Time's up to send solutions to decarbonize the industrial sector while improving the energy efficiency of processes therein

The deadline for submitting proposals to the Emission-free Industrial Heat Startup Challenge, launched by Iberdrola in collaboration with the Energy4Planet initiative of the European Innovation Council, ended on 7 March. This challenge seeked innovative solutions that could help decarbonizing industrial processes, allowing the automatization of the design and the integration of clean technologies and energy efficiency measures.

Iberdrola group was 20 years ahead of the current energy transition, to which it has allocated 120 billion euros to which it will add another 75 billion until 2025 — that will increase to €150 billion in 2030 — to maintain its position at the forefront of the energy revolution the world's leading economies are facing.

The minimum target of 32 % renewable energy by 2030, set by the European Parliament and the Council in the Renewables Directive, is achievable. However, it will only be possible in an economic scenario with high levels of decarbonisation and electrification of the economy, using decarbonised fuels in niches that are difficult to electrify.

For all this, Iberdrola, through its International Startup Programme - PERSEO, launched this new challenge, looking for new innovative solutions to decarbonize industrial processes, through the automatization of the design and the further integration of clean technologies and energy efficiency measures.


Iberdrola is looking to help these industries on their energy transition, searching for ad-hoc solutions for factories to improve the efficiency of the energy used while reducing CO2 emissions in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.

The solutions sent, which will be analysed by the Industrial Heating and Cooling's business of Iberdrola group, must meet the following needs:

 Automation project design for decarbonization of industrial processes using software tools.

 Hybridization of clean technologies, for example: heat pumps, electric furnaces, energy efficiency measures, green hydrogen or self-consumption by distributed renewable energy.

 Energy Consumption and Savings simulations.

 Project finance calculations based on project CAPEX and OPEX inputs: Investment Rate of Return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV) and Payback Periods (PB).


Electricity is fundamental to the decarbonisation of energy use through renewable energy to create a sustainable and efficient energy framework. It is also the energy vector that allows a greater contribution from clean energy sources, whilst at the same time dramatically improving the overall efficiency of the energy system.

Nonetheless, electricity is nowadays mainly used for power generation, only making around 20 % of global energy demand. The reason behind lies on high reliance levels in fossil fuels in sectors outside of power, such as transportation, buildings and industry, constituting the so called hard-to-abate sectors.

Industrial heat could benefit from a greater use of electricity for the low and medium temperature processes, through the application of heat pumps in combination with energy efficiency measures, while high-temperature processes could aim at electrification combined with fuel-switching to diminish their associated emissions.

The proposals will be analysed based on criteria of:

  •  Scalability
  •  Replicability
  •  Ease of implementation
  •  Integration of ad-hoc decarbonization solutions for industrial plants


The selected project will be developed in collaboration with the technical specialists from the Iberdrola Industrial Heating and Cooling area.

The prize will consist of us signing a collaboration agreement for the development of a proof-of-concept with PERSEO or with any other relevant Iberdrola group company, who will assume the costs and provide the winner with the necessary technical support, giving access to infrastructures and real data to test the solution.

If the proof-of-concept is satisfactory, Iberdrola may offer the winner the opportunity to scale up the solution by means of commercial agreements. In addition, Perseo may consider investing in the participant.

If you have any questions, please contact


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The major energy transition challenges of the Green Deal and the associated ambitious goals will need close collaboration across value chains. It will also require concrete pilots with the best startups, knowledgeable corporates and technology institutes that the European ecosystem has to offer. On that account, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is opening applications for the Energy4Planet, a brand-new initiative, part of the EIC Corporate Programme, that builds upon the success of last year's EIC

With the Energy4Planet initiative, the EIC Business Acceleration Services once again offers the opportunity to enhance the cooperation with large corporates and co-create innovative solutions to a number of challenges in the field of energy transition.

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