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
EIT Climate-KIC welcomes opportunity to unlock trillions for climate adaptatio...

The European Commission has opened a call for feedback...

EIT Climate-KIC welcomes opportunity to unlock trillions for climate adaptation and mitigation
In The News
As a crucial vote on EU plastics policy looms ahead, a vision of creating circ...

The European Parliament will vote in Plenary today to...

As a crucial vote on EU plastics policy looms ahead, a vision of creating circular economies and societies emerges
In The News
A day dedicated to the future with world-renowned speakers

When science fiction meets economics Created in 2012, Edgeryders...

A day dedicated to the future with world-renowned speakers
In The News
Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity

Branch Magazine, a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC, Mozilla Foundation...

Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
In The News
Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans

The circular economy concept is of crucial importance to...

Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans
In The News
Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice

Enrolment is now open for placement hosts and participants...

Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice
In The News
Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Co...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lixea (formerly Chrysalix Technologies) has received...

Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Council Fund
In The News
Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova

Moldova is one of Europe’s most modest contributors to...

Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova
In The News
Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality

Poland’s former capital and one of its oldest cities,...

Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality
In The News
Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?

On 23 April, EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop spoke...

Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?
In The News
EU Commission publishes sustainable finance taxonomy

The European Commission has published its EU-wide classification system for...

EU Commission publishes sustainable finance taxonomy
In The News
New European Bauhaus: what kind of future do you want to live in?

On 22 and 23 April, the first conference dedicated...

New European Bauhaus: what kind of future do you want to live in?
In The News
Estonian innovation to help stabilise grid as renewables increase

EIT Climate-KIC supported Estonian start-up Sympower has raised €5.2...

Estonian innovation to help stabilise grid as renewables increase
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC community members in Forbes 30 under 30 list

Twelve entrepreneurs from across the EIT community have been...

Five EIT Climate-KIC community members in Forbes 30 under 30 list
In The News
These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe

Google, in partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, launched the €10...

These eleven organisations are building a greener Europe
In The News
New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups

Found by us, funded by you, a new start-up...

New equity crowdfunding programme unearths cleantech start-ups
In The News
From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching ...

It’s a beverage revolution: Healthy hydration while fooling your...

From start-up to 100-person industry player in 18 months: air up is launching in new markets
In The News
#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enabl...

As part of the fifth SDG Global festival of...

#TurnItAround: an event for all climate solutions seekers, suppliers and enablers
In The News
New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is...

New EIT initiative to boost innovation in higher education
In The News
Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik

“We are preparing plans for the next decade. Mentality is...

Just transition within reach for Polish coal city Rybnik
In The News
Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience

The new Urban Action Kit, launched by the International...

Inclusive guide helps communities build urban resilience
In The News
Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists

The DigiEduHack, supported by EIT Climate-KIC as well as...

Climate app among DigiEduHack 2020 global finalists
In The News
GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 

GreeMko (for Green Management Technology), a Spanish start-up that...

GreeMko receives Climate Reality Project Award in Spain 
In The News
What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?

EIT Climate-KIC Chief Executive Officer Kirsten Dunlop addressed the...

What’s the future of trade in a climate crisis?
In The News
Wanted: Green business ideas to fix climate change

Starting today, the seventh edition of the global green...

Wanted: Green business ideas to fix climate change
In The News
Why sustainable water management needs a systemic solution

Ensuring that fresh water is available, in a sustainable...

Why sustainable water management needs a systemic solution
In The News
Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation

The European Commission released the new EU Climate Adaptation...

Integrating nature with technology to strengthen climate adaptation
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is a key player in helping Europe adapt to climate change

EIT Climate-KIC welcomes the new EU strategy on adaptation...

EIT Climate-KIC is a key player in helping Europe adapt to climate change
In The News
Edinburgh: building climate resilient infrastructure and communities

A labyrinth of cobblestone streets, dimly lit and presided...

Edinburgh: building climate resilient infrastructure and communities
In The News
Residents of Kessel-Lo, Belgium, are invited to shape the future of their neig...

EIT Climate-KIC is working with the city of Leuven...

Residents of Kessel-Lo, Belgium, are invited to shape the future of their neighbourhood