ESB is encouraging Irish energy start-ups to apply for a spot on the 2021 Free Electrons programme.

The Free Electrons programme is the world’s first global utility accelerator that gives entrepreneurs access to a panel of innovative energy companies with direct market access to 70 million customers in 40 countries.

Participating start-ups will receive the support of technical experts from utilities, helping them to trial, test and refine their technology and introduce their innovative products and services to new markets in Europe, USA, Middle East, Far East and Oceania.

The sponsor utilities are seeking to collaborate with start-ups that have developed low-carbon enabling technologies and related customer friendly services to accelerate the adoption of clean energy.


Following the application process, 30 companies will be invited to the initial Bootcamp event in Dubai this May (this may be hosted online in line with COVID-19 restrictions).

Following this, 15 companies will be selected to participate in mini modules in Lisbon and Hong Kong with the final taking place in Dublin from 9-11 November 2021.

Last year, 857 start-ups from 86 countries applied for the programme while more than $50m in commercial deals have been signed since it first commenced in 2017.

Irish success

To date, seven Irish technology start-ups have participated in the bootcamps or programme modules including Xenotta from Co Carlow, Sedicii from Co Waterford, and Grid Beyond from Co Dublin.

The deadline to apply for the programme is 28 March 2021.