Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Solution name.

360 Energy

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Deploying low-cost hydroelectric microgrids in rural communities bolster clean electrification and green economic development for Indonesia, and the developing world.

What specific problem are you trying to solve?

Humanity is at a crossroads. Confronted with climate change, we face a pressing problem that threatens not only our way of life but also the very existence of our civilization. Burning fossil fuels for energy is a significant contributor to this problem. In Indonesia, we are particularly affected by the emissions and high energy costs from this practice. The scale of the emissions problem in our community is significant. Globally, pollution by emission costs us 8.1 trillion USD annually, and in 2016 alone, it resulted in 9 million premature deaths, or 16% of all deaths worldwide. In Indonesia, the effects of pollution are dire, with an average person potentially losing 2.5 to 6 years of life expectancy depending on the level of exposure. Emissions also drive climate change. With high flooding and extreme heat exposure, Indonesia ranks among the top three countries at risk from climate change. A looming climate disaster threatens Indonesia's freshwater availability, coastal population, and agriculture, with rice and crop production expected to fall, putting both the country's food security and economy at risk. Indonesia's economy relies heavily on fossil fuels, particularly coal, for its energy needs. In 2020, coal accounted for around 40% of Indonesia's total primary energy supply. While historically cheap, coal power now limits economic growth with rising costs for individuals and businesses. This is why, in 2020, the Indonesian government spent USD 10 billion on energy subsidies and committed to generating 23% of the country's energy from renewable energy by 2025. The government and the public have realized that fossil fuels are heavily costing them, both environmentally and financially. With a renewed focus on renewable energy, we believe that a portion of this budget should be invested in the development of clean energy solutions. As of 2020, renewable energy sources (excluding large hydro) accounted for around 8% of Indonesia's total primary energy supply. We believe that the potential of renewables is undeniable. Not only do they provide cleaner and cheaper energy options, but they also create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Based on data from our Dago system, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for a small hydroelectric power plant is only USD 0.018/KWh. Compared this to USD 0.165/KWh for solar power, we believe that our power plant is more suitable than solar power plant in many of Indonesia’s rural regions. The cheaper electricity costs will cause cheaper cost of production or lowered consumption. This will translate to extra disposable income that may be used for other purposes, which will help to raise the living standards of rural people. Not only that, extra clean electricity that is being provided ensures that greater economic activities can be done in those rural regions. The compounding effect of the cheap electricity will bring economic growth and an increase in living standards for everyone

Elevator pitch

What is your solution?

Our solution is the Moped Microgrid - Indonesia’s first energy solution for households, farms, and businesses that will utilize nearby bodies of water to produce clean energy. Just as the moped is a reliable and scalable solution to transportation, our microgrid will provide the same for electricity production. The Moped Microgrid includes a battery storage system and a micro-hydroelectric power plant. Expected to generate 4.5kW of electricity and offset 29 metric tons of CO2 annually, it’s the perfect substitute for fossil fuels. The Moped Microgrid generates power through the Gravitational Water Vortex Power Plant (GWVPP), a cost-effective hydroelectric power plant that can be installed on irrigation canals. The GWVPP is ideal as its installation allows for minimal vertical height and its conical design optimizes power output. The GWVPP turbine design prioritizes rigidity and repairability, with a key emphasis on simplifying and streamlining fabrication in local workshops. Through partnerships with these workshops, turbines can be reliably produced near each Moped Microgrid location. The PowerStack handles energy storage for the microgrid. This system stores excess energy produced by the GWVPP and acts as a backup power source when needed. The Moped Microgrid is designed to be sustainable and easily maintainable. Future plans to improve upon these characteristics involve the development of a Remote Monitoring System (RMS) that will continuously monitor power plant status and output to facilitate quick repairs by local workers.

