An online marketplace for renewable energy
The energy market is far from transparent. According to the founders of Vandebron, 60% of consumers think they’re buying renewable electricity, but 90% of the electricity that’s available is in fact produced with fossil fuels. Big utility companies act as resellers, buying renewable energy certificates abroad and selling cheaper non-renewable energy at home, making a profit along the way. Democratizing the energy market will make big utility corporations – and their investments in fossil fuel providers – obsolete, which will be necessary for a market that will one day only use renewable energy.
Vandebron (meaning ‘from the source’) is a Dutch startup founded by four millennials who thought there could be a better way. Their aim is to democratize the energy market and allow renewable energy producers to sell directly to consumers, just like Airbnb or eBay. Take farmers Bernard and Karin Kadijk, who have a wind turbine on their farm that produces enough power for 600 households. A consumer can buy power from them at their stated price of 28 cents for a kilowatt hour, simply by signing up and providing them with their details. Unlike utility giants, Vandebron doesn’t charge for power, instead taking a $12 dollar monthly subscription fee from both the producers and the consumers. While utility companies charge more when you use more energy, Vandebron actually wants consumers to use less energy, which means more subscribers for the same source, and better conservation of the environment.