BladeRunner Energy Business Opportunities Fair experience

How participating in the World Bank Opportunities Fair on Climate-Smart

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Paul Vosbeek pitching at the B2B networking session

Energy Solutions is helping BladeRunner Energy to bring micro hydropower to the people: a perspective from Paul Vosbeek, co-founder and CEO of the cleantech startup, BladeRunner Energy.

“I had the pleasure to participate in the biennial Opportunities Fair organized by the World Bank from October 29-31, 2019 with this edition focused on Climate-Smart Energy Solutions.

The official World Bank event page sums up the objective really well: “The 2019 event will focus on climate-smart energy solutions and will bring together a diverse group of companies from around the world interested in the work of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in this sector.

The two-and-a-half-day program intends to provide you with information on the energy sector strategies, priorities, and portfolios of the World Bank Group (WBG) and other IFIs, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

In addition to meeting key energy experts at these institutions, the program also allows for company participants to network and exchange experience and ideas with a view to potential partnership.”

For me, these goals have been more than met. The event was very well organized, the presentations were all very relevant and the people who were attending as well as the speakers were all knowledgeable, easy to approach and willing to support any follow-up requests I had.


Business Opportunities Fair participants

In order to explain what the value the event had for us, I will explain a bit more about BladeRunner Energy, the problem we are addressing, the solution we are proposing, the stage we are at and the market strategy we are rolling out.

Our mission is to bring micro-hydro power to the people. Around the world, there are 100’s of millions of people living in remote and rural areas without access to clean or affordable power. Some do not have any power at all, some are dependent on diesel generation. At the same time, a lot of these communities are located near bodies of flowing water but have no means or solutions to tap into that natural resource.

These remote, rural communities can be found across the globe and the microgrids and nanogrids market is growing from a combined $40B market in 2014 to $85B in 2023. Both the size of the problem and the opportunity are sufficiently significant to pursue with all the time, investment, dedication and craziness that comes with building and growing a cleantech startup company.

The BladeRunner technology is a biomimetic design, inspired by nature which allows us to successfully deploy it with a flexible tether, keeping the generator and power-electronics above the water which significantly reduces system cost and generate a reliable, baseload power at $0.10/kWh. Because of the biomimetic design, the system is also fish and debris friendly and moreover, works in shallow water.


BladeRunner product

Just imagine, a 5 kW deployment can provide power for up to 75 homes in remote, rural communities! Apart from providing affordable, reliable clean energy, the systems will be equipped with an IoT system for data collection and monitoring which will not only perform system diagnosis but the IoT functionality will also provide insights and allow analysis of environmental and water conditions like flow speed, O2 levels, temperature, turbidity etc. allowing for example early flood warning.

We are currently launching this technology in the Pacific Northwest with irrigation districts and remote, rural indigenous communities in North America but our ultimate market, where we will have most impact will be remote, rural communities across the globe.

We are looking to work with National and Regional Government Agencies as well as International Financial Institutions, NGO’s and private sector partners to jump-start and fund projects in remote, rural communities in North, Central and South America, Asia and Africa.

And that is exactly why our participation at the Climate-Smart Energy event at the World Bank has been so valuable. It has provided us a solid foundation in terms of knowledge & insights, access to market, access to funding and most of all, the beginning of a strong network of dedicated professionals in this field to help us achieve our mission of bringing micro-hydro power to the people. The opportunity to pitch to the full audience from the main stage certainly played a big role in the number of excellent contacts and leads I was able to generate from the event.

BladeRunner logo

I am available for any questions or suggestions and please do also visit our website at or take a look at our Pilot Project in Oregon where we are deploying multiple 1kW rotor designs from a floating mechanism which houses the motor/generator and power electronics:”

Paul Vosbeek,