Newcomer of the Year: Exciting Start-ups in the Solar Industry
In the photovoltaics business field, consolidation processes and a fierce price war have left only a few players over the past two decades. This will certainly not remain the case. Whether technical innovations or new financing models: start-ups bring a breath of fresh air to the solar industry. With their ideas, they are helping to advance renewable worldwide. Read more about the most exciting start-ups of the last few months.
The "new" business areas at a glance
The desired energy turnaround requires a rethink in many areas. Unconventional ideas from start-ups can make an important contribution here. Looking at the current development, it quickly becomes clear that the new companies cover very different areas around photovoltaics. Some start-ups are looking for new project management and financing solutions for PV plants, including in developing countries. Others, on the other hand, are intensively involved with technical solutions for increasing efficiency, researching new materials for solar cells, or revolving around the media's favorite topic of artificial intelligence. Most recently, an incalculable number of start-ups have been founded worldwide around the global energy transition. In this article, we present four companies with very different goals as examples:
PV start-up number 1: Ecoligo
This crowdinvesting platform from Frankfurt am Main is committed to promoting the development of renewable energies in emerging and developing countries. For this, the start-up was awarded the Georg Salvamoser Prize at Intersolar in Munich in 2019. The company is currently active in Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya and the Philippines. With its solar-as-a-service solution, the company supports Ecoligo companies in the realization of their projects by providing a complete digital platform for the financing and delivery of solar projects.
Start up number 2: BRC Solar
PV system operators often struggle with the problem of module shading. This usually leads to a drop in performance and a lower energy yield in the entire plant, since the modules are mostly connected in series. BRC Solar from Karlsruhe develops customer-specific solutions for optimizing the performance of the entire plant. The cost-effective control units can be retrofitted as add-ons or integrated into the module.
Start up number 3: Epishine
The Swedish start-up researches, develops and markets a completely new type of solar cell. Unlike conventional models, these are semi-transparent, very light and 100 percent organic. With this idea belonged Epishine at the "Start UP Energy Transition Tech Festival" in Berlin in April 2019, it is no coincidence that they are among the finalists for the SET Award. The organic solar cells can be used primarily indoors to reduce the need for batteries. In the future, it is also planned to use the so-called OPV (organic photovoltaics) in open spaces.
Start up number 4: Raycatch
This start-up from Israel uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop software solutions to predict potential faults in the operation of PV systems. By collecting extensive operating data, the self-learning software from Raycatch efficiency, increase energy yield and facilitate maintenance.
The photovoltaics market is in upheaval. Consolidation is making room for new start-ups. The small agile and often extremely creative companies are implementing their innovations around photovoltaics - and are partly supported by the established companies. It makes sense to look beyond one's own field of business. Because we will certainly see many more surprises in the future. Not least due to the AI megatrend.
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