Africa

Clean technology (Cleantech) is a catch-all phrase that refers to a variety of procedures, goods, and services with the objective of minimizing waste by utilizing non-renewable resources. The use of solar energy, water purification techniques, and fuel cells are frequently highlighted in efforts to find new ways to grow food on a planet with finite resources.

Some of the biggest alterations to our everyday routines are thanks to Cleantech. The most widespread and widely used innovation that Cleantech has given us is probably smart lighting. The gradual replacement of inefficient incandescent lighting with fluorescent bulbs that are 80% more efficient is only a portion of the tale.

Numerous small businesses are working on innovative ways to deliver solar lanterns to underdeveloped nations or, on the other end of the innovation spectrum, to equip enterprises with occupancy sensors and daylight-sensitive illumination. There are already lights that can screen out biological dangers or offer other services.

Alternative energy sources that endure longer without harming the environment are urgently needed given the current rates of fossil fuel depletion. Solar, wind, geothermal, and wave energy are the most well-liked substitutes and are being accepted by African nations at a rising rate. Many companies use renewable fuels to improve the sustainability and cleanliness of their operations.

South Africa is positioning itself as a significant investment centre in Africa thanks to its creative drive. Also, the nation is facing an energy crisis that calls for Cleantech solutions. Startups leading sustainable solutions that optimize large-scale, high-carbon activities with renewable energy are only growing in importance across the nation.

Next Big Thing

While e-commerce in South Africa has benefited from the highest financing rate, pushing other sectors to the side, Cleantech is growing gradually but steadily. The adoption rate is increasing as the conversation about sustainability and energy continues to heat up.

The Role of Cleantech Startups in Accelerating Clean Energy Adoption in Africa

Cleantech’s main objective is to lessen the harmful effects that humans have on the environment, such as deforestation, fossil fuel consumption, and ocean plastic waste. By utilizing the power of renewable energy sources like the sun, wind, moving water, organic plant matter, and the earth’s heat, manufacturers of green technology aim to achieve this. To improve the quality of the earth’s environment and correct course for a resource-rich future, Cleantech attempts to identify and replace current wasteful or harmful habits by developing innovative techniques and products.

Recently, Cleantechs have received investment interest outside of South Africa and even the continent, breaking past the barriers of the COVID-19 and the global inflation. According to Crunchbase, software businesses working to track and lower carbon emissions as well as hasten the transition to renewable energy sources have received previously unheard-of sums of money in recent quarters. The fundraising boom coincides with a general increase in funding for startups of all kinds that are climate focused.

A sampling of top funding recipients for climate and clean energy software shows at least $1.68 billion in capital raised since the beginning of 2022, per Crunchbase data.

It is not just the immediate value of services that Cleantechs offer but also their ability to solve sustainability issues. Their ability to render services that fulfill immediate needs while also preserving natural resources has been key in keeping investors’ faith, we don’t see this changing in the near future. Cleantech may really be the next big thing.

Key Services

Cleantech frequently coexists with industries including agriculture, building, transportation, and energy. The recent cultural and technological changes have given rise to the current Cleantech wave. Ultimately, the industry is transforming how we live.

In the coming decades, every home might have access to renewable energy sources, zero-emission autos, and cell phones with smaller carbon footprints. Nevertheless, before we get there, environmental businesses, energy businesses, and Cleantech businesses need to set strategic objectives and make investments.

Renewable Energy

Alternative energy sources that endure longer without harming the environment are urgently needed given the current rates of fossil fuel depletion and the persistent power issues in South Africa. The most widely used substitutes are renewable energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and wave energy. Many companies use renewable fuels to improve the sustainability and cleanliness of their operations.

Clean energy’s primary purpose is to employ renewable, naturally existing energy sources to create fuel and electricity. Cleantechs are constantly being created and improved in an effort to harness the power of repeating resources and completely replace fossil fuels and damaging manufacturing techniques.

Moreover, startups are already driving sustainable innovations using renewable energy to optimize large-scale high carbon operations. In South Africa, the likes of Sun Exchange, I-G3N, Integrated Energy Systems, Sinan Energy and others have been able to accelerate the democratization of renewable energy in South Africa and beyond.

Alternative Mobility

While the likes of WhereIsMyTransport and GoMetro have concentrated on providing road and mobility access to South Africans, certain mobility startups have adopted Cleantech innovations to provide green mobility to users. The tremendous weight of fossil fuel pollution produced by gas automobiles every day is reduced by the widespread deployment of hybrid vehicles, and more recently, fully electric vehicles.

Electric Mobility; The African Messiah?

With innovations like electric vehicles, the transportation sector is making enormous strides in Cleantech. Startups are also experimenting with various blends of sustainable fuels to completely replace traditional car fuels. To aid in the reduction of carbon emissions, the mobility sector is adopting additional eco-friendly technologies like EV charging stations and AI-driven green GPS systems.

Low Carbon

Manufacturing procedures are renowned for wasting a lot of resources and discharging dangerous chemicals into the environment. However, companies are now making the transition to more circular and sustainable processes. Eskom recently implemented the renewable energy projects to help the power company provide power solutions in the country.

Low-carbon building practices include using plant walls or exteriors that help with cooling in order to make the construction process less destructive and more in tune with the living environment. Entrepreneurs are creating substitutes for harmful materials, such as hemp-based concrete, bamboo flooring, and green insulation. Per reports, VC investment in this area grew at faster rate than overall venture capital investment for the periods between 2013 -2019.