What if we could reduce the power overload through creating technological solutions for renewable energy?
Clear Blue Technologies Inc., a Canadian Smart off-grid company, has done precisely that. The company is combining green energy with proven advantages. These advantages include communication and cloud technology to power and control off-grid lighting, security and also mobile solutions using Data Analytics.
Renewable energy solves the energy generation problem that everyone has and not the transmission problem that it comes with the generation of power. With the production of more renewable energy comes the challenge of how to transmit the power to the grid system.
Averagely, for every 40 cents spent on solar installation, you pay an additional 60 cents on the dollar to connect to the grid.
Clear Blue Technologies has developed a smart off-grid management system. It uses data analytics on weather and energy forecasting for thousands of off-grid systems to ensure delivery of mission-critical power.
Let’s take, for instance, solar systems. Solar systems are made up of small modular cells which are set up in their location of usage. The power generated is used directly or stored for later use. If the solar off-grid system produces excess energy, the consumer may opt to switch to net-metering. With this, they feed surplus energy to the national grid.
Alternatively, the power generated for point of use has to have an efficient method of management. This leads to icreased reliability, efficacy and costs reduction. Management systems may include weather forecasting systems predicting the number of sunshine hours or KWh generated vs usage.
In a recent interview with Clear Blue Technologies CEO, Ms. Miriam Tuerk, we explore their technology that is currently operational in over 10 countries. This includes Solar Energy solutions in Egypt, Nigeria and Rwanda. It also includes telecom solutions in Kenya with BRCK in providing wireless WIFI network in remote areas.
These solutions mainly take out the last endpoints (nano power devices) of energy consumptions. These are street lights, security cameras, WIFI, from the primary grid so that one relieves pressure on the network. It effectively reduces the costs for installations and 60% savings in charges to be used in other areas.
Financing for Renewable Energy Startups
One of the biggest challenges that has faced the renewable energy sector is financing. Since the energy demand in Africa is predicted to grow, there is therefore need for more financing and Investment.
Renewable energy financing needs to make sure that it has a fairly open criteria. This will allow for different innovative markets and models to work. Sometimes, a green bond can be very restrictive in the type of project it does. It can also be restrictive that it can only fund massive projects.Ms. Miriam Tuerk – CEO & Co-Founder of Clear Blue Technologies Inc.
In recent years, governments, corporates and investors have also taken the first steps to start investing in renewable energy companies. Recently, Kengen, the largest renewable energy power producer in Kenya, announced its first-ever PPP in financing construction of a power plant.
Another example is the recent launch of the issuance of green bonds by the Capital Markets Authority. This will hence allow local and international institutions to raise funds for environmental friendly projects through Kenya’s capital markets.
However, a lot still remains in structuring green bonds to be flexible enough to finance startups and versatility of project sizes.
Even as Clear Blue Technologies continues to push the limits with innovations so as to provide solutions for off-grid energy across Africa, it has not always been a smooth ride.
Logistics, for instance, is one of the biggest hurdles they face especially in moving supplies from one country to another. Ms. Miriam notes with great optimism that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement will greatly ease movement of goods across Africa. Therefore, this will boost trade.
For this and more on our conversation with Ms Tuerk, Listen to our podcast below.