Nonprofit Support Driving the Impact of Open Source Energy Solutions
Misconceptions about Open Source innovations can lead to missed opportunities for organisations to leverage the benefits of Open Source innovation, such as increased collaboration, cost savings, and faster innovation. For Michel Fripat, chief technology officer at Solarly, a Cameroon based solar energy company, adopting Open Source makes impact much more possible and aids profitability.
“An advantage of the Open Source project is that anybody will be able to easily start their own projects in any other market. If we have one way to communicate that we have implemented, that would be easier to implement that project on the field. Of course, one needs to make some modification based on your reality,” he says.
Open Source makes it that much easier for others to make slight changes, modifications, or even fix problems – with proprietary technology, it’s either complicated at best or impossible at worst.
“What we have observed in the [Energy Access] industry is that Startups have innovations with different use cases and this comes with customisation needs,” says Danny Friedrich, CEO at Pineberry. “So if you look at any Open Source project, you find out that you need some time to do your introduction.”
In a scenario where different players are developing their own solutions to the same problem, each using their own unique methods and technologies, we see a lot of “re-inventing the wheel.” This is where compatibility issues come in and make it difficult for new innovations to be integrated into existing systems. It can also slow down the pace of progress and limit the ability to scale up successful solutions.
While Open Source projects can present a learning curve, a user or adopter of Open Source technology has the advantage of being able to see the latest updates, bugs, and contributions to the project anytime. Projects like the Open Smart Meter, which is supported by EnAccess, also come with that added layer of quality assurance.
As the world shifts towards more sustainable solutions and the demand for clean energy continues to grow, investing in Open Source energy solutions is becoming increasingly important. Companies that embrace this trend now will not only help to address pressing energy needs, but also position themselves as leaders in the industry.
For companies looking to make a difference, partnering with the EnAccess Foundation provides a unique opportunity to support innovative technologies and contribute to the Open Source in Energy Access community. By doing so, they can play a crucial role in shaping the future of energy in Nigeria and beyond.
Are you interested in using or adapting the Open Smart Meter in your own company’s operations? If you need help getting started or trouble-shooting along the way, EnAccess offers free support. Just let us know how to reach you by filling out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.