Who does your solution serve? In what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We aim to provide sustainable and affordable electricity for low-income households of rural West Java, Indonesia of whom many earn income from personal, small household enterprises including farming, small stores, etc. Due to their rural location, customer base is limited and excess sales are rare. So more often than not, they live paycheck-to-paycheck with minimal profit margins, working hard to keep production costs low. One thing they can’t control is the cost of electricity. In the Pangandaran Regency, a relatively rural area of West Java, the electrification rate is 72.5%. This is due to the fact that electrical grids are located near big cities to cater towards the majority of the population, thus overlooking the rural minorities. What comes is that rural households are faced with unfavorably priced electricity. Mr. Sumarna, a fish farmer (aquaculture) and the president of Berkah Mina Farm, a Farmers’ Union in West Java, Indonesia, testified that the “price of electricity keeps getting up and the selling price of fish stays the same”. This showcases that household enterprises can’t respond to electricity price hikes as well as other industries, leaving them with decreasing profit margins as electricity prices continue to soar. With Indonesia currently gearing to scale up its renewable energy, we foresee 360energy to fit well in West Java’s supportive community for clean energy projects. Providing electricity to low-income families and farmers in rural areas of West Java is likely to have a positive economic impact in the region. Access to electricity can provide improved access to information, education, healthcare, and other economic opportunities, which can help to reduce poverty and promote economic growth. Such is the case with Mr. Sumarna, with whom we started our Moped Microgrid pilot. We monitored our pilot project closely and managed to supply free, clean, and reliable electricity for his fish farm. Electricity that is enough to not only upkeep his current production levels but also have spare electricity enough to power aerators, a common technology that most industrialized farms can enjoy. Thus, we were able to help Mr. Sumarna, increase his profit margins for his small business and improving his quality of life. We wish to see more people like Mr. Sumarna flourish. There are many more households who will benefit from our technology, as the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of West Java have reported that there are 1,250 farms in Pangandaran alone who can benefit from it. With this, we aim to impact the increase of fish production, providing electricity to families for every farm helped, as well as offsetting tonnes of CO2 annually per microgrid.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team, a diverse community of college students, young professionals, and experts from various backgrounds, experiences, and fields, is committed to revolutionizing the energy system. Comprised 12 undergraduate and master's students in fields such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Computer Science, Business Administration, Marketing, Finance, and Public Policy, we are led by a full-time project manager with a background in industrial engineering and extensive experience as a tenured analyst. Together, our team members hold a wealth of knowledge and skills, allowing us to tackle a wide range of challenges and achieve significant accomplishments. In the past year alone, we have successfully deployed Indonesia's first low-cost hydroelectric microgrid in West Java province and the country's first domestically produced vortex power plant. Additionally, we have secured a research grant from Aman Digital to develop a carbon credit monitoring system, and established a partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, through which we have conducted joint site surveys for potential microgrid deployment in Fall 2022. As the renewable energy industry continues to evolve and grow, our team's diversity and adaptability are key strengths that set us apart. Furthermore, our focus on understanding the needs and challenges of our Indonesian audience is evident in the majority of our team members being students from Indonesia.

What steps have you taken to understand the needs of the population you want to serve?

At 360energy, we take understanding the needs of the population we want to serve very seriously. We have taken several steps to ensure that we are providing a solution that truly meets the needs of each community. Firstly, we have partnered with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM Jawa Barat) to help find potential site locations and validate our emissions reductions. This partnership has been extremely beneficial, allowing us to conduct 20 joint feasibility studies in search of potential installations. Additionally, we have partnered with the IBEKA (People Centered Economic and Business Institute), an Indonesian nonprofit with 30 years of experience in implementing hydroelectric microgrids in Indonesia. This partnership has given us valuable insights into how to best establish and maintain relationships with underserved communities. Our advisory board even includes IBEKA's Executive Director Tri Mumpuni, who brings her extensive experience and insights to our team. But we don't just rely on partnerships to understand our audience. We also engage directly with our customer base in the engineering and development of our solution. For example, in the development of our pilot microgrid, we partnered with the Berkah Minah Farmers Union to ensure that the construction of our power plant did not hinder the day-to-day activity of the farm. We also developed a training course for farmers operating the power plant, and continue to receive feedback from the community to make improvements in design and operations. Overall, our approach to understanding the needs of the population we serve has been driven by both research and collaboration with key stakeholders in the community. We are committed to providing a solution that truly meets the needs of the people we serve.

