General Manager, Sunshine Energía Solar
The main driver of green energy technologies is cost. The second is the environment. Even in Costa Rica, cost is still primary. Costa Rica is the cleanest energy producing country in the world with nearly 95% coming from renewable sources; however, the cost of that energy is high. The solar panel is transforming this industry in dramatic ways because it allows us to generate energy where it is needed and to customize energy generation conveniently. We have a scalable, no-transport required energy technology with no moving parts and a lifespan of 25-30 years. Phase I is telling the consumer that there is an option and that option is transformative. We model every one of our locations, custom designing the system for the client. Our main target is the commercial industrial sector. Toyota, Banco Promerica, and Country Day School are a few of our clients. Interestingly, only a year ago it was illegal to install panels in Costa Rica and we are looking at an industry that has truly been operational for a single year.
President & CEO, Yuxta Energy
Yuxta started working in energy efficiency in Central America, with a strong focus on Costa Rica. It quickly evolved into a solar photovoltaic energy producing company. Then we expanded into Colombia, and some projects in Mexico will start operations soon. Our name derives from the word juxtaposition, embodying the union of our three pillars and their social, environmental, and economic impact. We have 71 active projects, with spectacular results. We reduce operation costs to our clients and improved efficiency savings in their operation. The commercial and industrial market is growing and is currently our largest segment. The residential market is not that viable because of the way the legislation was structured in Costa Rica; it has a high fixed cost. The cheapest way to save energy is to inform consumers on how they can efficiently use it. Close to 30% of the energy spent in the world is wasted energy, because people lack the necessary information about its correct use or are using inefficient equipment.
CEO, Alejandro Brenes
Our goal is to be solar facilitators; therefore, we have to maximize savings. Our reason for being is to maximize savings to the client. We do this through experience. We have the largest engineering and financial team in solar energy in the region. We have regional economies of scale. If we only focus on the Costa Rican market, it is impossible to achieve that. The market is relatively small, and we need to be in all of Central America to play in the big leagues. That leverage reflects the value proposition, and the client can see all our projects and compare. This is not a one-time sale; it is a long-term relationship. We want to make solar energy easy. What we offer is savings, and that comes from design, engineering, procurement, construction, operational maintenance, and finance. Business owners want savings, and they want to say that they have solar energy. However, they do not understand how it works or how they have to maintain it. We integrate everything that the market demands.
Executive Director, ACOPE
ACOPE was created in 1990 when Costa Rica legalized private energy generation. At the time, this activity was dominated by a monopoly controlled by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). ACOPE gathers renewable energy producers in Costa Rica. We are a business association that collaborates and interacts with government institutions. Our function is union and representation. We also have some activities oriented to renewable energy promotion and education. There are many opportunities to invest in the sector. Not everything is easy; investors must understand the legislation for private generation and its restrictions and take into account that Costa Rica is a great place to invest from a long-term perspective. We have restrictions on project sizing and how to participate in the market. Investment opportunities will be the future, and investors must be ready to respond to future tenders. There is a small solar project as well. It is incredible that Costa Rica does not have more solar-developed projects, and this could be an area of growth.
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