Carpat Energy started its activity in 2008 and specializes off-grid and on-grid photovoltaic systems. Through their network of partners their are able to serve all regions of the country and their capabilities range from providing equipment and components, to full services of installation and maintenance.
Can you provide our readers with a brief overview of Carpat Energy and its key capabilities?
We started out in 2008 and we grew alongside the market, which was very small at the time. In the beginning we targeted several directions and wanted to offer solutions for both electrical and thermal energy, but over time we decided to solely focus on the production of electrical energy and even further, we developed in-depth expertise in the niche area of off-grid systems.
The projects we handle range from very small installations to three-phase (inverter) solar systems which involve tens of photovoltaic panels. We are able to offer all the necessary equipment, which we import from our international partners, and we also perform the installation itself, including project assessment and sizing and later on maintenance services.
You are providing a necessary service to isolated residents, among others – where do you see demand coming from at the moment?
The majority of our work is indeed dedicated to the residential sector, and particularly off-grid systems, a chosen niche for us where demand is on the rise. The development of this market was a natural result of unmet needs, as there are many isolated areas that do not have access to the national grid at all, or if they do the connection is problematic. People in these areas would most often rely on generators, which use fossil fuels and involve recurring costs, and this prompted them to start looking for alternative solutions. Renewable energy systems fit their need perfectly and people started trusting these solutions more and more over time.
Our client portfolio includes companies and larger consumers, that activate in various industries. For instance we provide equipment to companies in the automotive industry, particularly ambulances or police vans. To them we offer specialized components like inverters, controllers, converters etc. It is a niche that is lucrative for us and that we want to develop further. We also have customers in the telecom industry, that need to ensure the functioning of antennas in remote areas. They need to install solar panels or wind turbines and to them we offer technical support, both regarding the sizing of the installations and supplying certain equipment. Another example would be small hotels or guest houses that generate tourism in remote areas, a sector that has been growing lately and where the national network grid does not reach.
How would you characterize the competitive landscape in your field of work?
The competition is relatively high already and the sector keeps growing. Our strategy is to maintain a positive relationship with existing. Fortunately we were not greatly affected by the turmoil in the renewables sector a few years ago, because we mainly activated on the off-grid market which was not really influenced by what was going on in this area of transferring the energy into the national grid. We have, however, kept an eye on the on-grid market and we plan to get involved in such projects in the near future, for example we want to take advantage of the national program that encourages the installation of photovoltaic panels. As we progress with these plans we expect the competition to become even steeper.
What impact do you expect the national program to have on the local market?
We are following the preparations for this program and we have applied to become an authorized installation company. The idea is good and it will certainly have a positive impact on the population. For the end customer such installations can bring annual costs savings of up to 75%. During summer the system can meet all consumption needs, and the surplus that will be transferred in the network will come back to them during winter months as a form of compensation. I do expect, however, some difficulties in the implementation process. One needs to work with distributors and suppliers of energy in order to obtain the technical solution from the grid suppliers so it can take a long time to get everything done. Both the customer and the parties responsible with the installation will have to deal with various layers of bureaucracy, at least in the beginning until all mechanisms are in place and the firsts projects are completed.
We hope this program will not be a one-off initiative, and that similar ones will be launched in the future. The funding offered currently is not really significant, as it allows for about 30.000 installations at a national level, which is relatively low compared to the interest we are seeing amongst consumers and also the potential that this field has. There are many areas in which our solutions can be applied so we see significant room for growth going further.
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