Americana is one of North America’s largest environmental trade shows. The renewz team was happy to exhibit at Americana for the first time at the end of March. We enjoyed our visit to show in Montreal and were able to share information about our products with thousands of visitors from more than 40 counties around the world.
Our CEO, Sass Peress and Chief Technology Officer, Dan Cohen, were part of the renewz team at Americana and shared their thoughts about their experience.
Sass Peress, renewz CEO:
We took a position that Americana would help expose buyers from around the world to our solutions. The limited investment was a risk we thought worthy of taking, despite very little time to prepare for our team.
Dan Cohen, renewz Chief Technology Officer:
Our goals are to generate sales leads and more visibility in the industry. We are bringing our next-generation products onto the market this year, and it’s helpful to meet people and talk about trends and challenges in this sector. Although energy is a concern for every kind of commercial and industrial project, people working in the green-tech sector are particularly open to renewable energy sources and installations. It was an opportunity to connect with potential clients and talk about their projects, as well as to find a few suppliers for evolutionary add-ons in our own development.
In fact, we exceeded our goals. Our encounters there generated direct leads for sales, began the conversation for several interesting partnerships, and we may have found a key vendor with a ready-made product to solve a difficult issue for our own products. We didn’t expect so many municipal and regional groups to be present, looking for solutions and offering generous resources to continue our growth.
We met many buyers from outside Quebec and Canada and were able to connect with key personnel who had never considered using solar carports for their real estate properties. I would say that we met part of our goals, although we didn’t close any deals. Our team did a great job of helping people learn about solutions.
There is a general ignorance about solar carport solutions. Being a “mature startup”, it’s important for renewz to find efficient ways to connect directly with decision-makers for cities, universities, and corporations.
One of the challenges that we address within our own product design is the de-mystification of solar energy. We find that there is a baseline awareness of solar power’s availability, that it’s clean, reliable, and getting cheaper. We still encounter resistance from many areas – even with some very technical clients – who believe that solar is terribly complicated. As we get exposure and offer solutions that are deployed as turnkey solutions or “kits,” we help to dispel this preconceived notion, and Americana is an excellent myth-busting vehicle for the environmental sector. Our booth also attracted quite a few students from universities and trade colleges. This exposure carries far more impact into the future as this generation becomes main decision makers down the road.
Simply looking at the trend of solar energy’s contribution to worldwide energy production in the last 24 months would answer the question –
“The economics of large-scale solar today mean a rapid decline for every other kind of energy source. Quantum leaps in energy storage performance will trigger the next great wave in adoption.”
However, renewz’s place in this remains the same; we are not utility grid providers and don’t build megawatt-scale wind farms. Our area of expertise, and our market niche, is a small installation of solar for commercial on-grid and off-grid clients. As the solution grows smarter, we are ready to work with national providers so that our collection of small installations can collaborate with their distribution and capacity challenges to create the “smart grid.” We may not produce gigawatts of power, but our presence has a real impact in the new energy reality (not “realpolitik” but “realelektrik”).
Carport and canopy structures are the next frontier in solar. While rooftops and ground solar systems are growing well, exponential growth is expected for solar covering structure markets. In the next few years we expect that balance to change as carports and other canopy structures start to become prevalent within the solar industry.
We don’t like telling the market too far ahead of time, yet we feel that there are opportunities beyond commercial properties for solar structures: some private, some public spaces and some completely remote from the grid.
Our next generation of product is coming later in 2017. We’re working to meet people’s needs beyond commercial properties, into residential areas and public parks. We are also working to integrate with electric vehicle fleet management services and to build our own customer apps and tools. This helps us maintain a relationship with the client and make energy a part of daily conversation.
Renewz is committed to a few trade shows this year in solar energy, electric vehicle technology and related sectors. We will be keynote speakers at Canada’s first Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Show on May 26th through 28th in Montreal. In addition, we will have a booth at a green energy show in Old Port of Montreal this summer, the first green event ever in the heart of Montreal’s top tourist district. If there’s an event where you’d like to see us, please reach out to us [1-888-208-8320 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to connect with you there.
We also hope to exhibit our newest solutions at CES in Las Vegas in January and potentially at the IBS Show in Orlando next January.