Christian Randløv Schmidt and Jon Sigvert, Student Start-up of the Year at DTU 2021

Student start-up aim to stimulate green electricity production

Friday 23 Apr 21

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Marianne Thellersen
Senior Vice President - Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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Electricity trading agreements

Red more about Reels electricity trading agreements. (Danish)
The Reel student project receives the award as DTU student startup of the year for its creation of financing agreements which allow citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises to contribute directly to the construction of new green electricity production.

DTU’s award for student start-up of the year goes to the Reel project, and their vision that consumer demand for green electricity is to lead to a real increase in production. Reel is a reaction against an electricity market that has the character of a zero-sum game, in which some receive certificates for their purchases of green electricity, but where it simply means that other consumers get less green electricity for their consumption.

Reel has been founded by the two DTU students—Jon Sigvert and Christian Randløv Schmidt—who completed an MSc in environmental technology in March this year, and a BSc in software technology, respectively. With Reel, the two students have invented a concept in which groups of consumers—or small and medium-sized enterprises—can enter into an electricity trading agreement with an energy producer that uses the guaranteed income connected with the agreement to ensure financing of new offshore wind farms, or small onshore solar cell plants. In this way, Reel’s customers are guaranteed that their electricity consumption leads to greater green electricity production. 

“Reel has created a fintech product that adds new green electricity to the market, thus making a real contribution to Denmark’s climate action. As a pioneering country in renewable energy, Denmark is the perfect place to develop Reel’s solution. In a very short period of time, you’ve shown that it’s possible to accelerate the transition to renewable energy by enabling consumers to choose real green electricity. All to the benefit of the climate and society,” said Marianne Thellersen, Senior Vice President – Innovation and Entrepreneurship at DTU, at the award ceremony.

"Reel has created a fintech product that adds new green electricity to the market, thus making a real contribution to Denmark’s climate action."
Marianne Thellersen

Today, it is only possible for the very biggest companies to enter into the type of electricity trading agreements that ensures the financing of new plants with wind power or solar energy. The reason for this is twofold: firstly, the companies must have a large energy consumption to be attractive buyers of electricity and, secondly, the legal and financial rules in this area are complicated.

Reel’s concept for citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises is therefore to gather small investors in groups with a very broad portfolio, so that they have the finances and solidity to become interesting counterparties in the agreement. In addition, Reel is working to prepare standardized legal agreements and optimized frameworks for credit rating and risk diversification.

“The award as student start-up of the year really means a lot. It’s a seal of approval that we're really onto something special. And it’s also a perfect end to our study programme, where we’ve had a brilliant course of study in DTU's innovation environment,” says Jon Sigvert.

Reel is supported by, among others, the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Skylab, and Climate-KIC, and—in the autumn of 2020—they won the X-Tech Entrepreneurship competition, where the prize was DKK 200,000 from PreSeed Ventures. They have also become part of Innovation Fund Denmark’s Innofounder Graduate programme, under which they have received a grant of DKK 500,000.

Reel is working to launch a pilot project in Denmark in mid-2021, after which they have ambitions quickly to expand into new markets.

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8 MAY 2021