Residential rooftop photovoltaics (PV) remains one of Australia’s hottest energy options, with the Clean Energy Council reporting, in December 2018, that two million Australian households had installed solar panels on their homes.
The energy market is a complex sector, which needs to be dynamic to meet fast-changing consumer requirements and global pressures. In Australia, energy is also a politically delicate area, ripe for disruption.
Solar entrepreneur Emma Jenkin, co-founder of DC Power Co, is uniquely qualified to be part of a revolutionary change in Australia’s energy sector thanks to her strong insight into data analytics and her merged commerce/science background.
Jenkin completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne then worked in industry before co-founding DC Power Co, an Australian solar energy retail start-up that has completed the world’s most popular equity crowdfunding campaign to date — raising $2.5 million from more than 17,500 investors.
Jenkin is a self-confessed ‘maths geek’ who completed first-year university maths while still in high school, then started an engineering degree before moving to a combined Bachelor of Science and Commerce degree, where she majored in maths and statistics.
“Our research revealed an appetite across Australia to have more energy independence in the face of distrust around the electricity sector,” she says.
“PV solar is driven by people’s desire to take on renewables for cost savings, for self-sufficiency and for the environment.”
Jenkin’s co-founders — Nic Frances Gilley, Monique Conheady and Nick Brass — have all worked in environmental, energy or carbon trading markets, she says. Their aim is to drive mass efficiency and buying power for member households. Research shows that nearly
20 per cent of rooftop solar systems don’t function properly, and DC Power Co uses analytics to identify non-performance and is the only company that alerts customers when their systems don’t work.
“We spotted a need for an energy company that focused on solar households,” she explains.
— Brendan Fitzpatrick
>Bachelor of Science/Commerce, University of Melbourne
>Executive Director, UBS commodity index training
> Project Manager, Carbon Bridge Ltd
> Executive, Cool nrg International
>Director, FIIG Securities
> Co-Founder and CFO, DC Power Co
This article appears in Australian University Science Issue 1.