Speaking to the TechGraph, Shanaz Khan, COO of Cygnet Energy said, ” Middle East and African regions have the potential to produce over 200 Megawatt of Solar energy.”
Read the complete interview:
TechGraph: Could you help give a sense of how far Cygnet Energy has come since its existence?
Shanaz: Since Cygnet Energy’s inception 2 years ago, we have gone from strength to strength in the terms of starting with a 1-acre plot of land in Namanga Kenya, to now being in a position of having just over 104 acres of land producing 100MW of both solar and wind combines (70MW of solar energy with 30MW of wind produced) annually.
TechGraph: How is Cygnet Energy utilizing its sectorial expertise to solve the unsolved electricity gap in the Middle Estate & African Region?
Shanaz: As we all know emerging markets otherwise third-world and developing countries don’t have great energy infrastructure because of corruption, lack of funds, and local communities operating based on fear.
This is where Cygnet Energy comes in, we solve that problem by being the driving force in interconnecting the communities from our Community Cooperative (Microgrids) by turning residential houses, places of worship, schools, and businesses into their mini solar microgrids, our track record shows that our enact for has also allowed communities to earn a living in reselling their excess electricity to neighboring microgrid communities or back to the grid, earning an income or yearly dividend payout.
As it is Africa and the Middle East have the potential to produce over 210 GW of solar power, that’s enough to power nearly half a billion homes worldwide otherwise 60% of the world demand for electricity overall, we’re looking to contribute and reach that potential by helping to build the necessary infrastructure and technology required.
TechGraph: What is your view on the role of solar in redefining the power sector?
Shanaz: We view it as a smart decision and a move that should’ve been done a couple of decades ago. It would’ve helped massively especially as the world shifts to net neutrality, as it is solar can offset a total of 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per year, depending on where you live.
Moreover, the running cost of maintaining solar is far cheaper than what would have been spent extracting fossil fuels, which is more deadly for the environment and climate than it is.
TechGraph: Do you think solar-powered power players can address the electricity demand in Africa from a larger perspective?
Shanaz: Yes, solar power has the opportunity of powering 60% of the world as we speak, with wind combined we can reach that by 100%. Not just the existing solar power companies but if the existing energy suppliers can make that shift, we’d be able to help get the majority of Africa connected to supply not just themselves but the world. This just doesn’t go for solar energy but this transfers over to clean and green technologies as well.
TechGraph: What is Cygnet Energy’s growth trajectory?
Shanaz: Cygnet Energy to date, we’ve established a market share of 1.2% thanks to our Kenyan solar farms and COOP (community cooperative) and we look forward to doubling that to 3% / 5% globally in the next two years.
This also goes, for our Community Cooperative initiative of having 55K members, we’re looking to extend that to over 110K members, via with presence known more in the ME (Middle East) and EU region, which will help with the expansion of building out the infrastructure needed to meet the world energy demand with working with the governments.
In the process, we haven’t forgotten the main important topic, which is our carbon footprint, from the two years of operation we’ve offset a total of 13.24 tonnes YoY (year over year) of CO2 globally, from our existing 100MW solar and wind farm and look to keep that transparent footprint public knowledge as the world works towards net neutrality.
TechGraph: What is the roadmap for Cygnet Energy, going forward?
Shanaz: Currently, we’re in the process of raising £7M for our first-ever Series A round, via investors of all scales, which will be split directly towards our Suffolk, Belgium, and Kenyan (African) operations.
We also view investors who share the same ethos as us to join us on our journey together as the world shifts to net neutrality and welcomes renewable energy as our new default.