10Power is proud to announce that it has been recognized by the Energy Globe Foundation as the Energy Globe National Award winner for the country of Haiti.
The Energy Globe Award is a prestigious environmental honor “awarded annually to projects saving our environment by personal action, sustainable projects, or campaigns for raising awareness in sustainability.” 10Power’s project, 10Power: Renewable Energy Access in Haiti, focuses on creating a path for a regenerative future that leverages renewable energy to provide clean drinking water, empower communities, and create a path to planetary prosperity.
Established in 1999, the goal of the Energy Globe Award is to bring awareness to and provide a platform for sustainable projects that are implementing innovative solutions to environmental projects. More than 2,500 projects from 187 countries were submitted, and 10Power is honored to have been selected as a National Award winner by a jury of experts. Congratulations to all of the projects selected for this prestigious honor! Visit https://www.energyglobe.info/ for more information and to see all of the Energy Globe Award winners.
10Power is a social impact enterprise that provides renewable and reliable energy to communities that lack access to electricity through project development and finance for commercial-scale solar installations. Based in San Francisco, California and with operations centralized in Haiti, 10Power uses a unique, market-based approach to enable its customers to grow operations and create employment opportunities. 10Power also partners with local solar installers and provides training with attention to gender empowerment in pursuit of our mission to create regenerative international development through sustainable innovation.
SimpliPhi Power, a leading U.S. manufacturer of safe, non-toxic, cobalt-free lithium ion energy storage systems, has partnered with 10Power, a renewable energy project developer, to engage in a distributor relationship for the Haiti market, supporting Haitians through the COVID-19 pandemic as they prepare to become solar ready.
Access to electricity in Haiti is inconsistent, which causes households and businesses to install inefficient, environmentally harmful diesel generators. SimpliPhi’s 3.8 kWh batteries and Little and Big Genny Emergency Power Kits can replace or supplement these generators, reducing fuel costs and protecting Haitians from hazardous fumes.
“SimpliPhi is proud to partner with 10Power, a certified B Corp, to further our mission of empowering people and communities around the world with access to reliable, safe and affordable energy,” stated Catherine Von Burg, CEO of SimpliPhi Power. “We have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact that solar + storage has on the lives of people otherwise cut-off from power or that are dependent on expensive, dirty, fossil fuels and generators. Through this partnership, 10Power and SimpliPhi are committing to the people of Haiti to support sustainable development that has an economic, social, and environmental impact, improving their security now and into the future.”
10Power provides renewable energy project development and finance for commercial-scale solar projects in Haiti and will manage the distribution and installation of SimpliPhi batteries, providing reliable, sustainable electricity to families and local businesses. The SimpliPhi batteries’ lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) chemistry avoids runaway heat exchange problems linked to lithium ion batteries and does not use cobalt, which has ethical supply chain issues.
“We are thrilled to be providing reliable energy storage with SimpliPhi batteries in Haiti and other markets that do not have equal access to electricity,” said Sandra Kwak, 10Power Founder and CEO. “Clean power supports clean water, healthcare and life-saving equipment. We can install long-life, dependable batteries now to help our customers through the pandemic, and they will be solar-ready post-COVID.”
To date in the energy access market, commercial-scale solar has been deterred due to high upfront costs, but 10Power overcomes this barrier, championing the transition to renewable energy by financing solar projects and training local partners with a gender empowerment lens on how to care for and maintain the installations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to safe, reliable electricity is of the utmost importance as health clinics and households complying with shelter-in-place orders require this valuable resource. The SimpliPhi batteries will provide clean energy through the pandemic, and customers will be ready for solar installation as travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines are relaxed.
About SimpliPhi Power
With a mission to create universal access to reliable, safe and affordable energy, SimpliPhi Power designs and manufactures efficient, non-toxic and enduring energy storage and management systems that utilize environmentally benign lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry. Based in Oxnard, California, SimpliPhi combines the non-hazardous LFP energy storage chemistry with its proprietary cell and battery architecture, power electronics, Battery Management System (BMS) and manufacturing processes to create safe, reliable, durable and highly scalable on-demand power solutions for the residential, commercial, military, emergency response and film industries. For more information, please visit https://simpliphipower.com and follow us @SimpliPhiPower, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Based in San Francisco, California and with operations centralized in Haiti, 10Power provides renewable energy internationally to communities that lack access to electricity through project development and finance for turn-key commercial-scale solar. 10Power partners with local solar installers and provides training with attention to gender empowerment in pursuit of our mission to create regenerative international development through sustainable innovation. Learn more at www.10pwr.com and follow us @10pwr (Twitter, Facebook), @10powercleangrowth (Instagram), and @10Power(LinkedIn)
10Power is honored to be named Meaningful Business 100 by HotTopics.ht. This title is given to leaders in the business world that combine profit and purpose in order to help achieve the United Nations’ 2030 sustainable development goals.
