Interview with Nico Wolf, CFO, Endless Energy – Winner of the EIT Climate-KIC Finance Incubator Competition

The EIT Climate-KIC community comprises a rich diversity of expertise, skills and perspectives across our alumni, start-ups, innovation partners, advisors and associates, all of whom contribute to our innovation capacity.

Following their winning proposal at the Finance Incubator Competition at the Climate Innovation Summit in Dublin, we spoke to Nico Wolf from Endless Energy.

What is your elevator pitch?

Endless AB has been focused on the Brazilian distributed energy market since 2016. Brazil is the largest power market in Latin America and has a huge potential combined with great conditions for distributed solar energy as the energy matrix remains highly reliant on large-scale hydropower plants. These power plants are heavily affected by climate change-induced droughts resulting in short-term replacement by costly and dirty fossil fueled electricity generation. Distributed renewable energy can substitute these needs while being more climate-friendly and pushing for energy democracy, away from utility-scale generation and long-distance transmission, simultaneously.

Endless supports developers to make solar projects in the distributed energy market financeable and to bridge European capital to solar projects in Brazil. Currently, we are providing financial consulting to a total of 10 MW of projects in various regions of Brazil. Besides this, we are working on the implementation of the “Distributed Energy Social Housing Fund.”

What are you working on with EIT Climate-KIC?

Since winning EIT Climate-KIC’s Finance Incubator Competition at the Climate Innovation Summit in November 2018, EIT Climate-KIC has been supporting Endless’ efforts to set up the “Distributed Energy Social Housing Fund” (DESH).

DESH was created to enable distributed solar energy for the low-income population of Brazil, who do not have access to credit and clean energy. By providing a robust legal and financial structure to make it an attractive and low-risk investment option for institutional capital and climate funds, we will be able to access this untapped market while creating positive social and environmental effects.

We have been working closely on DESH with the Climate Finance Lab, lead by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) for over a year. The first phase of installing 15 MW of distributed solar will take place in the state of Minas Gerais, where we have been working with the municipality of Belo Horizonte.

What are three implications of this work?

The first phase of DESH amounting to 15 MW of distributed solar energy projects will generate 23.6 GWh of clean solar energy per year. These solar PV power plants will avoid carbon dioxide emissions of 8,278 tonnes of CO2 eq per year. In this initial phase, we will be able to substitute most of the energy needs with solar energy for approximately 26,000 households representing over 80,000 people.

Our target group are households with a monthly average income of around $500 USD. Providing a 15 per cent discount on the consumed solar energy, compared to the utility’s electricity prices, will free up some of the household’s budget and act as an additional incentive for interested off-takers.

The DESH program can potentially make participants eligible for conventional credit lines in the long run if we can prove their payment morale to financial institutions.

Can you describe your most important success and failure throughout your journey so far?

Every first-time achievement has turned into our most important success. If there is an idea you believe in, that you have spent months or years with, turning it into a viable business, then the first recognition or the first payment you receive will feel like the most important success. Being accepted into the “Low Carbon Business Action” network, being supported by CPI and the Lab and winning EIT Climate-KIC’s competition all felt like the most important success each given time. Most recently, we have been acquired by the ReCap Group which marks another important milestone in our journey with Endless.

The failure I can mention is the time we wasted a chance with an important investor to broker a large solar project which ended up being not as advanced as we were told, and the deal failed. Of course, every missed chance is a learning opportunity, especially in an early stage venture.

What or who gives you hope or inspiration in the fight against climate change?

I don’t think I can point out a single person that gives me inspiration but rather I want to emphasise the collective strength of a group of people who are involved in the fight against climate change and come up with and support innovative ideas and businesses with their energy and passion. I enjoy meeting like-minded people and sharing experiences and ideas at conferences, fairs, summits and accelerator/incubator events. It is the interaction and support that give me hope to keep working on replacing fossil-fueled electricity generation with solar energy.

 
Location
Sweden
Related Goal
Goal 1: Promote retrofit and decentralised energy
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
Raising climate awareness through art in Glasgow

The Glasgow City Region uses arts as a means...

Raising climate awareness through art in Glasgow
In The News
Helping Europe achieve a circular economy transition

EIT Climate-KIC, EIT RawMaterials, EIT Digital, EIT Food, EIT...

Helping Europe achieve a circular economy transition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and EASME host WCEF event on circular economy

The World Circular Economy Forum brings together business leaders,...

