“We’re not building fast enough”
When it comes to hitting our ambitious renewable energy goals, be it by 2030 or 2050, the rate at which we are building isn’t fast enough. A lot of the reason for that is because of the number of parties involved in building and energizing a single solar or wind project.
Ranging from securing the land, to filling for interconnection or even partnering with a bank or tax equity lender to help finance the project.
This process has traditionally been slow mainly because it takes time to put together a deck on the project and circulate it manually to your network to find a buyer who can continue the next phase of development. A renewable energy asset can change ownership 3-4 times.
Why does this matter?
- LevelTen energy is doing what Zillow did to solar and wind projects – providing a single platform for buyers and sellers to connect, in turn speeding the entire process up for getting a project off the ground
- Cutting the networking time needed out of the equation significantly increases the speed by which projects that are pre-energization to get greenlit and funded
- With the launch of LevelTen’s Asset Marketplace, the company’s platform now offers developers a one-stop-shop to buy/sell assets and find offtakers. Centralizing and streamlining different phases of the renewable energy lifecycle could accelerate the industry.
What do we see coming?
- It’s an interesting approach, bringing efficiencies to a process that has historically been inefficient in nature – however what is yet to be seen is if this catches mainstream adoption among most EPCs.
- Creating a marketplace for energy assets definitely helps move money faster in this industry that’s begging for efficiencies – however it is yet to be seen if the key solution we’re needing to move the needle is in fact a marketplace approach.
Thoughts on an Energy Asset Marketplace
I’m hopeful for the outcome of what LevelTen has launched. Beyond their great work with VPPAs and opening the access up to multiple enterprises looking to decarbonize their energy supply – I still would like to see what the real demands within the market are. It seems a lot of renewables development tends to still be held up by the utilities and their ISOs.
For example, in Missouri the ISO is pushing back on Ameren from developing more solar capacity for community solar (which is highly profitable for Ameren) due to excess capacity being available. Which means if Ameren really wants more solar farms they may have to wind down existing power plants – which results in an even higher basis for developing solar.
I do however believe in the team at LevelTen…their unprecedented access to the customers and customer pain points is going to be their biggest competitive advantage in helping accelerate the processes in developing solar that are possible to be automated.
That’s what gives me hope.
About The Author
Swarnav S Pujari
Founder of The Impact
Swarnav has over 10 years of experience in the energy & climate tech space, holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, climate and media industries. He specializes in Product/Product Innovation as well as Go-To-Market and Growth Strategy.
By training he’s a Materials Engineer with a background in research from his time at Georgia Tech and University of Illinois (UIUC).
He founded TouchLight a utility backed energy company focused on developing IP for utilities and startups pushing electrification forward. He also serves as the appointed Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s Climate Smart Communities Task Force, where he helps with drafting legislation and enabling sustainability efforts within the town.
Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help investors, emerging founders and driven climate enthusiasts discover and identify new climate-tech startups, technologies and opportunities before they hit the traditional media sources.