The UN has listed 17 sustainable development goals and 169 targets on a universal agenda. The purpose of this docket is to stimulate action toward the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. Meeting these goals will help realize human rights for all and gender equality and empowerment globally.
HotTopics.ht is launching their Meaningful Business 100 platform to facilitate greater collaboration and enable greater positive impact to support the UN’s sustainable development goals. They received over 500 nominations from 50+ countries and assessed them across four categories: leadership, innovation, scope and durability. 10Power CEO, Sandra Kwak was honored along with 99 other top scoring business leaders this year.
10Power, a certified Benefit Corporation since April 2019, has been recognized a Best for the World Environment 2019 honoree in recognition of the firm’s sustainable business practices.
10Power is a social impact enterprise working with local partners to develop and finance commercial-scale solar projects. It is a core belief of the company that renewable energy is essential to provide clean water, gender empowerment, livelihood improvement, education and technology. 10Power seeks to provide renewable energy to the 1 billion people in the world living without electricity.
To become a certified B Corp, a company must score at least an 80 on an assessment administered by B Labs. B Labs is a global non-profit organization working to redefine success in business so that “companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be best for the world.” The assessment they administer measures a company’s impact across four categories: governance, workers, community, and environment. Over 5,000 companies have completed the full B Impact Assessment and approximately 900 have earned B Corp certification. 10Power achieved a 107.9 placing at the top 10% impactful companies on the planet.
We have a big problem in the startup and tech world that is not only squashing innovation, but is leaving billions of dollars on the table for every single investor. I’ve reviewed thousands of startup pitches and have found that many of the game-changing products that have the potential to make a huge impact on this world happen to be run by women and people of color. Despite this, only 10% of funding globally goes to women-led startups. And, as I’ve written about before, the funding for women of color is far more dismal.
For the past few years, many investors have publicly committed to funding more women founders, yet somehow, the percentage of women founders funded hasn’t budged. Even after the public scrutiny the tech sector experienced in the face of the #MeToo movement, the amount of funding for diverse startups is paltry. If investing in startups led by women and people of color were a product, it would be considered one of the biggest product failures in startup history as “a product that stagnates for two years has a growth problem,” said Bo Ren who is a product adviser and investor.
Interestingly, hundreds of millions of dollars is being spent on diversity and inclusion initiatives by major tech companies to recruit more tech employees, but from what I see, not a dime of this is being spent on some of the company’s most important divisions: mergers and acquisitions and VC arms. If we crack that nut, it will open up a whole new world of funding being funneled into some of the most innovative companies around the world. There are thousands and thousands of women-led tech startups disrupting every industry you can think of: health, finance, transportation, education, fashion, energy, AI, Augmented Reality, and more.
Need some inspiration to find these next unicorns, or rather zebras, as Mara Zepeda, CEO and co-founder of Switchboard, and coauthors so eloquently stated? Here are 60 women-led startups (listed alphabetically) who are shaking up tech across the globe. A few on the list are companies that have been part of our Women Startup Challenges, where we are on a mission to close the funding gap. Others we’ve been following their products and traction. Research them. Introduce yourself to them. Fund them!
