An effective way to preserve sustainable energy is to store water in a reservoir at higher altitudes. By pumping up large amounts of water in times of energy abundance and allowing the stock to flow back when there is a shortage, the back-flowing water can be used to generate electricity. In using old industrial water towers to do so, our concept integrates clean energy storage with the preservation of our cultural heritage.

What’s your story?

‘Our team consists of four people with very different backgrounds, skills and contacts. We have technical, financial and creative knowledge to bring Iconic Energy to life. The four of us are friends. We don’t see each other that often as we are scattered around the globe but when we do we spend hours brainstorming about big ideas. The specific idea for Iconic Energy is one that really stuck with us as it combines all our expertise and has great potential both socially and culturally as well as economically.’

“Climate change and the transition to clean energy are very complex challenges. To tackle these global issues we need agile thinkers who can recognise patterns, bring people/expertise and ideas together, see connections between disparate concepts and are able to think out of the box.”

How did your project come about?

‘After visiting an office situated in a former water tower Cleo was struck that the tower was converted to an office and restaurant, having to overcome many difficult and expensive design challenges like insulation and air circulation to convert the tower to its new function. Discussing this with Roel and Travis, who work on clean energy storage, we figured out that with a water tower battery concept we could effectively match two challenges that together become a great solution. Bringing in the building and infrastructure expertise of Rosanne we created a diverse team to further develop this idea. When the WDCD Clean Energy Challenge came to our attention, we decided to upload the idea as the accelerator programme offered to the winners would be a great opportunity to bring this project to life.’

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO FINDING OUT YOUR PROJECT HAD BEEN SELECTED?

‘We are very honoured to be selected a winner for the WDCD Energy Challenge! WDCD is probably the best platform for us to share our concept and show what design can really do!’

The team of Iconic Energy Storage

In your opinion, why is creativity important in climate action and the transition to clean energy?

‘Climate change and the transition to clean energy are very complex challenges. To tackle these global issues we need agile thinkers who can recognise patterns, bring people/expertise and ideas together, see connections between disparate concepts and are able to think out of the box. To us creativity is an essential skill that brings these qualities. Besides that, designers/design thinkers are usually positive people who know how to translate and communicate a vision.’

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