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Interview: Jeremy Crane, CEO of Yellow Door Energy

Jeremy Crane of Yellow Door Energy, on the Shams Dubai rooftop solar power program.

When did Yellow Door launch in the UAE, and why? Was there a visible demand in the market?

Yellow Door was launched on July 1st, 2015 to respond to DEWA’s new net metering legislation under the Shams Dubai program. We created this new venture, a spin-out from Adenium Energy Capital, because servicing hundreds of distinct electricity consumers is a different business model that requires a nibble client focused company instead of a private equity firm.

Yellow Door can supply solar power for less than the DEWA rate, and on top of that, companies can lock in their electricity price with Yellow Door for the long term. The economic incentive combined with the positive CSR and environmental benefits of buying solar power has translated into a huge market for solar energy in the region

We’ve calculated the demand for distributed solar power in Dubai to be approximately 1.9 Gigawatts.

Since the launch, how has the response been? Who are your target buyers?

Almost every company we speak with would like to be more competitive by saving money on their electricity, hedging against future price increases and providing CSR benefits for their employees and community. The possibility of achieving this without investing their own capital is very appealing.

We’ve seen a lot of interest from manufacturing, logistics and storage companies since they consume a lot of electricity and typically have large rooftops. Shopping malls and other large commercial buildings are also our target market.

Where else in the Middle East are you based? Do you plan to expand to other markets within Middle East, could you name the countries?

Currently we have offices in Dubai and Jordan and are actively pursuing activities in Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. We will be expanding into other regional markets this year including the rest of the GCC , Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan.

Could you tell us more about how Yellow Door works with an emphasis on Shams Dubai?

Yellow Door is a solar electricity utility that enables the move to solar easy by providing solar leasing options to businesses, institutions and governments at no up-front cost – our customers only pay for the electricity the system generates.

Yellow Door owns the solar systems and leases them to customers, enabling a full turn-key solution, including design, engineering, installation and commissioning of ground-based and rooftop photovoltaic power plants. It maintains the system and offers a performance guarantee to ensure trouble-free operation throughout the lease.

It’s in line with Net metering legislation under Shams Dubai program that allows companies to produce solar power on their property — behind the meter — and not only use that electricity but also be compensated for the electricity that their solar system feeds into the grid.

Could you elaborate on your work in Jordan?

Thanks to our parent company, Adenium Energy Capital, we have a long successful history in Jordan. Currently Adenium has over 50MW of projects under construction and will soon be the largest solar power producer in Jordan.

Yellow Door is leveraging this strong reputation to deliver solar power to many commercial companies including Hospitals, Hotels, Shopping Centers, Universities and much more. In Jordan we capitalize on Wheeling regulations that allow one to generate in one location and consume elsewhere. Therefore we service the dense urban area of Amman by generating on the outskirts of the city.

Do you think there is a need for more clean energy investments in the Middle East?

The world’s energy demand is continuing to grow and meeting this will be a real challenge. The rapid development of the GCC countries means we are part of that global picture. And thus, unlocking the growing clean energy investment opportunities in the Middle East will be key in fulfilling the energy demand that is expected to increase threefold in the next 15 years.