#1. 10Power (Haiti) — 10Power invests in renewable energy projects that can be paid back over time, providing access to clean power in the places that need it most. Founder: Sandra Kwak
Accompany(United States) — Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, Accompany is a virtual chief of staff, providing one with all of the information they need about anyone they are meeting with in a given day. Co-founder: Amy Chang
AIM (Korea) — An automated investment management platform creating Korea’s very first robo-advisor for investment management. Founder: Jihae Jenna Lee
Automio (New Zealand) — A lawyer bot that interviews clients and frees legal staff from tedious legal work. Founder: Claudia King
Azimo (Poland and England) — Works with large payment companies worldwide to ensure that money transfers reach their destinations safely. They hold funds in most currencies around the world which means they can send money instantly to 60+ countries, and they work with partners in 195+ countries. Co-founder: Marta Krupinska
Billie (United States) — A shave and body brand delivering premium-quality razors and skincare subscriptions at half the price of the competition. Founder: Georgina Gooley
Chic by Choice (Portugal) — A next-generation dress rental player that allows women to access the newest designer dresses directly from the catwalk. Founder: Filipa Neto
CloQ (Brazil) — Provides nano-credit and financial literacy resources, via an app, to the poor and the unbanked. Co-founder: Rafaela Cavalcanti
Comparaonline(Chile, Colombia and Brazil) — A platform designed to add transparency to the process of purchasing insurance and applying for credit. Co-founder: Mariana Larrain
DEKO EKO(Poland) — An upcycling platform that works with the best designers globally to create well-designed consumer products out of carefully selected waste materials from the largest companies and brands. Founder: Agata
Devoleum (Italy) — Tracks and stores every single step of the extra virgin olive oil supply chain in the blockchain allowing the final consumer to know the entire history of each product, from the comfort of their smartphone. Co-founder: Elisa Romondia
Digitail (Spain) — Digitail is a software startup for veterinary clinics that is AI-enhanced, fully customizable and easy to use. Co-founder: Ruxandra Pui
EmptyTrips (South Africa) — Through machine learning and smart matching algorithms, the EmptyTrips platformcreates a marketplace where shippers, agents, and transport carriers can connect, bid for cargo, find transport assets to move their cargo, and even store or insure it for faster logistics, better economics, and a significantly lighter carbon footprint. Founder: Benji Coetzee
Enterprise Bot (Switzerland) — Develops AI powered chatbots to automate customer interactions and provide enterprises with a readily accessible digital agent to improve customer experience and create operationally efficiency for companies. Co-founder: Ravina Mutha
Fove Inc (US and Japan) — Created the first consumer friendly priced VR headset with complete eye-tracking technology. Founder: Yuka Kojima
GrabTaxi (Malaysia) — A mobile app that connects customers directly to taxi drivers via phone. They submitted the plan to a Harvard startup competition in 2011. GrabTaxi is now available in 21 cities across the region. Co-founder: Tan Hooi Ling
Hatch Apps (United States) — Using their automated app creation platform, users can launch native apps for iOS, Android and the web with no coding required. Co-founder: Amelia Friedman
Humanitas (Jordan) — The company’s mobile video app Dandi enables organizations and youth to collaborate on local community issues. Co-founder: Julia Solano
ImpactVision(United States and England) — Combines hyperspectral imaging with machine learning to provide information about the quality of foods. Co-founder: Abi Ramanan
INOREVIA (France) — Develops and commercializes a new generation of patented technologies that miniaturize lab instrument volumes for analysis. This drastically reduces costs, time and manipulation necessary to perform next-generation bioassays and precision medicine. Co-founder: Amel Bendali
JobsCentral (Singapore) — One of the largest job portals in Singapore with over 800,000 registered jobseekers at the time of its acquisition by US-based CareerBuilder in 2011. Co-founder, who exited: Shao-Ning Leigh Huang
Mathaqi (Saudi Arabia) — An on-demand platform for delivery of home cooked meals. Co-founder: Nouf Alsaleem
Medina’s Health (United States) — A data-driven marketplace helping healthcare organizations safely and securely buy and sell their surplus and short-date medical supplies and equipment. Co-founder: Chloe Alpert
Mellow (Portugal) — A sous-vide machine that takes orders through your smartphone and keeps food cold until it’s the right time to start cooking for you remotely. Co-founder: Catarina Violante
Motivo (United States) — A platform providing clinical supervision for mental health professionals online. Founder: Rachel McCrickard
Nano-X (Australia) — Changing the delivery of radiation therapy from large reference centres to small-town hospitals. An advanced on-board imaging/planning system captures 3D images in real-time, controls the radiation beam, and automatically delivers the right amount of energy to the right tissue, requiring fewer dedicated staff. Founder: Ilana Feain
NotesFirst(United States) — Electronic health record (EHR) platform for physicians to capture patient data via smartphone. Co-founder: Patricia Lopez
NOVA (Germany) — The first bluetooth headset that can be integrated in earrings with a built in speaker, microphone, and volume control. Co-founder: Judith Gampe
ObjectBox(Germany) — The first high-performance NoSQL, ACID-compliant on-device database for mobile and IoT. It’s 10X faster than the industry leader, and takes only 1/10th of the code to implement. Founder: Vivien Dollinger
PetCloud (Australia) — An online community for pet parents to connect with pet sitters who have been screened and are ready to care for your pet. Founder: Deb Morrison
