Pitch the Future: A competition to help find new ways to decarbonise homes

Pitch the Future: A competition to help find new ways to decarbonise homes

By: Shell Energy

18 Dec 2020

Earlier this year, Shell launched a new virtual event called Pitch the Future - a competition which challenges teams of students from around the world to develop innovative solutions for real-world energy problems.

Pitch the Future is designed to challenge Shell Eco-marathon teams (one of the world’s leading student engineering competitions) from around the world to use their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills to tackle four real-world energy challenges.

For the first time ever, a number of Shell Businesses, including Shell Energy, have been involved and have helped to set the challenges and award the competition winners. As part of this worldwide virtual event our very own Chief Executive Officer Colin Crooks, and Shell Energy Head of Product Management, Elvin Nagamootoo, have taken part as judges when students presented their ideas for decarbonising the home; one of the four challenges.

How Pitch the Future works

The Pitch the Future teams were challenged to think of ways to reduce CO2 emissions from the home as consumers are increasingly keen to control their energy consumption however the new solutions for reducing CO2 emissions must not impede users’ everyday needs and comforts.

This is something we do every day at Shell Energy as we’re responsible for providing 100% renewable energy to customers in the UK, as well as easy and convenient ways to control their energy consumption and help create a better, cleaner energy future.


Other challenges as part of Pitch the Future include:

  • Tracking and reducing vehicle CO2 emissions - design a system that can be fitted into a car that tracks and shares CO2 emissions. This will help to reduce emissions within the transport sector - one of the highest CO2 emission sectors.
  • Decarbonising road freight transport - teams were challenged to create a concept that helps to decarbonise road freight transport (delivery transport) without compromising customer expectation as we all will still want our packages on time!
  • Electric vehicle battery charging - Teams have been tasked with planning an all electric drive, with the fewest amount of stops, the best optimised battery in the fastest possible time.

The challenges were designed for the students to work together in a virtual capacity that inspires, challenges, and provides students the chance to actively collaborate and learn, all whilst competing for over £2,000 in prize money. The public voted for each category and the winners were announced on 10 December 2020.

Meet the winning teams and find out about their innovative ideas below:

An honour to be involved

“The Shell Eco-marathon is a competition designed to challenge teams from around the world to come up with innovative ideas for real-world energy problems. It embodies and uniquely brings to life Shell’s purpose of powering progress together with more and cleaner energy solutions” commented Colin Crooks. “It’s a massive honour for Shell Energy to be selected to represent one of the four challenges and shows the value that our business brings to not only Shell, but the energy transition.”.

Elvin Nagamootoo said: “It was fantastic to be a part of the judging panel for Shell's 2020 Eco-marathon. The three finalists of the Decarbonising the Home Challenge, from India, Brazil and Italy were all outstanding. The strength of their pitches were entrenched in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), complemented with creativity and ingenuity, the result was truly thought provoking.”

Driving forward the energy transition

Energy plays a critical role in our world but as populations grow and thrive, so does the need for cleaner, greener energy.

Competitions like this are just one of the ways Shell is helping the world transition from a high carbon system to a more sustainable, lower carbon one with the ambition to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, or sooner, in step with society.

Learn more about the decarbonising the home category, and others, as well as more information about Pitch the Future.