Solar start-up Veranda Solar wants to change the world of solar power the way Apple changed computers. Veranda got a big head-start on financing the start-up when the company was awarded 100,000€ as runner-up in the PICNIC Green Challenge, funded by the Dutch postcode lottery. The solar panels Veranda uses are nothing special. The prototypes were developed in cooperation with Stanford University and SunPower Corp. No new photovoltaic advances, no biomimicry.
But these solar panels are offering something new to the market. Check the photo over the fold to see what makes Veranda solar special and decide for yourself if they have what it takes for success.
Image via: Veranda Photos
Veranda Solar panels are plug-and-play. They can be installed in hours, with just a screwdriver, and without expensive solar specialists. The ease of installation on balconies and hanging out of windows will appeal to sustainably-oriented city dwellers, although solar panels will certainly join clotheslines and television dishes in the architectural eyesore wars. But this is exactly the angle Veranda Solar will use to compete. Veranda intends to win the wars by selling -- in the words of Travis Bradford, president of solar-research firm Prometheus Institute: "sexy solar."
The solar panels can be flat-packed for efficient shipping and come with everything needed for operation. At $400 for a 60 to 70 watt ($600 for a panel with inverter and cables), the Veranda solar panels are affordable, or at least in line with the cost of many electronic toys that are enjoyed by the people in Veranda's target market, but not beating the market benchmark of $1 per watt. However, Veranda can appeal to lower income buyers with the expandability concept. Consumers can start with one panel, adding additional panels later simply by snapping them on. Veranda also plans to use financing models that promote the accessibility of the technology, such as leasing the panels through utility companies.
CEO Capra J'neva is quoted in Salon:
We interact with real people to create our products, so we are reducing market risk by understanding the real needs of people.
More on Veranda Solar
Can Oakland Startup Veranda Become the Apple of Solar?
Veranda Solar Wins 100,000€ in PICNIC Green Challenge
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