Start-up making a bite in renewable energy disruption

Redback Technologies, a start-up making inroads on disrupting the supply and consumption of solar energy in Australia, has announced a partnership with the University of Queensland to further enhance its development capabilities.

Redback Technologies, a start-up making inroads on disrupting the supply and consumption of solar energy in Australia, has announced a partnership with the University of Queensland to further enhance its development capabilities.

The Brisbane-based firm began trading mid last year and already has grown to around 20 staff working across three continents, with continued rapid growth on the horizon.

“What we're trying to do is create the enabling technologies that allow neighbours to trade electricity specifically,” Philip Livingston, Redback Technologies’ founder and managing director, told My Business.

To do this, the company has developed a complex software offering that controls the variability of solar power by redistributing energy generated during the day to times of peak energy consumption.

“Effectively with renewable energy generation, we have plenty in the world to take us completely off any type of dirty generation source, but what we don't have is a lot of storage or good algorithms to match when supply and demand in any other kind of broader context than how the market currently does it with very expensive and very greenhouse gas-intensive open-cycle gas generators,” Mr Livingston said.

“So we're trying to subvert that process by using algorithms to do it, predictive analytics to do it – predicting human behaviour – and then on top of that, for any lag, using a small battery, like a hybrid car rather than an electric vehicle battery.

“We have … most utilities in the country … and the large installers in the country and network service providers, the people that own the poles and the wires, all talking to us, because they can see that our model is actually quite disruptive.”

According to Mr Livingston, the company is focused primarily on expanding its offering in Australia, given the sizeable demand for such products here, although international expansion is a longer-term consideration.

“In fact, we sell all of our products through a very large business-to business electrical wholesaler … and this group has asked us to move into a multitude of other countries with the product. We’re not resourced to do that now, but we will be going to the market for a Series A at some point this year, and so that is a judgement call for us,” he said.

 

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