Which aspects of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Taking action to combat climate change and its impacts (Sustainability)

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Prototype: A venture or organization building and testing its product, service, or business model

In what city, town, or region is your solution team located?

West Java province, Indonesia

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Kemal Rifky

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Our technology harnesses the power of water vortex energy. This technology has typically been built by foreign organizations, and targeted for larger energy demands of more than 15kW, making it prohibitively expensive for many rural communities in need - costing over USD$10,000 and requiring extensive maintenance. Our system, however, is tailored to each area’s energy needs, reducing the cost of construction and maintenance. Additionally, we have established a local supply and manufacturing chain that further reduces the cost of production. We also employ local construction workers in the area where the plant is being built, helping to stimulate the local economy. Our main vision is to propel Indonesia’s green economy. The main argument against renewable energy is that it is not reliable and that people are not ready. That is why investment in this industry is often slow because people perceive net zero to be unachievable without financial loss. The pilot project revealed that current consensus was incorrect; Mr. Sumarna was able to double his fish yield by utilizing aerators powered by the surplus electricity generated by the power plant. What this project showcases is that people are actually welcoming of renewable energy and innovative thus being able to prosper even more. Going forward, we expect to instill confidence in people making the transition to renewable energy

What are your impact goals for the next year, and how will you achieve them?

Our CSR program, the Lighthouse Initiative is geared towards expanding access to clean and reliable energy in underserved communities. As part of this initiative, we plan to deploy an additional 10 power plants, which will make a meaningful impact on the environment by offsetting 190 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of planting 13,400 trees. These power plants will also have a direct impact on the daily lives of 10 communities by providing them with basic necessities such as lighting for homes and schools, power for health centers and mosques, and more. Moreover, we are also focused on scaling our Smart Aquaculture Initiative, which is aimed at promoting green economic growth in villages and communities across Indonesia. By providing sustainable and reliable energy solutions for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we aim to address the need for uninterrupted power in the industry, which is not possible with traditional solar off-grid or battery-based solutions. Our solutions are designed to be cost-effective for businesses, with a lower cost of installation and levelized cost of electricity that is equal to or lower than solar energy. Through this initiative, we strive to drive sustainable economic growth and improve the lives of communities across Indonesia.

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Big Data
  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Internet of Things
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Software and Mobile Applications

How many people does your solution currently serve, and how many do you plan to serve in the next year? If you haven’t yet launched your solution, tell us how many people you plan to serve in the next year.

Currently, our pilot moped microgrid serves approximately 10 people in the pilot community of Cika-Cika in West Java province as it provides power for 1 household, farm, and small business. We plan to expand our reach to serve at least 500 people in underserved communities by the end of 2023 through the deployment of additional microgrids in underserved communities as part of our Lighthouse Initiative. The cika-cika microgrid alone, slated for opening in late February, will service a community of 50. Additionally, we plan to roll out microgrids for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) starting in Q1 2024, with the goal of serving at least 20 SMEs by the end of the next year. We believe that this approach will allow us to provide valuable services while also generating revenue through franchise fees, power purchase agreements, and carbon offsets. This will ultimately have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of these communities by providing clean and reliable energy and creating economic growth opportunities.

What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?

