4 insights from the biggest clean energy startup festival in Indonesia

New Energy Nexus held the biggest clean energy startup festival in Indonesia in June 2022, with thousands of participants from the renewable energy and climate innovation sector. 

The [RE]Spark Renewable Energy Festival is a key part of our effort to build a clean energy startup ecosystem. It’s all about connecting key players and identifying a pipeline of innovators that will power the energy transition in the world’s 4th most popular country, through:

  • Hackathons – which serves as a platform for innovators to develop and launch scalable innovations in the clean energy sector;
  • Exhibitions – where we welcomed 23 startups from various sectors to showcase their latest innovations;
  • Investment Speed ​​Dating events – where 30 startups presented their best pitch to the 15 potential investors, and;
  • Workshops – where we discussed the energy transition, green jobs, and women entrepreneurs in the clean energy sector.

Here are four major insights and tips from key players in the clean energy innovation space.


Reach out to entrepreneurs from all parts of Indonesia, not just the big cities 

“[RE]Spark is a rare opportunity since such events are usually held exclusively in more developed cities. With NEX reaching out to the eastern part of Indonesia, Kuantech had the opportunity to broaden its network, learn, and eventually solve the problem its community faced,” said Kuantech, which won second place in the [RE]Spark Climate Hackathon 

Kuantech is a startup from East Nusa Tenggara, which has developed a technology it calls Hybrid Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) and Desalination that produces clean water from both desalination and condensation processes. Applications like this are fundamental in providing clean energy access to Indonesia’s coastline and small island communities.


Building a startup is a marathon of sprints. Be kind to yourself.

“Manage your time and energy, and pace yourself. Building a startup is a marathon of sprints. All of us need to find the balance between work and things that matter to us, like family and personal health. It will also boost energy if you can connect to the mission and why you’re doing what you are doing. It gives you the energy to keep going,”  said Danny Kennedy, the CEO of New Energy Nexus.

“It’s no cliche, but ‘cash is king’, which means that you need to make sure that you get paid more than the cost of running your business for you to survive. Last but not least, enjoy the ride. Enjoy the team, your effort to solve climate issues, and the value of what you’ve contributed to Indonesia. Always remember that clean energy is better, cheaper, and faster than the alternatives.”


Indonesia’s clean energy transition must include women

Sandra Winarsa, Program Development Manager for Green Energy at Hivos, joined the [RE]Spark to share her point of view on why gender equality is essential in the energy transition.

“Women have a huge role in the energy transition, because women are the main actors and users of energy, from running household chores to businesses. This is why including women in decision-making and taking them into account in the energy transition process is crucial, so the society won’t miss any opportunities that might be an oversight if the decision-makers/panels are not inclusive or do not take into account gender balance. 

“New Energy Nexus serves as a platform for young people who dare to innovate in the field of renewable industry to grow and thrive. It is a relief that the organization takes gender lens seriously to ensure that the energy transition is equal and inclusive for all.” 


Indonesia’s government recognizes clean energy startups need stronger financial support

The government is committing to help startups get the financial modality they need. 

Dr. Ir. Arifin Rudiyanto, the Deputy Minister for Maritime and Natural Resources at the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency, said, 

“Startups play a massive role in the future of energy transition because the demand for energy transition is relatively high. Indonesia’s government also commits to facilitating startups with our regulations and forming taskforce/institutions to help startups have a better financial framework. The government is now preparing Green Financing, where it is aimed to support the capital and give incentive to renewable energy startups need to run their business.” 

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