Pops Worldwide (Vietnam and Global) — Produces mobile apps as well as licensing and publishing media. Since September 2008, it has been accumulating the licenses and distribution rights for most of Vietnam’s music – up to 90%. It is the primary licensee of Vietnamese music on YouTube. Co-founder: Esther Nguyen
Qerja (Indonesia) — Allows jobseekers and employees to share information about companies publicly – much like the U.S. platform Glassdoor. Users go to the site to find transparent information about a company’s pay scale and hiring practices. Co-founder: Veronika Linardi
Sampson Solutions, Ltd. (England) — Creating bio-based construction materials from sustainable sources using a closed-loop, carbon neutral manufacturing process. Founder: Colleen Becker
Savitude (United States) — An AI platform that curates personalized fashion collections based on shopper’s individual shape and proportion. Co-founder: Camilla Olson
Shupperz (Israel) — A social platform for connecting shoppers from all over the world enabling them to interact, inspire, share content, and shop for one another. Co-founder: Tal Rubenstein
Sidekix(United States) — An urban discovery app which provides interest based routes across categories including shopping, culture, and nightlife. The app has had over half a million global downloads since its launch in 2016. Co-founder: Jenny Drezin
SIRUM (United States) — SIRUM (Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine) is the “match.com” for unused, unexpired medicine, matching it with people in need. Co-founder: Kiah Williams
Solenica (Italy) — A smart natural lighting robot with an Italian design that’s beautiful, affordable and easy-to-use. They bring real sunlight into your home where the sun can’t reach. Co-founders: Diva Tommei and Mackenzie Garrity
Solstice Energy Solutions (United States) — IoT and software to easily monitor, manage and control consumers and businesses energy sources in emerging markets. Co-founder: Ugwem Eneyo
Tipa (Israel) — The company is set to address the dire need for food packaging that is genuinely ecologically-sensitive. Tipa is developing revolutionary biodegradable packages that automatically “perish” within 180 days. Co-founder: Daphna Nissenbaum
Tonic App (Portugal) — An app for medical doctors. It increases the efficiency of clinical work: allows fast and safe discussion of patient cases, team collaboration and aggregates content for day-to-day professional use, such as drug conversion tables or clinical calculators. Co-founder: Daniela Seixas
Travelshoot (Australia) — A service that helps you book a local photographer while travelling. Founder: Sarah Pearce
TRIK (England) — A Google map for structural inspection that turns photos from drones into a digital 3D model. You can make comments, take measurements or compare changes directly from the time-lapse 3D models. Co-founder: Pae Natwilai
Tutored (Italy) — A social app, tackling youth unemployment, dedicated to college students and talent acquisition. Co-founder: Martina Mattone
Unima (Mexico) — Fast and low cost diagnostic and disease surveillance technology for diseases which allow doctors, nurses and community health workers to diagnose diseases directly at the point of care, in less than 15 minutes. Co-founder: Laura Mendoza
VitalSines (Canada) — Creator of iHeart, a fingertip device that calculates your internal age. Co-founder: Sarah Goodman
Vitrue Health (England) — A system that sits in the background of clinical assessments, autonomously measuring motor function metrics, freeing clinicians to focus on more complex patient interactions and saves millions in healthcare costs. Co-founder: Alex Haslehurst
Vouchery.io (Germany) — A predictive coupon, discount & loyalty automation platform that optimizes promotional strategy for customer engagement, while preventing coupon fraud. Co-founder: Ewelina Robaczek
Wala (South Africa) — A financial services app driving economic participation in emerging markets. Founder: Tricia Martinez
Wazi Vision (Uganda) — Provides more affordable means of diagnosing refractive errors among children & provides eye glasses made from recycled plastic. Founder: Brenda Katwesigye
Womena (United Arab Emirates) — A platform that promotes diversity and inclusion in entrepreneurship in the Middle East. Co-founder: Elissa Freiha
WOOM (Spain) — A bespoke app that empowers women to maximize chances to be pregnant, gain time and eventually have kids faster; either through natural conception or, in necessary cases, by seeing a doctor. Co-founders: Laurence Fontinoy and Clelia Morales
Yask (Columbia) — A global community of native speakers paired with AI and gamification to offer quality translations and proofreading in real time. Co-founder: Andrea Higuera Araque
Zeplin (Turkey and United States) — A connected space for product teams where they can share designs, generate specs, assets, and code snippets. Co-founder: Pelin Kenez
ZipMatch (Philippines) — A real estate portal that lists and reviews properties for sale and rent and adds a professional touch on property brokerage by taking out old industry habits of cutting corners and pushing for sales without a strong sense of customer service. Co-founder: Chow Paredes
Dallas Texas – at the ninth annual EarthX convening, social impact organization 10Power was awarded the Clean Tech Woman of the Year Award and Announced as Keeling Curve Prize Finalist in the Energy Access category. EarthX attracts more than 130,000 people interested in creating a sustainable world for all living things, and a healthier planet for future generations and includes three days of exhibitions, a film festival, music, entertainment, learning experiences, discussions, forums, and conferences making it the world’s largest gathering to positively discuss achievable solutions for environmental change. More information about EarthX is available online at www.earthx.org.
