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Interview: Vincent Bakker of Positive Energy Ltd.

· interview

Vincent Bakker is a Dutch national with 10 years of experience in complex energy investments. He worked for Royal Dutch Shell, where he has worked on capital projects, acquisitions, divestments and government negotiations for projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Brunei and Kazakhstan.

In 2018 he joined Positive Energy as co-founder. Positive Energy simplifies investments in Renewable Energy through digitisation and standardisation. Positive Energy supports developers of small to midsize renewable energy projects (1 to 50 mln USD) to acquire funding.

Vincent believes technological innovation and commercial opportunities together is the strongest force for a sustainable future. He enjoys running, traveling and a good discussion over food and drinks.

We spoke to Vincent ahead of the Future Energy & Tech Investment Forum to hear his thoughts on a few different topics relating to Positive Energy, investment and the future of energy.

Q: Hi Vincent, thanks for chatting with us. So, tell us a bit about Positive Energy!

A: Renewable energies are commercially attractive and highly scalable. This leads to a wave of privately funded, small- to medium sized (1 - 50 MW) projects, a $40 bln market in Asia alone. These projects are attractive (>15% IRR) but are difficult to finance;

Positive Energy makes investments in renewable energy projects simpler, faster and easier. Our digital platform has listing and matchmaking service, virtual dataroom, 3rd party audits and integrated financial modelling.

We are a Singapore-Based startup serving the South and South-East Asia renewable energy market, with a global investor base. We are actively looking for Chinese parties interested in the funding or development of our projects.

Q: Positive Energy is quite an early stage company, but you have many projects that you are working on. What are some of the projects in the Positive Energy pipeline?

A:

  • 20 MW solar farm for a corporate offtaker with high credit rating
  • A community wishing to open their land for 100 MW of solar, with attractive PPA rate secured
  • Formation of a consortium to tender 100 MW of grid-tied solar
  • 25 MW hydrodam ready for development

Q: You mentioned that Positive Energy helps to simplify the investment process. How do you simplify the investment process?

A: Digitisation, integration and standardisation are the key ingredients to simplification of the investment process.

Currently, deal origination is done through a network of intermediaries and introductions via phone calls. The screening and due diligence of investment opportunities requires the exchange of a lot of information and documents, and analysis & audits. This process is currently done in very old-fashioned ways; communication is done via e-mail, documents are shared on paper. Time is lost on finding the right document and large teams of advisors further complicate matters.

Our solution is a digital platform. Our listing and matchmaking service makes deal origination easy and allows developers to reach out to a wider investor community. With a tailored project data overview, standardised virtual dataroom, integrated 3rd party audit services and financial modelling, investors can spend their precious time on valuation and analysis.

Q: Positive Energy leverages Blockchain to streamline collaboration between participants and reimagine key business processes. Can you tell us more about how does it work?

A: Blockchain provides trust and assures immutability of sensitive data.

The acceptance of our platform relies on strictly controlled user rights, data integrity and verification by third parties. A private blockchain with selected partners underpins all data. For the full life of an investment, data integrity is assured.

We use a private blockchain based on Hyperledger.

Q: What do you think the next 5-10 years will look like in the energy and energy tech space?

A: We are at the turning point of our energy system. The end of the 20th century was the peak of the fossil world and careless consumption. The next 5 to 10 years will see mass adoption of renewable energy and clean transportation options. Energy saving methods will be adopted in Asia, levelling of the rise in energy consumption. At the same time, the installed fossil capacity, vested interest and growing population and wealth will slow the transition. It is our duty to accelerate the transition.

Technology will have two major roles to play:

  1. The continuous improvement of current technology. The cost of solar have dropped 60% this decade only and the range of EV’s have five-folded. Cheaper and better technology will lead to abundant, affordable clean energy and sustainable city & transport options.
  2. New technologies. Hydrogen transport, magnetic trains, fusion power are all in their infancy and such new technologies will unleash a second wave of energy revolution to sustain our planet and lifestyles

To find out more about Positive Energy, you can check out their Linkedin page, or their website.

Want to hear more from Vincent? He will be part of one of the panel discussions at the Future Energy & Tech Investment Forum at PwC Innovation Centre in Shanghai on March 27th, 2019.

To register at YooPay (China): https://yoopay.cn/event/fetiforum

To register at EventBrite (Outside of China): click here

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