⚡️Energised #003

March 3, 2021

If someone tells you that the winter is time to slow down, they've probably never been in a startup. Because in Rexplorer, we had no chance to slack up.

During the past four months, we've updated our land plot search tool, interviewed solar users and municipalities, hired talented interns, and launched a new website.

Some of the startup kitchen's details below 👨‍🍳👇

Rexplorer is a small team of experts who help energy producers spot the land plots with the best renewable energy potential. We optimize every stage of a project with geospatial analysis, SCADA, modeling, and visualizations.

Land Plots Search

Choosing a land plot for a solar or wind park isn't simple.

First of all, we must check the environmental restrictions across the relevant databases. This first stage called the Environmental Impact Analysis is usually done by the consultancies.

Consultancies may use some advanced GIS tools and usually charge per site check or hourly based rate.

But do early stages of a project have to be so complicated when the answer is simply Yes or No?

We're sure – not at all! You don't need a degree in Geo Sciences, only to search for a suitable land plot.

That's why Rexplorer has built the Reverse Search feature. Simply by entering the criteria, it gives you a report and a visualization of the land plots with the lowest Levelized cost of energy (or LCOE).

"You don't need a degree in Geo Sciences or expensive software to make a land plots search"

But the environmental conditions are always changing: the government can add new protected areas, species, or change the area's development plans. To provide reliable results, we must constantly keep our platform's database up-to-date.

Here are some of the data layers that we've added in the recent months.

  1. Valuable Landscapes that have either cultural-historical, aesthetic, natural, or recreational values;
  2. PRIA (Agricultural registers and information board) are the lands that have been noted in area aid application during the last two years. If the landowner now decides to start developing renewable energy instead, they are supposed to pay back the aid;
  3. The Green Network consists of forests, protected areas, and other areas with vegetation cover. The idea of the Green Network is to ensure the preservation of different types of ecosystems and landscapes as well as balance the effects of settlement and economic activities;
  4. Water Restriction Zones are surrounding the water bodies. Their purpose is to protect the aquatic environment from negative environmental impacts due to construction activities.
Valuable Landscapes have cultural-historical or aesthetic value
Valuable Landscapes have cultural-historical or aesthetic value
Our platform is currently built for Estonia, and soon will be available in Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, and Norway.

Want to see it in action? Book a demo 🗓

Customer Research

When we talk about renewable energy production, there are several types of actors

  • Solar panel (PV) users
  • Landowners
  • Project developers
  • Municipalities

For an early-stage startup, user research and interviews are the best way to figure out those users' needs.

Today two interns from the Estonian Academy of Arts help us with this challenge. Emilia K. and Kate S. are doing an amazing job of talking to users and helping us wire up the prototypes.

Recently, Kate and Emilia went through a year-long archive of messages from a local solar enthusiasts group on Facebook. By analyzing 100s of messages, they were able to map the most frequent problems and themes that provided us with insights for further product development.

A virtual board with the interview results
A virtual board with the interview results

Climate Budgets

Introduced only a few weeks ago, climate budgets are now actively discussed by specialists. However, there are more questions than answers.

Our intern Emilia has done an amazing job talking to the representatives of local municipalities. We've learned that there's too little information about what the climate budget is, how to build it, and, most importantly, implement the budget.

There are lots of apps that show you how much CO2 is produced per region by different kinds of activity. But no tool will show you the locations where emissions can be compensated with renewable energy.

Luckily, there are great success stories in other countries, such as Norway. There, Oslo's City Government was the pioneer in making the climate budgets work.

The captureMap by our partner Endrava
A tool for mapping CO2 emissions in Europe (Credits: Endrava)

As a participant of the Norway Grants "Green ICT" program, we are lucky to get Norwegian partners who have hands-on experience with the subject.

Together, we aim to be the local pioneers in providing the municipalities, local communities, and society with knowledge about the climate budgets.