Enerwhere, a Dubai-based energy firm intends to expand into Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq as it assesses the possibilities for solar energy to assist upstream activity in the area.
Enerwhere specialises in portable, easy-to-install solar hybrid systems for off-grid projects, which in the UAE are mainly building schemes that do not connect to a major grid and rely on polluting, fuel-inefficient diesel generators. The organisation has been pursuing such initiatives by proposing a more sustainable option after researching a client’s consumption patterns using artificial intelligence and big data.
“Right now, the near-term nations are Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq – for the next two or three years,” CEO Daniel Zywietz told The National.
“Those are really significant markets, each greater than the UAE market, which we’ve been working on for seven years. Furthermore, the expansion includes not just geographic expansion but also the number of segments that we service ” He said.
Enerwhere is installing floating solar panels off the Abu Dhabi resort island of Zaya Nurai, assisting hotel operators in replacing loud diesel generators, and obtaining up to 8% of their energy demands from the sun.
Mr. Zywietz sees a greater opportunity for growth in this industry, which allows owners to free up beach land previously used by generators and instead moor solar panels offshore.
Enerwhere, on the other hand, has its sights set on a more profitable proposition: assisting Middle Eastern oil and gas corporations in reducing their carbon footprint through the use of solar energy in upstream activities.
“We began with air conditioners for campers or site offices and have progressed to powering industrial complexes. We got a few things in order. We just built up drilling rigs and artificial lifts in the oil and gas industry “Mr. Zywietz stated.
The business has been active in oil drilling at the Habshan field in Abu Dhabi and sees a larger opportunity in taking over the power supply for the region’s 500 drilling rigs.
“That’s $2 million in diesel fuel use each year – that’s a billion-dollar market just for the drilling rigs,” Mr. Zywietz explained.
While building sites may have been a more straightforward entry point for the renewable energy firm, servicing oil sector operations may be a more difficult prospect.
Mr Zywietz, on the other hand, is upbeat. International and national oil corporations are altering their business models. Bernard Looney, the CEO of BP, has vowed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the International Energy Agency, the energy industry worked with no incremental increase in emissions last year for the first time in history. Mr Zywietz sees the further possibility for development even at the core of the fossil fuel business, with regional oil and gas firms also committing to be aware of emissions.
Enerwhere is also seeking for expansion in the packaging of its solutions as a product that will be released to the market later this year.
“We’re working on AI and making this custom-ready,” said Enerwhere’s chief operating officer, Stefan Mueckstein.
The firm is also planning fresh funding rounds this year, with a combination of debt and equity, and is thinking about establishing a European headquarters to take advantage of the lower financing alternatives available on the continent. It has previously raised cash using crowdsourcing sites such as the Beehive in the UAE.
It is also considering acquiring a diesel generator rental firm to gain access to their client base.
“We’ve been talking to investors about potentially inorganic expansion where we purchase a diesel generator rental firm and take over their clientele and switch them over to hybrids instead,” Mr. Mueckstein explained.
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