Currently, there are several barriers that are hindering our ability to achieve our goals in the next year. Financially, we face challenges in securing funding for the construction of power plants. On the technical side, we have identified that the time it takes to move from feasibility study to construction and ultimately, providing service to consumers, can be drastically reduced. This is primarily due to navigating bureaucratic red tape and conflicting government regulations in the permitting process. To address this, we have established partnerships with provincial governments to streamline the deployment process for future projects. In terms of operations and maintenance, we aim to improve the accessibility of communication channels for remote communities. To do this, we are implementing a dedicated servicing team that microgrid operators can easily reach through WhatsApp or SMS, and developing an easy-to-understand operational guide to train on identifying and resolving potential issues. Lastly, we are actively working to find the ideal payment plan for farmers. Throughout last year, we have worked closely with farmers but have not been able to finalize a standard payment plan due to rapidly changing market conditions. To address this, we are conducting further market research with our current partners to develop a range of payment plans tailored to different types of businesses.
Your Team

How many people work on your solution team?

Full Time Staff: 4 Part Time: 12 Contractors: 2

How long have you been working on your solution?

11 months

What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

360energy currently partners with several organizations, including the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM Jawa Barat) in Indonesia, the People Centered Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA), and the Berkah Minah Farmers Union. With the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, we works closely to identify potential sites for microgrid installations and to validate emissions reductions. The organization has been extremely supportive throughout the process and we hope to continue this partnership in the future. We also partner with IBEKA, a nonprofit organization with 30 years of experience in implementing hydroelectric microgrids in Indonesia. The partnership is aimed to gain a better understanding of how to establish and maintain relationships with underserved communities. The Executive Director of IBEKA, Tri Mumpuni, is also a member of 360energy's advisory board, bringing her extensive experience and insights to the team. Finally, 360energy works closely with Berkah Minah Farmers Union, to ensure that the construction of our power plant does not hinder the day-to-day activity of the farm and developing a training course for farmers operating the power plant. The partnership continues even after the deployment, as we continue to look for improvements in design and operations. The feedback received from farmers' unions has been overwhelmingly positive, and the community has given 360energy massive support.
Business Model

What is your business model?

Our business model is centered around providing sustainable energy solutions to small and medium-sized aquaculture farms in West Java, Indonesia. We provide our customers with a micro hydroelectric power plant that generates clean and renewable energy, which is used to power aeration systems in fish ponds. These aeration systems increase the oxygen levels in the water, leading to healthier fish and higher yields. We provide this service through a developer-owned utility ownership model, which includes an upfront franchising fee for the initial cost of deployment. This fee is a portion of the total cost and is used to cover the cost of the micro hydroelectric power plant and its installation. Once the deployment is complete, the farmers pay a monthly repayment until the cost is fully paid off. Once the cost is paid, the farmers only need to pay a low operations and maintenance fee. Our customers, the small and medium-sized aquaculture farms, want and need our solution because it provides them with a sustainable and cost-effective way to power their aeration systems, leading to healthier fish and higher yields. This in turn, increases their revenue and profits. Our solution also helps them to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to green economic growth in the aquaculture industry.

What is your path to financial sustainability?

Our path to financial sustainability is multi-faceted, utilizing a variety of revenue streams to ensure long-term viability. We have already deployed our first moped microgrid and are currently in the process of deploying 10 more microgrids in underserved communities by the end of Q4 2023 as part of our Lighthouse Initiative, our corporate social responsibility partnership program. This will not only allow us to improve upon our deployment procedures, but also increase our operational and maintenance capabilities. As the focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) becomes increasingly prevalent, our Lighthouse Initiative offers a unique combination of emissions offsets and community development, aligning with the priorities of corporate partners. We plan to roll out large-scale microgrids for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) starting in Q1 of 2024, while also strengthening relationships with SMEs through partnerships and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with local unions. Our business model includes revenue streams such as franchise fees, power purchase agreements, and carbon offset sales. Our goal is to create a sustainable business model that will allow us to continue providing clean and reliable energy to underserved communities while also generating revenue to fund our work.

Solution Team

  • RB RB
    Russel Bradley Chief of Scaling at 360energy.io, 360energy.io
  • Clarissa Ko 360 Energy
  • Kemal Rifky Executive Director, 360 Energy
 
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