Who, What & Where

  • EcoCinetic - Au fil de l'eau

  • Hydrokinetic pico-turbines

  • Based in La Rochelle, France and active in several countries in Africa and Asia

The Company

EcoCinetic, a French technology-driven micro-enterprise, has developed a disruptive set of hydrokinetic turbines (2 to 24 kW power output) that harness the energy from the available flow of canals, rivers, and estuaries to generate electricity. Through its four products: HydroBox, HydroBunch, HydroCanal, HydraWatt, EcoCinetic turbines are adapted to the majority of river conditions, from very shallow waters to slow or fast currents, and users’ needs in both developing and developed countries. Specifically designed for water, EcoCurrent technology is price competitive, eco-friendly, compact, robust, efficient and easy to install and operate, thus suitable for either rural off-grid communities in developing countries or riparian individuals or industries in Europe. 

The Challenge

The global energy system is changing and EcoCinetic can become a game changer by capturing part of the untapped energy from the rivers, thus enhancing the technology offer towards an optimized energy mix. 

Over 1.1 billion people in the world – 16% of the global population – still do not have access to electricity. The majority of these people are located in remote and rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa which is very rich in hydraulic resources and where conventional power grid extensions are not possible or are unaffordable. These populations commonly use diesel generators, which are costly and highly polluting, or renewable technologies such as solar or wind, which produce highly variable energy and requires large parks of batteries, adding complexity and costs.

Renewable Solution

Alternatively, rivers offer a free, natural and permanent hydrokinetic energy. EcoCinetic technology requires being close to a river with an average flow higher than 1 m3 /s, water velocity higher than 1.3 m/s and a water depth of at least 0.5 m. It estimates that a third of all villages located in subtropical off-grid areas have these characteristics. EcoCinetic believes that about 25 GW can be harnessed by assuming 10% of the energy produced through its in-stream hydrokinetic picoturbines.

Value Proposition for Investors

EcoCinetic’s vision is to sell 8,500 picoturbines/year in the mature market by 2029: 6,000 in Africa, 1,000 in Asia and 1,500 in Europe (17% share of market). It anticipates an increasing demand for its turbines, thus reaching 2,600 units sold by 2024. Its target by 2022 is to reach an EBIT over EUR 1.5 million. By a permanent optimisation of its cost structure (average production cost of ~1 EUR/W by 2024), EcoCinetic expects to maintain a net margin between 18% - 23% over time from 2021, while keeping a highly competitive selling price (<2.5 EUR/kW). The payback period will be less than three years.

Next Steps

EcoCinetic expects to provide access to electricity to more than 10 million people in around 7,500 villages in off-grid areas, creating about one million jobs in developing countries and reducing approximately 660,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. EcoCinetic is now applying to the EU H2020 project phase 2 and seeks a financial partner to support its international growth. It is seeking financial investors on equity.


More information: Presentation of the pilot project in Moulenda (Congo) financed by the French Ministry of Finance (2016/2017) on request.