“The Keeling Curve Prize is named for the iconic Keeling Curve, which shows the increase of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere as measured from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Bending that curve – reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere — is the key to curbing climate change” (citation). Visit www.kcurveprize.org for more information.
10Power, a company building renewable ecosystems in markets that lack access to reliable electrical grids, is proud to announce it has achieved certification as a B Corporation™
Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. They meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations in over 130 industries and 60 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
“Since starting the company it has always been my goal for 10Power to become a certified B Corp,” says founder and CEO, Sandra Kwak. “The values of this community are synonymous with 10Power’s values of creating a regenerative path for international development.”
To become a Certified B Corp™, B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps™ and supports companies using business as a force for good, conducted a rigorous evaluation of 10Power and determined the company met the comprehensive performance standards to qualify for certification. In this process 10Power answered more than 250 questions about its business practices and had those answers verified by B Lab. 10Power scored an overall 107.9 points, compared to the minimum standard needed for certification of 80 points, and the median score for all Certified B Corps™ of 97.
10Power Head Solar Engineer Lesly Theard explains engineering diagrams for the UNICEF Haiti solar project to solar engineering students from Haiti Tech University.
Overlay a map of energy poverty with a map of solar energy potential and there is one stand-out location in the Americas — Haiti. Currently, 85 percent of the island is powered by imported fossil fuels, leaving its population of 11 million with expensive electricity and transportation costs.
In recent months, Haiti has been stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to its major energy source, petrol. Thanks to the PetroCaribe Fund, whereby Venezuela subsidized oil exports to Haiti and other Caribbean countries, Haitians from all economic backgrounds were able to benefit from more affordable energy. However, Venezuela has been unable to maintain the subsidy, given its domestic economic concerns.
The Haitian government is thus subsidizing its own fuel at about 2 percent of GDP, and the International Monetary Fund is pressuring the government to stop these subsidies. To comply with IMF demands, the Haitian government attempted to raise the prices on gas by 38 percent, kerosene by 51 percent and diesel by 47 percent. Logically, Haitians protested.
With all of the petrol tribulations, it’s clear that solar energy and electric vehicles need to scale now, and scale fast, in Haiti.
Proponents of large, centralized electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems must start to ask if that paradigm of infrastructure is the right one for energy access and resiliency. The electric grid in Haiti provides access to less than one-third of the population, and that access is spotty at best. Businesses, from agriculture to manufacturing, cannot rely on the centralized system.
Enter 10Power, a gender-lensed solar energy and storage startup, founded by Sandra Kwak.
While attending Presidio Graduate School, Kwak worked on a project with a Nicaraguan evergreen fund bringing solar energy to farmers. “I found it incredibly unfair that those most impacted by climate change had the least to do in creating it,” Kwak says. She later went to AutoGrid, excited by saving megawatts of electricity at the click of a mouse with the help of big data and machine learning.
10Power CEO and Founder Sandra Kwak
However, from a social equity perspective, Kwak felt unfulfilled. She began to research the data in her spare time and learned that energy poverty is centered around the equator. “When I looked at the places with the highest cost of electricity and the lowest access to electricity, Haiti jumped out — and it was super close to home,” she says. So Kwak says in 2015, it was a no-brainer to visit Haiti for the first time as a humble learner. She says she found that after people saw you a third time, they began to take you seriously, and recognize that you weren’t the typical fly-in and fly-out foreigner. Haiti was filled with one-time deals that just weren’t working. A new approach was needed.
