EIT InnoEnergy supported BeOn aims aims to democratise access to renewable energy and encourages people to install solar energy on their property.
The European Union has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% (from 1990 levels) by 2030, with 32% of energy generated from renewable sources in the same timeframe. It’s a target that renewable industry trade association, SolarPower Europe, believes can be easily met with the aid of solar power. They believe that demand for solar power is set to reach 15GW per year in Europe, but manufacturing and installation capacity may hinder the potential of the technology.
Portuguese solar technology start-up BeOn Energy is tackling the challenge head on. Created by electrical engineer Rui Beon in 2015, the company aims to make it easier, faster and cheaper for people to install solar panels on their property. They do this by turning a solar panel into a home appliance, therefore bypassing many of the complex and disruptive work required to plug solar panels into the energy system of the property. Instead, it allows the technology to be plugged directly into a standard plug socket, just like any common home appliance, and feed into the property’s electricity system from there.
BeOn Energy is one of two EIT-supported companies offering installations that can be safely plugged into a wall socket. BeOn believes that such simplicity can be hugely important in democratising access to renewable energy and encouraging people to install solar energy on their property.
We created a new product that can be installed safely by any person, just as you can with other household appliances, such as a fridge or microwave. It’s a huge breakthrough in the democratisation of solar energy, as anyone who can afford a fridge or television can now afford their own solar energy system.
Rui Beon, founder BeOn Energy
As one of the leading start-ups in Portugal, the company was identified as a suitable candidate by EIT Climate-KIC. The impact of working with the EIT has been immediate, with the EIT ‘seal of approval’ already proving invaluable when attempting to validate both the company and the technology to potential partners, investors and customers.
Beon hopes that as the partnership develops, there will be a number of exciting opportunities to work on pilot projects with the various utilities and energy companies that are part of the EIT Community network.
A lot of our work with utilities starts with a pilot project, but the value we bring to customers is often quickly evident and there is a mutual desire to then scale things up. We have a multitude of technologies that we’d like to bring to the market, but we need support to help get pilots started, and to then scale up successful projects from there.
Rui Beon, founder BeOn Energy
While a lot of initial work has been done in Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula, Beon believes that the cost-effectiveness, flexibility and durability of the technology renders it something that can be viable throughout Europe and further afield.