Carbon dioxide is essential for the survival of animals and plants, whereas too much carbon dioxide can also lead a living organism to die by decreasing the amount of oxygen needed in the body. The most significant sources of carbon dioxide are the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, oil, vehicles, big industries, and power plant gas. These covers nearly 85% of the entire emission.
The significant portion of this emission comes from electricity generation. Known with this fact and with the concern of the environment and to bring an alternative to lower carbon emission, 4 talented entrepreneurs got together in 2016. They built a foundation of Otovo, a CleanTech startup that installs residential solar panels.
The concept of building solar energy panels startup was born when Andreas Bentzen, Ph.D. in physics and known for his foundation of a Bentzen consultancy firm, Beacon, Harvard Business School pass-out Lars Syse Christiansen, NTNU alumni and Iterate founder Simen Fure Jørgensen along with Andreas Thorsheim were into a casual discussion and eventually determined to give it a shot to CleanTech startup for a cleaner environment.
Although, prior to the launch of Otovo, Andreas Thorsheim and Simen had continuously been tracking the market of residential solar panels and the notable changes it was undergoing in terms of its standardized cost.
According to Andreas, at that time, renewable energy hardware prices were going down from a consumer end-point, with a notable 10% decrement of solar panel prices year on year. They estimated that in the coming 10 years, the capital for solar panel installation would count 10% for installing cost and 90% for hardware cost.
Now altogether the coin has flipped, in the coming years, 90% will be the installation charge and 10% hardware cost. It is also predicted that at a certain point, the hardware will be free or nominal, whereas the installation prices will rise on a rapid scale. With the decision of Otovo, they feel winners of the future by mastering last-mile retail cost and readily available for the end consumers. This ideology forms the basis of our solar marketplace platform.
In Ignite 2019 Energy Conference, Andreas mentioned that Otovo founders team was never a standard energy utility sector professionals but just a group of e-commerce professionals with a broader vision of selling solar panels installation services online with the easily accessible and affordable market approach. The startup then used Google's platform to advertise for facilitating customers with quotes similar to the other e-commerce websites. From its platform, a visitor can pick any of their suitable solar panel which suits their requirement with the complete package of hardware, installation, and labor costs with exact specifications. Once an option is selected, the chosen installer would take care of the rest.
Otovo is initiating residents to adopt the choice of clean energy for their homes by installing solar panels on their roof-top. Otovo also buys back any extra energy produced by the panels and ensures that the installed solar panels generate clean energy for the next 25 years.
The startup is based in Norway, and it is currently catering to its services in Norway, Sweden, and France along with other pan-European areas by using satellite data for mapping information to create 3D models of homes. With the present headcount of 100 members, Octovo is planning to spread its services to the US and targets 5 million residents to be solar panels equipped in the next 5 years.
Till date, Otovo has secured nearly $40 million funding from venture firms and also acquired similar platforms- France's In Sun We Trust and Denmark's Sunmapper. Recently, it also won the title of the Oslo Innovation Award 2018.
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