In one of the first virtual training courses, 17 MP participants from Chile explored green business options in a variety of applications from production, import and export to environmental economics and consulting in the energy sector. Given the ongoing energy transition underway in Chile, there was great interest in digitally exchanging information with two German companies in September 2020.
The two companies – SunOyster Systems GmbH and EasyWind GmbH – are located on the GreenTec Campus, a green technology and energy cluster in northern Germany for firms involved in renewable energies. The seven-person staff at SunOyster Systems develops innovative solar technology. Founder and CEO Dr Carsten Corino addressed Chile’s enormous solar potential in his presentation: "The northern part of Chile has the best solar resources in the world, especially when it comes to direct radiation.” Although Germany’s solar potential is only a fraction of Chile's, Corino also outlined the local development opportunities for German solar energy. This is of key importance for the company's business model, which is entirely geared towards the use of solar energy. Chilean participants were particularly interested in the "SunOyster" solar collector’s innovative design and industrial applications. The systems co-generate electrical and thermal energy, and the waste heat created by power generation can go into a variety of heating applications. The SunOyster name hints at another special feature: the solar power modules close automatically, almost like an oyster, when storms and high winds hit.
MP participants used the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions about the business model and technical issues, including Claudia Puentes, who works in Chile's solar industry at ENERGÍA MC2. During the meeting, she announced that she would be contacting SunOyster GmbH regarding a possible cooperation.
The virtual tour of EasyWind was also a highlight for the Chilean executives. John Witt, in charge of international business at EasyWind, talked about the company structure and philosophy. For over 30 years, EasyWind has made small wind turbines for power generation and marketed them worldwide. The company's turbines are designed and manufactured in Germany to operate in harsh climates and with little maintenance. Participants were particularly interested to learn from Witt that competition in the market for wind turbines has dropped in recent years and that the EasyWind 6 is the only IEC-certified small wind turbine currently on the market. Witt also pointed out the advantages of the quality associated with the "Made in Germany" label in demand from international customers, noting: "If you want to be competitive as a German company today, it's not about price, but about quality." Participants were interested in EasyWind’s approach of balancing out higher production and labour costs with lasting and exceptional quality that wins over customers at home and in selected countries. The company’s dedication to building robust products so savings after a few years offset the initial investment was another valuable insight.
The subsequent discussion focused on questions about local challenges to the applicability of the products and export opportunities to other countries through local distribution partners.
The Chilean managers expressed appreciation for the exchange with two companies with different innovative solutions that can be transferred to their own country and the openness of the two representatives. The interest in continuing the bilateral conversation was correspondingly high and promises further potential for cooperation.