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[Opinion] Our mission: to accelerate distributed clean energy in emerging markets

Our mission: to accelerate distributed clean energy in emerging markets

By: Sarah Chapman

 The new year seems like a good time to reflect on and refresh Faro Energy’s mission - and our vision for getting there. 

Over the next decade, energy markets need to transition from centralised, dirty power generation to clean, distributed power. This transition is essential; to prevent climate change, for public health, for energy security and resilience and for growth and prosperity. 

In fast growing emerging markets, this transition cannot come soon enough. Rapid energy supply growth is needed to support economic growth and increasing prosperity. However, air pollution from fossil fuel power plants is killing 7 million people a year [1], flooding from new hydro projects threatens fragile ecosystems and communities, increasingly erratic climate conditions threaten hydro generation predictability, and increasing frequency of natural disasters is making centralised systems vulnerable.

Distributed, clean energy is the only sustainable way for our economies to keep growing.

Faro’s mission is to accelerate this transition. 

The good news is that in sunny places, distributed solar presents a very competitive price when compared to conventional power sources - and so there is no major economic trade-off between clean and cheap.

Despite this, the transition to distributed clean energy is not happening anywhere near fast enough. And every new power plant (small or large) built this year will last for 20-50 years - so the decisions made now will affect the dynamics of the energy market for years to come. 

Faro is unlocking access to capital for this sector, ensuring upfront costs are not a barrier to deployment. It is developing first in market power-purchase agreements and rental agreements; adapting business models and contractual structures from more mature solar markets. And Faro is helping build the local supply chain and technical capacity, by partnering with local engineering firms and providing training.

Faro also aims to be catalytic in attracting capital to distributed solar in emerging markets. As Faro proves its own track record of deploying capital and generating reliable returns, it is also building track record for the whole sector. Faro wants to facilitate a large scale shift of conventional capital into emerging market energy infrastructure. We will have achieved success when major institutional investors are deploying billions of dollars into this space, and achieving long term reliable returns.

[1] Source: World Health Organization (WHO)