Buyeco, a marketplace for renewable energy


Buyeco, a marketplace for renewable energy

The Valais-based start-up aims to enable consumers to choose exactly which solar panel or hydraulic dam will provide them with electricity.

At a fruit and vegetable market, the origin of the produce is stated. Where electricity is concerned, it is harder for end customers to choose what they use, because its origin is only rarely specified. Are their washing machines running on German wind power or solar electricity from panels in the Fribourg canton? Buyeco, a start-up based at Sion in the Valais canton, was founded jointly by Julia Beyer, Antoine Martinelli, Richard Pfister and Luc Jodet, and was launched in autumn 2014 with the specific aim of improving the traceability of energy.

 

Greater transparency concerning the origin of electricity

Buyeco is developing a platform that enables end customers to choose from several electricity production facilities connected to their electricity grid, which may include, for example, a farmer with solar panels, or an SME with its own small hydroelectric power plant. "There is a lack of transparency in the renewable energy market," explains Luc Jodet. "Our project gives consumers access to more information, such as the exact location of the production facility, photos of it, the annual production figures, opportunities to visit it, and so on. This helps to create a real energy experience."

This platform is currently being tested by large consumers, including Raiffeisen Bank. Initially, it will be available only to SMEs, before being opened up gradually to domestic users. As Switzerland's energy market has not yet been liberalised for small consumers, this service will be offered in conjunction with the electricity distribution companies that supply clients using less than 100,000 kWh annually.

 

Focusing on the Swiss market

In parallel, Buyeco has already set up a website for buying and selling renewable energy, intended solely for businesses. With over 80 million kilowatt-hours traded on this platform, this part of the project is already showing a profit, enabling the start-up to fund future developments itself, despite its youth. Buyeco has been assisted in its growth by a large number of Swiss actors, including The Ark Foundation, in Sion, and SuisseEnergie. The company has also won several awards, including one from the Swiss Climate Foundation, which enabled it to fund the equivalent of three full-time jobs. 

For the time being, Buyeco is focusing on the Swiss market. It does not rule out the idea of expanding into France or Germany in future. Luc Jodet hopes this will happen: "By emphasising the human aspect of renewable sources of energy and by making it easier for people to choose the source of their electricity, we intend to create a new experience that will increase demand. Interest on the part of consumers is a key factor in the energy transition, but the complexity of the system doesn't make it easy. That might change!"

 


Source : Panorama des start-ups cleantech

 

 

 

Contact

Rue de l’industrie 17
1950 Sion (VS)

: 0848 135 799
info@buyeco.ch

www.buyeco.ch