2015 was a big year for tackling climate change, with global leaders coming together at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris and the final version of the Clean Power Plan released in the U.S. That also made it a big year for renewable energy and energy efficiency as utilities, states, and countries look to transition from traditional fossil fuels to cleaner renewable sources. We’ve all heard about the challenges that the U.S. faces in making the transition to cleaner energy, and at Utilidata, we’ve been working on ways to make it easier for utilities to integrate distributed energy resources like solar and wind into the electric grid.
But you probably haven’t heard as much about the energy challenges in places like Cape Verde – an island country off the west coast of Africa that’s set an ambitious goal of meeting 50 percent of its energy needs through renewable energy by 2020. Currently, 25 percent of the country’s energy needs are met by renewables, with peaks of 35 percent. The government also plans to have at least one of the country’s ten islands 100 percent energy self-sufficient through renewable means by 2020. That’s a lofty goal, and one that will require a great deal of innovation and effective energy policies.
So when Miriam Vera-Cruz, our Applications Engineer and native of Cape Verde, was presented with an opportunity to work with the Luxembourg Development Cooperation on Cape Verde’s 2020 goals, we know it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Cape Verde has already earned international recognition for its use of wind energy, and strengthening the renewable energy market not only improves the environment, but saves a tremendous amount in energy costs and strengthens the country’s economy.
Having worked with a major west coast utility on a pilot program exploring the benefits of our VVO technology and the integration of solar, we know she’ll bring tremendous expertise and enthusiasm to this new renewable challenge in Cape Verde. At Utilidata, Miriam helped train utilities on how to use our innovative VVO solutions, becoming more energy efficient while maintaining grid stability. And while we’re sad to see her go, it’s exciting to know that one of Utilidata’s energy experts will be making a major difference in the future of energy for her native country.