After listening tours, market research and on-the-ground observation, Kwak decided to address what is known as productive energy — energy used for commercial and industrial (C&I) purposes. If jobs are the foundation of economic prosperity, then C&I energy is the foundation for those jobs. And while there has been considerable progress globally in the pay-as-you-go residential solar lighting space, the commercial scale solar industry required to fuel resilient economies is still a big missing piece of energy access.
There is a famous Chinese proverb, “Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.” As Kwak put it, “People in Haiti know how to fish; they just need cold chain storage to get their fish to market.”
10Power serves as a solar project developer and financer. The name was inspired by the “each one teach 10” idea, whereby one can scale resilience from the bottom-up if one empowers 10 people so much that they, in turn, influence 10 more people. 10Power’s first market is Haiti. Why isn’t Haiti beaming with solar panels, given the low cost of solar and availability of sunshine? Financing, Kwak answers. “Even though solar electricity is cheaper than diesel, still even the multimillion dollar businesses in Haiti do not want to commit working capital for the upfront costs.” 10Power aims to remove that barrier by providing financing for turnkey solar installations.
As a startup CEO, Kwak does a little bit of everything. To succeed, she must be flexible and determined. “You have to be unyielding in pursuing your goals and also be ready to roll with the punches.” She has built strong relationships with local team members, and hires Haitian installers for all projects. “I’m grateful that 10Power has been able to attract top talent in Haiti,” she says. There are four Haiti-based team members with international engineering experience and one team member in the U.S. with credit expertise in emerging markets.
10Power is raising a Series A funding round, one of its biggest challenges to date. It has received investment from a number of angels and early stage investing funds, including the Force for Good Fund, SheEO, Echoing Green and individuals. Kwak points to a number of capital sources that can be more easily accessed than even five years ago, including high-net-worth individuals who would like to have social, environmental and financial returns in their investing, accelerators with grant and other early-stage sources of capital, and impact debt (country-adjusted rates for well understand business models such as selling electrons). What is missing is the catalytic finance — the kind that blends different forms of capital to take on emerging market risk. “There is no blended capital term sheet on Sand Hill,” Kwak laments.
With a portfolio pipeline of over 50 megawatts of projects representing over $100 million, the current raise will allow 10Power to invest in $10 million worth of solar and storage C&I projects. 10Power recently completed a flagship installation at UNICEF Haiti: the largest solar array on any UNICEF base in the world. The system consists of PV panels and Lithium Ferro Phosphate energy storage and serves UNICEF Haiti’s operations base, including the data center.
“In Haiti, we can demonstrate that it is possible to decouple carbon emissions from prosperity. Developing countries do not have to follow the antiquated order of mandatory industrialization and exploitation before participation in climate action. It is more advantageous to everyone to transition straight into regenerative economics,” Kwak says.
I second that thought. As this wraps up the last feature in this 1 Hotels Environmental Entrepreneurssponsored series, I invite readers to consider supporting women-led startups, which receive less than 5 percent of venture capital. Here are three ways: contributing to the Force for Good loan-loss reserve; becoming a SheEO activator; and investing in any of the startups in the series if you are an accredited investor.
THE BEST IN CARIBBEAN CLEAN ENERGY REVEALED AT CARIBBEAN RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM
The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), the largest annual gathering of the regional clean energy market, today announced 8 winners for its second annual CREF Industry Awards. The winners were recognized on stage at the 10th CREF in Miami.
10Power, 121 Consulting and SMA were honored with the Project Addressing Social and Environmental Impacts Award for their project on UNICEF Haiti. The project was implemented in conjunction with the Haitian firm OmniTek and employed local Haitian solar installers. 10Power also provided training opportunities for women engineering students in Haiti Tec University and Solar Electric Light Fund’s solar technician program.
The project is the largest solar installation on any UNICEF base in the world to date. It includes photovoltaic generation and energy storage and is powering UNICEF Haiti’s operations base including the facility’s data center. “We are grateful on behalf of our entire team to receive this award,” said 10Power CEO and Founder, Sandra Kwak. “This project is exciting because it tackles multiple UN Sustainable Development Goals and demonstrates that Haiti can be a leader in clean growth.”
