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Leasing the sun's energy

Reduce energy costs without capital investment through a solar lease, says Rory McCarthy, Chief Commercial Officer, Yellow Door Energy

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Rory McCarthy, Chief Commercial Officer, Yellow Door Energy
Rory McCarthy, Chief Commercial Officer, Yellow Door Energy

Colleagues in the energy sector convene in Abu Dhabi this month for the 24th edition of the prestigious World Energy Congress. On the agenda are critical topics on energy, such as new visions of energy, renewable energy, innovation and inclusive prosperity. Renewable energy is an integral part of the current and future energy mix. If correctly implemented, it can pave a pathway to prosperity for businesses and residents in the Middle East and beyond.

Yellow Door Energy, the leading solar developer for commercial and industrial businesses in the Middle East, takes a holistic approach to energy by providing both solar and energy efficiency solutions. With Yellow Door Energy, businesses can save energy and money, lower their overheads, improve their power reliability, and lower their carbon emissions.

Abundant Sunshine, Unlimited Opportunity

Despite the abundance of sunshine in the Middle East, solar power was not a viable source of electricity for many businesses in the region due to a lack of capital and limited solar technology know-how. To address this gap and make solar accessible to businesses, Yellow Door Energy created a disruptive innovation with a business model called a solar lease, also known as a power purchase agreement (PPA). 

Solar Leasing: A Disruptive Business Model

With a solar lease, businesses can go solar with ease. YDE manages all stages of the solar plant from financing, engineering, construction, and commissioning, all the way to operating and maintaining. The business pays YDE a monthly solar bill at an electricity unit rate that is less than that of the local utility’s tariff. YDE customers can save between 10-50% of their electricity bills with a solar lease. Businesses reduce their energy costs and lower their carbon emissions, all without any capital investment.

Forward-Thinking Regulations and Visionary Leadership

In 2015, DEWA introduced the Shams Dubai program, the utility’s net metering scheme. As well, Jordan implemented solar wheeling. These regulations propelled the adoption of solar in the region and YDE was founded in the right place at the right time, fortified by a team of international solar and energy efficiency experts.

A Bright Future for Solar

YDE’s success grew with the accelerated adoption of solar in the region. The company now has over 100 megawatts of solar projects and continues to on board prestigious customers such as Nestlé Middle East, Unilever Middle East, and Carrefour Jordan/Majid Al Futtaim. In January 2019, YDE raised $65 million from institutional investors including the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), Mitsui, Equinor, APICORP and Adenium Energy Capital.

This raise is the largest venture capital funding for a Middle Eastern solar company in 2019 and puts commercial-scale solar on the map. It also signifies investors’ trust in Middle Eastern companies to deliver on competitive returns. The solar industry can continue to expect a bright future in the region.

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