With Bangalore, India slowly gaining popularity in the field of Solar Energy, we had a chat with Akshay, 29, founder of Wenergie, who live by the motto of ‘Power to the People.’ and while they do so, they’re making sure it’s a renewable source too. Millennial Dollar stories delves into some of the challenges and positive outcomes that Akshay Harikumar has managed to achieve so far.
Could you briefly explain the concept behind Wenergie?
Our energy supply today is vulnerable to outages, and depends on limited, polluting fuels. We are reimagining the electric grid as a decentralised, clean and resilient system, by deploying Solar and Storage at a granular level. We make the hardware and software that smoothly integrates Solar energy with battery storage and utility power, thereby enabling each building to be self-reliant and stay powered 24×7, while also reducing the stress on utility grids.
In your experience so far, what would you say is the biggest challenge the Solar panel industry faces?
In a nutshell- We can’t force the sun to shine all day.
There is no efficient and easily deployable technology today that ensures round-the-clock availability of Solar energy. Because of this, the only tangible benefit available for Solar users today is a reduced electricity bill. People look to solar as an ‘energy solution,’ and are underwhelmed when they realise that it only helps them save a little money rather than deliver reliable, uninterrupted power to their homes.
3) Tell us a bit more about Nucleus and how it’s different from the technology currently in the market?
With Nucleus, we’re trying to overcome this exact same problem, and be that “efficient and easily deployable technology” I just alluded to.
Nucleus is a breakthrough device that integrates Solar and Storage. Nucleus enables users to capture solar generated during the day in their batteries, and use it at night or during blackouts. All this, while also preserving the savings aspect. Nucleus costs one order of magnitude less than any existing Solar+Storage technology, while being more efficient. Moreover, Nucleus is compatible with ANY residential Solar and Battery system- something which no other currently available technology can match.
Do you have any statistics on how many people this has reached so far (approximately)?
With Nucleus, we are in the process of a closed Beta Launch with 50 users. Commercial launch would only come after this. Till date, with Solar alone, we have serviced close to 40 homes, schools and work spaces.
In terms of impact, that would translate to over 100 tons of Carbon offset each year, and energy autonomy of over 5000 hours.
Are people slowly now switching to renewable sources of energy in Bangalore, India? What’s your opinion
Yes, people are switching, and yes, they are doing it slowly! Though energy prices and the sustainability angle are pushing more and more people towards alternative energy, it is still too small to be considered mainstream.
This is where i’m hoping Nucleus becomes a game changer, and accelerates this shift.
Are there any recent innovations that you’ve been able to implement during this pandemic?
Yes. The pandemic has delayed our roll-out of Nucleus, so we’ve used this time to carry out further improvements under the hood. Nucleus now comes with a companion app that monitors displays information about the energy you’re saving, the backup available to you, and the impact it has on your electricity usage, and the the planet.
Another quirky feature we’re rolling out is the Community section within the app- You’ll soon be able to see other Nucleus users around you, size up the performance of their system, chat with them, and take part in community events centered around sustainability.
7) Let us know your websites and social media handles so our audience can get to know more about your project.