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Turbulent is the Cleantech Hero!

Turbulent Hydro is the winner of the first Cleantech Hero Energy Award as of Tuesday, 8th of December 2021.

The first Cleantech Hero Energy Award has been announced. Turbulent Hydro that has developed small high-tech hydroelectric turbines that convert energy from rivers into electricity by using generated whirlpools, were - almost unanimously - the choice of the jury of experts.

“Turbulent has deliberately chosen to develop a technology that is suitable for both developed and emerging economies; it is clearly targeting a number of SDGs. The potential for international deployment ensures that Turbulent Hydro can be a great showcase for Flanders. The project includes everything that sustainable innovation

should. In time, this kind of solution can make universal access to electricity a reality, without the harmful and negative impact on global greenhouse gas emissions.”

The jury of the third Cleantech Hero 2021 was unanimous in praising Turbulent Hydro's project, which combines technological innovation, sustainability and social responsibility.

About the winner

The jury for this Cleantech Flanders Hero Circular Energy Award was made up of Claire Tillekaerts (FIT), Dirk Fransaer (VITO), Pieter-Jan Provoost (Agoria), Frederik Loeckx (Flux50), Marc Nuytemans (Blauwe Cluster) and Frans Snijkers (Cleantech Flanders). After an initial selection, three finalists emerged: Smappee, The Sniffers and Turbulent Hydro.

The jury was highly impressed with the level of the candidates, who were judged on:

*the relevance of their innovations,

*the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) level,

*the impact in Flanders and the international ambitions of the company, *

the extent to which the company is able to act as an ambassador for Flemish cleantech,

* the implementation of SDGs and the integration of all quadruple helix aspects.

Companies that win the 2021 award within one of the three categories (energy, water, circular economy) have a good head start. Not only are they able to display the award for a year, but they can also present their innovation at G-STIC 2022 and receive promotional support through Cleantech Flanders channels. Moreover, the winner is invited to promote their company story via a 2-minute video.

About Turbulent Hydro

Turbulent Hydro is changing the way new hydropower is developed. A Turbulent micro-hydropower plant requires no dams, no river impediments and no large infrastructure. The system needs just 1.5 metres of water of height difference to generate energy. As a result, this technology delivers a fish-friendly, low maintenance hydropower plant that efficiently produces clean electricity 24 hours a day.

Turbulent Hydro has enormous international potential and is already running projects in Chile, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Congo, Thailand, Portugal, Estonia, Slovenia, France, the United Kingdom, and of course in Belgium. “By installing distributed clusters of turbines, entire regions can be supplied with 100% green, clean, stable and reliable electricity” specifies CEO Dr Eng Walter Buydens. “The team at Turbulent is both grateful and excited about this CleanTech Hero recognition. We will not betray the jury’s confidence. Turbulent works with one eye open for nature and the other open on local users and local employment. Now that we are at TRL 9, and have therefore reached the proven-technology stage, both in Europe and on three other continents and in different climate conditions, the sky’s the limit for our ambitions”.

Buydens further stresses : “We feel like true CleanTech heroes. The energy transition will receive an enormous boost during the upcoming decade. This fills us with enthusiasm, as Turbulent delivers a positive social and environmental impact. As a company, we also have an eye on finances. During this scale-up phase, Turbulent is aiming for a turnover of 25 million euros by 2027. To achieve this, we are currently working on a new capital round in which we aim to raise 4 million euros from impact investors.”

Eng. Geert Slachmuylders, the Chief Innovation Officer of Turbulent is feeling exuberant and adds :“As an inventor of the technology this award is a validation of the ideas I had when I started on this journey: to create a simple, and robust technology that improves the rivers in which these turbines are installed. This support will help our team and our partners to create a significant impact on our earth via decentralized and ecological hydropower.”

Dr. Eng. Maria-Elvira Zeman, the Commercial director agrees: “I am very grateful that Turbulent receives this recognition. This motivates our whole team as we continue the commercialization of our scalable technology. We offer indeed a sustainable solution with our clusters of turbines that have an impact not only on universal access to electricity in rural communities, but also offers an innovative technology solution in the transition to clean energy as well as in climate mitigation and adaptation efforts both in the industrialized world as in the emerging markets.”

Finally, Eng. Luc Berben, the COO of Turbulent is more than pleased: “Winning the Cleantech Energy Hero award demonstrates once again that Turbulent's turbines, built with Flemish and European partners, are recognized as best-in-class of sustainable energy sources. It re-confirms that the Turbulent team is focusing on the right things and doing them right. It is, moreover, a clear and comforting signal to our

suppliers and clients alike that we master the technology to produce high performing and eco-friendly turbines that they can fully trust”.

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