EIT Climate-KIC and EASME host WCEF event on circular economy
In The News
Citizens across globe eager to contribute to a post-COVID recovery

Over 4,500 citizens from around the world will join...

Citizens across globe eager to contribute to a post-COVID recovery
In The News
Transformative climate action and COP26: Join our webinar

Are you working to deliver transformative change for a...

Transformative climate action and COP26: Join our webinar
In The News
Madrid, Amsterdam and Milan: Three cities putting citizen participation at the...

The Extinction Rebellion or Fridays for Future global actions...

Madrid, Amsterdam and Milan: Three cities putting citizen participation at the heart of climate action
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC selected to become a member of the European Circular Economy S...

EIT Climate-KIC circular economy expert, Cliona Howie, will join...

EIT Climate-KIC selected to become a member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform
In The News
Partnering with EIT Climate-KIC on the New Accelerator: Call for Expressions o...

We are looking for new and existing EIT Climate-KIC...

Partnering with EIT Climate-KIC on the New Accelerator: Call for Expressions of Interest
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC leads collective efforts to accelerate Madrid’s transition t...

A cross- KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) initiative is...

EIT Climate-KIC leads collective efforts to accelerate Madrid’s transition towards carbon neutrality
In The News
New online magazine Branch explores the sustainability of the internet

This week saw the launch of Branch magazine, a...

New online magazine Branch explores the sustainability of the internet
In The News
Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards

Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators have been nominated to win...

Four EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC selected to advise European Commission on sustainable finance

The newly created EU Platform on Sustainable Finance brings...

EIT Climate-KIC selected to advise European Commission on sustainable finance
In The News
bound4blue’s innovative wingsail technology gathers recognition across Europe

Cristina Aleixendri, Co-founder and COO of the Spanish start-up...

bound4blue’s innovative wingsail technology gathers recognition across Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Glasgow City Region join forces, helping the region innova...

Home to one third of Scotland’s population and provider...

EIT Climate-KIC and Glasgow City Region join forces, helping the region innovate to become climate resilient
In The News
Cassetex from Bangladesh, Sosei from Uruguay and Carbon Craft Design from Indi...

More than 3,000 entrepreneurs from 56 countries participated in...

Cassetex from Bangladesh, Sosei from Uruguay and Carbon Craft Design from India win the seventh edition of ClimateLaunchpad
In The News
World’s biggest green business ideas competition now fully digital, free and...

The three-day Grand Global Final of the EIT Climate-KIC supported...

World’s biggest green business ideas competition now fully digital, free and accessible to all
In The News
Three cities building back better: Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam

EIT Climate-KIC will host a session at the 18th...

Three cities building back better: Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge

EIT Climate-KIC is delighted to announce that it will...

EIT Climate-KIC to work with Google on Impact Challenge
In The News
What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Fin...

EIT Climate-KIC, in partnership with the UNEP Finance Initiative,...

What role can finance play in the green recovery? EIT Climate-KIC and UNEP Finance Initiative ask leading thinkers to weigh in
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supports European green recovery with €4 million for start-u...

EIT Climate-KIC is investing €4 million in nine climate...

EIT Climate-KIC supports European green recovery with €4 million for start-ups affected by COVID-19
In The News
The City Finance Lab calls on urban leaders to help build back better

Organised by sustainability expert South Pole, the competition for...

The City Finance Lab calls on urban leaders to help build back better
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported cities – Leuven, Milan, Valencia and Vienna no...

Twelve cities are in the final stage of the...

EIT Climate-KIC supported cities – Leuven, Milan, Valencia and Vienna nominated as European Capital of Innovation 2020
In The News
The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities d...

While the challenges of climate change and a global...

The climate emergency demands bold policy innovations – can cities deliver? 
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC joins circular economy side event at UN High Level Political F...

“Bold leaders are needed to drive a collaborative approach...

EIT Climate-KIC joins circular economy side event at UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC and the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia...

EIT Climate-KIC and Silesian Metropolis join forces to transform Europe’s largest coal region in the face of the climate crisis
In The News
Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the...

Speaking online at the inaugural Conference of IS4CE—the International...

Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the Circular Economy Conference
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate...

Eleven climate innovation projects across Europe tackling COVID-19 related...

EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate job creation and support a post COVID-19 green recovery
In The News
CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum

On 25 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the Climate Policy...

CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability a...

The LOOP-Ports project, led by the Fundación Valenciaport  and funded by EIT Climate-KIC,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability award
In The News
EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward

On 24 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the 7th Green...

EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward