Navigating the journey to net zero is tricky for businesses and that’s where Copper Coast Renewables can play a vital role.
Copper Coast Renewables is an energy renewable company on a mission to ensure businesses in Ireland and the world at large reduce their carbon footprint while saving money.
“I am trying to help Ireland reach our net zero carbon targets through partnerships with clients and reducing their on-site energy usage with the use of innovative renewable technologies,” said founder and CEO Luke Deasy.
“Our goal is to save businesses money while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint”
“Carbon Reduction and Net Zero are the number one issue for our current generation and will be for some generations to come. The market size is unquantified but considering it is on the government agenda with fines of up to €100 per tonne of C02 there is a significant market in place for growth both nationally and internationally.
“According to the EPA Ireland is going to fall short of our 2030 targets by approximately 22% meaning there is vast room for growth especially when Copper Coast Renewables doesn’t just focus on one technology, we cover all the renewable energy technologies for both green and brownfield developments. To put a figure on just open for the markets we operate in, the current solar market is valued at €3.75-4.5 bn, according to Davy.”
Copper Coast Renewables is focused on providing world-class energy savings to businesses through innovative green technologies such as Solar PV (photovoltaic) and wind, heat pumps, energy auditing and monitoring and more.
“Our goal is to save businesses money while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. We have a very flexible suite of offers in that we can come in and only look at one energy source and focus the reduction on that or we can carry out full SEAI accredited Energy auditing on all processes and help the clients business through the entire journey to net-zero across all of their energy requirements and processes improvements.
“It generally starts with open and honest communication with the clients, we come in, evaluate their processes and procedures, energy usage and general knowledge of their current situation. We then listen to clients needs/wants and generate a plan from there.
“Some clients want reduced electricity bills, in that case, we will review solar and wind for their facility and offer a full turn key solution to them to carry out the works including planning permissions and post completion operation and maintenance etc. if required. We can also offer a funded model where there is no capital spend by the client or we also offer ESCO or PPA models where the client pays for the Heat or Electricity we produce. It really is very flexible and we have something to suit all clients.”
Copper Coast Renewables was founded by Deasy this year. “I’ve always had a notion to start up a company but it took until 2023 for me to be brave enough and take the first steps. Throughout my career I’ve had many experience that encouraged me to get to where I am today.”
These include completing a stint of work in both Kazakhstan and Mozambique. “Though tough, the experiences of dealing with different countries, cultures and industries helped me greatly.”
Other career highlights included being promoted to project manager in Kirby Group, gaining recognition as a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland and the Institute of Engineers UK as well as FEANI for Europe in 2018.
Deasy was involved in the construction of some of Ireland’s first solar farms and has given CPD talks on renewable energy technologies and the rules and regulations in Ireland, which has given him recognition within the industry.
“Winning Engineering & Construction Professional of the Year as well as the overall Young Professional of the Year at the Lincoln Recruitment awards in 2022 was the final push I required to make the leap into my own start-up,” said Deasy.
He finds the Irish start-up ecosystem to be supportive and positive, especially in the renewable energy sector.
“There are many grants and courses available for free to help a start-up get going and always a learned ear available to reach out to for advise.”
Deasy said he is not currently raising funding. “I’ve secured a large body of work to the tune of €4m and am focused on the pre-delivery and delivery of that before the end of the year. That will take approximately two more months at which point I hope it will be running itself and I can focus on 2024 and 2025 from July onwards. All going well I will be investigating funding towards start of Q4 2023.”
Pent up energy
To keep the business running smoothly Copper Coast Renewables has developed its own ERP (enterprise resource planning) IT System to track all projects, finances, website, media, maintenance, stock and CRM.
“We are in the process of investigating adding AI to automate as many processes as possible which will improve business flow and cut down on repetitive tasks.
“In addition to our software, we are constantly evaluating new technologies coming into the market.
“The renewable energy sphere is advancing so quickly, and it needs to if we are to achieve our collective goals as a nation, it does take a great effort to try and stay up to date with the latest technologies, Where we try to capitalise on that is by having a very remote working based team with employees here in Ireland and abroad who are all hearing news from different markets on a daily basis, those employees can then bring all of that to our projects here in Ireland, it gives us an edge above others and having the flexibility to work remotely allows us to stay agile and not waste time on the traditional 9-to-5 or travelling to work.”
Like all entrepreneurs, the hardest lessons come early. “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt so far is to not count my chickens before they hatch! By that I mean, no matter how much work you have put into a quote or tender and how much positive news the client is feeding your way, there is always a chance the project will go to someone else at the last minute.
“I cannot count the amount of times I’ve come home to my wife saying I’ve secured this or that and its fallen through at the last minute. Its sole destroying but in the start-up world that is going to happen and you just have to pick yourself up and start afresh the next morning, analyse the loss and see what can be done to improve for the next offering.”
His advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to just go for it. “You’ll regret it if you don’t. I spend years toying with the idea of starting a business and the only regret I now have, besides the sleepless nights worrying over money, is that I didn’t back myself and trust that I could do it. Yes its hard but anything worth doing is hard work but the payoff when it starts gaining momentum is worth every second of the stress and tears and even worth the sleepless nights.”
Main image at top: Copper Coast Renewables founder and CEO Luke Deasy