Financing period: March 25, 2019 to April 15, 2019
With your help we will support the Project Swimsol as follows:
We participate in the current crowdinvestment campaign via the finance platform Econeers.
With our contribution we make the crowdfunding campaign more widely known.
Storytelling about floating solar panels and other innovative solutions related to affordable and clean energy is part of our regular media work.
Transforming the energy system of the Maledives
Swimsol develops floating solar systems, which are used in tropical islands and remote coastal areas without occupying valuable land areas. Especially the Maldives with its more than 1,000 tiny islands face a huge challenge because of the lack of idle land. This holds true for the over-crowded capital island Malé, but also for many boutique hotels scattered on tiny islands. Even though solar energy is cheap on sunny tropical islands, diesel generators are the predominant source of energy. The generators are not only noisy and contribute to climate change, they also threaten the sensitive underwater world. In the event of any boat accident, diesel fuel could easily leak into the sea and harm the island’s unique coral reefs.
As the solar radiation is very intensive and the logistics for diesel transport are very complex, the production of solar power in the Maldives is significantly cheaper than diesel generators. Nevertheless, the energy transition to solar power advances slowly because of the investments which need to be paid for. Even many of the resorts have no budgets made available for solar power. Swimsol tackles this challenge by covering all upfront costs through a crowdfunding campaign (and further sources of capital). The investment is repaid from the energy payments of Swimsol’s clients. The payment schemes are also customer-friendly. The customers can choose between a fixed price or a price which is indexed to the diesel costs, which guarantees a margin as opposed to today’s costs. For the time being, floating solar systems cannot completely replace diesel generators, as there are no adequate battery solutions available yet to cover the energy demand at night.
Even though the current project initially benefits wealthy people by serving hotel resorts, Swimsol’s vision is to build a large floating solar system for the capital island of Malé, which would save many millions of liters of diesel a year. In addition, the proof of concept will help to replicate this model in low-income areas across the island states of Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Who is behind the project?
Swimsol founder Martin Putschek from Vienna, Austria, visited the Maldives for the first time in 2009 on a business trip to South Asia. The problems of diesel generators and the limited space on the islands immediately caught his eye. This led to the idea of founding a solar company which, in addition to conventional roof systems, offers floating solar systems with which customers can maximise their share of solar power. Swimsol has already received several awards for its innovative approach, including the finalist of the “Powering the Future We Want” award of the United Nations in 2017.
With Econeers, Martin Putschek has won a renowned crowd-investment platform that aims to raise up to 800,000€ for the project. Econeers is a sister platform of Seedmatch in Dresden, fully dedicated to renewable energies.
How do you like the project? Give us your feedback!