New Energy Events, the organizers of CREF, developed the awards to recognize the leaders in the Caribbean energy sector who are making a lasting impact on resilient and renewable energy. Many award winners are first-movers, forging a path for project development in the region.
“Ten years ago, projects of any description in the Caribbean were few and far between,” said Matthew Perks, CEO of New Energy Events. “That we can now generate awards for eight impactful projects is evidence of just how far the market has come in the past decade. The awards serve to underscore the trajectory of the market, but also to provide a benchmark for excellence in the development of renewables across the region.”
The awards program drew candidates from across the Caribbean region, including Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. The selected award winners represent the entities who have had a profound impact on the region’s clean energy development. “With the continued tenacity and innovation of organizations like these, the Caribbean’s switch to a clean and resilient energy grid will be much sooner than many thought possible,” said Advisory committee member Adam Carter, Managing Director, Head – Investment Banking, CIBC FirstCaribbean, “2018 has been another growth year for renewables.”
Award recipients were chosen by an industry-leading Advisory Committee including Chris Burgess, Director of Projects, Rocky Mountain Institute; Nils Janson, Executive Vice President, Castalia Advisors; Jennifer DeCesaro, Acting Director of Technology to Market Program, U.S. Department of Energy; Adam Carter, Managing Director, Head – Investment Banking, CIBC FirstCaribbean; Emily Chessin, Senior Associate, The Cadmus Group; Doug Hewson, Managing Partner, Portland Private Equity; and Julie Taylor, Editorial Director, New Energy Events.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE WINNERS OF CREF 2018 INDUSTRY AWARDS:
Lifetime Achievement in Energy Leadership: Tessa Williams Robertson
Utility Scale Solar: Monte Plata Solar, Dominican Republic
Energy Storage Project: Andres and Los Mina Advancion Energy Storage Arrays, Dominican Republic
Distributed Generation Project: FortisTCI U.O.R.E and C.O.R.E Program, Turks and Caicos
Microgrid: Mirebalais Hospital, BHI and SMA Sunbelt as technical partner, Haiti
Energy Efficiency Project: Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme (CHENACT)
Project Addressing Social and Environmental Impacts: UNICEF Haiti, 10Power, 121, SMA, Haiti
Energy Leadership MVP: Leroy Abraham, CEO, British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation
Although sharing the island with neighboring Dominican Republic where everyone has access to electricity, Haiti has limited access to electricity – where only 38% of Haitians in 2016 have a connection to the electrical grid, a small improvement from 28% of Haitians in 1990. Even those with access to the grid today still experience frequent blackouts and unreliable power quality.
Despite dealing with natural disasters and energy poverty, Haiti has optimistically made hard commitments to create a renewable energy economy.
Haiti is also positioned well for solar. A study by Worldwatch calculated that Haiti receives a comparable amount of average annual sunlight (calculated in global horizontal radiance) to sunny Phoenix, Arizona, making Haiti ideal for solar power. With the high cost of imported diesel, solar is cost competitive and with financing is immediately cost advantageous in Haiti.
How will large-scale solar be implemented in Haiti?
Leading the charge, millennial female social entrepreneur, Sandra Kwak, and founder of social venture 10Power, is pioneering the way in Haiti by fostering the collaborative support of the public and private sectors. Working in frontier markets, 10Power partners with local installers, providing and financing project developments for commercial-scale solar and energy storage solutions. In turn, this builds market ecosystems. “Our goal is to provide affordable, reliable renewable energy that will save businesses money and create jobs,” says Kwak.
Launched in 2016, the company has financed and installed solar power for two water purification centers, providing clean drinking water to surrounding schools and communities and supporting over 600 micro-enterprises, majority women-led. 10Power is continuing its work with plans to implement a large-scale solar energy project with an undisclosed international NGO in the coming months.
10Power’s enthusiasm for solar in Haiti is shared and supported by the local government. The Haitian Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications (MTPTC) is working with the World Bank to develop a framework to deploy sustainable mini-grids. “It is exciting to see private sector and international development partnerships taking off,” says Nicolas Allien, Senior Energy Specialist and SREP-CTF Projects Coordinator at MTPTC. “We are implementing well-targeted financial instruments and policy measures in order to attract private sector investments in both on-grid and off-grid renewable energy solutions.”