Following the goals and agreements set at COP26, there is a huge requirement in the market for more renewable energy start-ups. So far, the rapid development of solar and wind energy has ensured a positive outlook on the global efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, hoping to reduce the effects of climate change.
The shift towards renewable energy started with wind power in the early 2000s, but by 2010, solar and wind power was still nowhere near as popular as the use of biofuels. This meant electricity only constituted 1.7% of global renewable energy resources.
Despite this, in 2020 the share of renewables reliant on electricity spiked to 29%, compared to 27% in 2019. In 2021, speedy technology developments, declining costs of renewable energy assets and the heightened competitiveness of battery storage capacity have made renewables, and specifically electricity, one of the most competitive energy resources.
Renewable energy development is forecasted to vastly advance in 2022 due to climate change discussions and sustainability goals set as early as 2030. Equally, the pressure for cleaner energy sources to be integrated into most market sectors is due to accelerate quickly. For example, the Biden administration’s promise to completely decarbonise the U.S economy is a huge factor in the growth of the renewables industry if proposed legislation is passed. With all this in mind, I have come across some exciting start-ups in the renewables industry doing brilliant innovative work.
The first is OhmConnect. Based in San Francisco, their product focuses on reducing the need for fast-acting power plants, which are known to be costly and extremely environmentally unfriendly.
Whenever there is an increased demand for energy, OhmConnect is notified by their partnered utilities. Then, it sends an SMS notification to its OhmConnect community, letting them know about the timeframes in which the energy spike is expected. Once notified by text, people can reduce their energy usage by turning off their air conditioning, thermostats, etc. If members use less energy than they were forecasted to, they get rewarded with Watts, which can be exchanged for cash, prizes or smart home tech.
By providing its community and users with intelligent devices and a highly responsive mobile application, OhmConnect is helping 200,000 homes save energy and reduce the strain on power plants. With big plans for growth, the company aims to successfully service up to 700,000 customers in the next two years.
Another market innovator is Haulogy. Established in 2005, Haulogy has very particular knowledge in the energy sector. Since its inception, this start-up has created a vast array of software committed to groups of the liberalised market.
Its SaaS model provides complete services solutions on cloud platforms, allowing a customer’s focus to stay on business and away from technical limitations. Their System Integration assists the streamlining of processes. It drives movements away from current systems to employ new Haulogy software. In addition, its consultancy services offer energy experts for client support across a vast array of the areas it serves.
The business invests a substantial share of its turnover in Research and Development, providing significant advantages when it comes to the effectiveness, exposure and flexibility of company software. In addition to selling licences, Haulogy supports its clients through the implementation phase and offers ongoing support for IT capability and knowledge. So far, they have had 150 million market messages managed by their software, 5 million invoices generated and 99.5% SaaS availability.
Similar to Haulogy, eSight Energy is an energy management software and service start-up. eSight’s energy suite, eSight, is the highest developed fully web-enabled energy monitoring and targeting package on the market. This package allows the user to collocate all their energy analysis and reporting requirements under one application and can be accessed from anywhere within an organisation.
Its Solar Monitoring division is particularly interesting. Offering the user enhanced visibility by evaluating solar generation for all PV and battery storage systems. It also provides system implementation, reporting facilities and dashboards generation. The system targets performance by evaluating financial returns and tracking savings, as well as analysing installation performance to highlight significant and underdeveloped assets. Lastly, the Solar Monitoring division can protect the user’s investment, by examining the entire residential and commercial fleet from a singular online platform. Through this innovative function, the user can then access the most accurate plant data and reliable reporting.
The fourth start-up worth mentioning in this article is Energy Watch. Established in 2000, it is one of the first consulting practices in New York within the deregulated energy market. Energy Watch has grown to be a leading company in energy and sustainability management software globally, assisting its users in lowering energy consumption, emissions and costs.
Through its utility data analytics platform, WatchWire, Energy Watch can obtain, assess, and strengthen utility invoice data, images, and interval data across thousands of utilities worldwide. Their energy conservation measures involve a profound level of analytics to meet energy management needs. By employing utility data management, utility budgeting creation, peak load management and sustainability reporting integrations, WatchWire delivers a holistic solution to enable any organisation to meet its energy and sustainability objectives.
The last company that I want to highlight is Singapore-based start-up ReSync. By employing a blend of machine learning prototypes and intense technical knowledge of energy systems, ReSync deliver an Intelligent Energy Management Platform for facilitating smart cities with several energy sources.
Its Solar Wind analytics division provides a holistic platform for to manage all users’ solar and wind assets. By analysing information on all purchases from one system, the company can offer portfolio management alongside the benefits of an in-depth analytics function. The system is then able to connect to any renewable asset to repeatedly compile essential data from its users’ PV or wind farms.
These reporting and forecasting solutions provide a comprehensive renewable energy management solution for all clients. With this, they can measure, automate, and analyse performance for all their required needs. These solutions aim to maximise uptime, meet revenue commitments, optimise asset life, and increase performance. Alongside these, ReSync also offers Smart Microgrids, IoT and Smart Metering for facilitating the integration of Smart Cities with key clients including ABB, Schneider Electric and Solis.
Notably, the renewables industry was the sole energy-based industry for which the demand increased in 2020 despite the pandemic, where consumption of all other fuels declined.
With the global economy now just beginning to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, and the climate change pressures to adopt a more sustainable way of living in full force, the forecast of the renewables industry can only expect to grow.
It’s remarkable to see how these start-ups are innovating to ensure companies can adapt to the requirements of these newly enforced sustainability goals, and I look forward to seeing how they impact the ever-evolving renewables landscape.
Interested in discussing these innovative start-ups in some more depth? Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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