1. Sustainability Problem: Access to Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is a key piece of the puzzle to creating a low-carbon future. However, most people can’t personally support renewable energy for various reasons, including not being a homeowner or owning a home in a location that’s not suitable for renewable energy.
2. Technology Summary
- Technology company Arcadia Power has created an online platform that allows anyone living in the 50 states of the U.S. to support renewable energy projects when paying their utility bills (regardless of whether they buy or rent, where they live, their utility provides green energy options, etc.)
- Customers pay their utility bills through Arcadia, who in turn pays the customer’s local utility for the energy the customer consumed. Meanwhile, Arcadia offsets (buys and retires) all of the consumed energy with certified RECs.
- Navigating buying and retiring RECs is not something that individuals could easily do before this platform and participating in community solar projects is not available to anyone living anywhere in the U.S., as the projects tend to look for “local” subscribers.
- Arcadia makes putting your weight behind renewable energy easy (you don’t have to switch your utility) at a reasonable cost (switching to 50% renewable energy is free, switching to 100% renewable energy costs 1.5c/kWh)
- The customer also benefits from a streamlined analytics tool that shows how much energy the customer is using, environmental impact, and what projects the RECs are coming from.
Article: “Clean, Renewable Energy Has Never Been Easier”, San Diego Free Press (May 4, 2017): https://sandiegofreepress.org/2017/05/clean-renewable-energy-never-easier/
I also used the company’s website to clarify aspects of the technology/business model: https://www.arcadiapower.com/
Tags: #energy #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #RECs #technology #sustainability
3. Organizational Stakeholders That Will Need to Use the Technology
The company currently is targeting individuals (renters and homeowners). I could see this tool also being attractive to small- and medium-sized companies that can’t or don’t want to invest in solar panels on their roofs for similar reasons as individuals. Depending on the structure of the company, stakeholders to use the tool could be the facilities and/or finance departments.
4. Steps in Deploying This Technology
- Find project owners and developers to partner with to acquire their RECs
- Negotiate REC purchasing agreements with these partners
- Educate individuals and companies on renewable energy, RECs, and the platform to get them to try the free option first