“The challenge is building an efficient system that has a strong business case and makes the numbers work.”
Working in trading and operations at some of the world’s largest oil companies, Juan Pablo Cerda asked himself, “Will my kids be proud of me for doing what I’m doing?” When he realized the answer was “no,” he quit and started his own company to speed up the transition to renewable energy.
His first company, Almach Energy, which was acquired by South Pole in 2019, supported large companies on their journey to net-zero carbon. Founding it led to two realizations for Cerda. First, the renewable energy market is not transparent. Second, technology can help. And so his second company, Zeigo, was born. Zeigo aims to increase the uptake of renewable energy globally by creating a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers and simplifies transactions.
Half tech, half energy platform, Zeigo helps companies find and decide between renewable energy options using smart technology. “We noticed a huge gap. The renewables market was very complex and only accessible to large tech companies,” says Cerda. “We decided to change that.”
When companies like Microsoft and Amazon signed on, it was clear that Cerda’s initial hunch — that lack of price transparency was a barrier to creating momentum in renewable energy markets — was right.
“The energy industry is coming to an inflection point. New technologies such as hydrogen, energy storage, blockchain, and microgrids will change the way we consume energy for the better,” Cerda says. “The challenge is building an efficient system that has a strong business case and makes the numbers work.”
After successful trials in Brazil, Cerda is eyeing international expansion, starting with the U.S. “We’re positioning ourselves to run trials in other markets, expand our offering, and make international procurement of renewables a lot more straightforward.”