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⚡ Commission-Free Energy

This Week in Startups

Photo by Federico Beccari | Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Jason Calacanis & Molly Wood
Guest: Alan Chang | Founder & CEO | Tesseract Energy
Category: ⚡ Energy | DTC Energy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[25:47] AC: "[On a] high level, we're trying to build a community driven renewable Shell. [...] We are building a fully integrated renewable energy company, so that's buying and building utility scale solar, wind, batteries, and we sell directly to energy consumers. [...] [Through] full integration and bypassing the brokers, we can effectively improve our margins, and we pass some of that margin improvement or savings back to the customers."

[27:39] AC: "The reason why we go direct to consumer [is the following]. If you look at the energy economy, [...] [you can] break it down to several buckets. So the first big bucket is actually retail [with] approximately 30% of the energy economy, which is much bigger than most people think. [...] If you compare [...] what individuals or SMBs pay to [...] the Amazons of the world, the difference is very, very drastic. [...] Number two is, right now, most of these projects are owned by big private equity firms and big energy companies. And they're also financed by big project finance banks. And the energy is sold by licensed brokers right, then eventually gets to the hand of the customers. So effectively, so many people have made this slice of the cuts before getting the chance to the customer."

[30:41] AC: "The problem of rooftop solar is you need a rooftop, and not everyone has a rooftop. [...] Number two is the economics for utility scale, you know, generators are much, much better than rooftop on retail scale. [...] Third is there's no liquidity for rooftop solar. [...] The fourth problem [...] is effectively the solar technology itself. [...] The peak production for solar happens [...] around noon [...] [whereas] the peak demand for most people is actually from 6 to 9pm. [...] During the day exporting your excess solar back to the grid and you get a very, very bad rate usually, and at night, you are basically importing. So 30% time is basically like an energy hedge, 70% of time it's like a financial product, like a savings account."

[32:59] AC: "We want to take effectively a hybrid technology of utility scale wind, solar, and batteries and [...] we want to tokenize it, and then basically give like a virtual solar panel to the customer with 50% better economics than rooftop solar [and] much better UX. [...] You can buy and sell anytime. [...] Most importantly, if you let's say you decide to move house, [...] you take your virtual rooftop solar with you. [...] Token is for us a way to do accounting really [...] as well as facilitate liquidity, which is helping people to buy or sell in the secondary market."

[45:44] AC: "Probably the biggest challenge is our reliance on China. Because China produces the majority of the utility scale batteries used, [...] PV panels or wind turbines. I think, whilst renewables can help any country to get energy independence, [...] on the manufacturing side we still rely on China. [...] I think we need to take manufacturing locally, where the energy is generated and consumed."

Rating: ⚡⚡⚡

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🗓️ 10/16/2022
✅ Time saved: 46 min