Cooling as a Service: Winning Incubator Companies Announced

Cooling as a Service (CaaS) is an initiative led by the Switzerland-based Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), along with the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), and with the endorsement of the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. It aims to decrease energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from cooling use through a pay-per-service model for more efficient cooling systems.

After receiving 35 applications from around the world, the Cooling as a Service (CaaS) team has chosen the five technology providers that will pilot the first CaaS projects. Providers were chosen from India, Grenada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, and Argentina.

Following its recent global call for proposals for its CaaS incubator program, BASE received 35 applications from 18 countries, representing a variety of cooling applications and technologies. “We are delighted to see so much interest from technology providers to implement the CaaS model,” said Thomas Motmans, Sustainable Energy Finance Specialist at BASE.

The five winners will receive free support from BASE to integrate CaaS into the business models for their systems. This will include assistance on technical, legal and financial aspects, including contractual arrangements, pricing strategy, financial structuring, risk mitigation mechanisms, among others. At the end of the incubator program, the aim is to have providers fully equipped to launch their first demonstration project.

The following five companies have been selected to trial the CaaS business model:

1. BGH (Argentina)

Grupo BGH boasts 106 years of innovation, development and commercialization of cutting-edge technology products and services. It provides answers to the needs of businesses, public organizations and consumers across Latin America and Africa.

The company has four business units: BGH Eco Smart develops energy efficiency and smart building solutions, integrating professional heating and air conditioning products and services; BGH Consumer manufactures consumer electronics; BGH Tech Partner develops digital transformation solutions for organizations; and, Positivo BGH manufactures, sells and distributes personal computers, laptops and tablets.

2. CoolCrop (India)

CoolCrop develops decentralized cold storage systems which can be owned and operated by farmers, farmer co-operatives, or entrepreneurs to store perishable produce immediately after harvest to reduce on-farm waste and distress sale during low-priced market conditions. It has also developed a price forecasting system in the form of a market analytics app which helps the farmers make better marketing decisions for their perishable crops. Integrating these technologies with renewable energy technologies especially solar powering systems is CoolCrop’s domain expertise.

They partner with entities such as non-governmental organizations, self-help groups, financing institutes, market committees and government agencies to better realize the storage needs of the farmers or farmer co-operatives and therefore design and create systems best-suited to cater to the challenges they face.

3. Cooling Tech Ltd (Grenada)

Cooling Tech Ltd is a solutions provider and qualified dealer for Carrier commercial and residential air conditioning systems and refrigeration solutions in Grenada and throughout the wider Caribbean region. It designs, supplies, installs, services, repairs, replaces and commissions all sizes of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment to optimize the performance of its customers’ facilities, whether a single building or multiple sites. Its main focus is its state-of-the-art, high efficiency equipment and high- quality services driven by a commitment to provide energy efficient solutions while conforming to the Montreal Protocol’s “green” initiatives to protect the environment.

4. Grupo Clima (Costa Rica)

Grupo Clima is a Costa Rican business group with over 50 years of experience in air conditioning, refrigeration, building automation systems and electromechanical installations. In these years, as one of the largest contractors in the region, Grupo Clima has participated in some of the most important projects of the Costa Rican economy.

About 15 years ago, it started working on buildings that optimized controllability and comfort for the users. Nowadays, its service also focuses on energy-saving as providers of the latest technology and integrating building automation, involving HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other systems.

5. KoolBoks (Nigeria)

Although global warming is more prevalent now than ever with record temperatures on all continents, Africa in particular broadly illustrates the negative impact this extreme heat poses for millions of people, especially low-income earners. Many Africans face significant risks because they lack electricity and therefore lack refrigeration and other forms of cooling which can protect food and vaccines.

KoolBoks is a French company with a growing footprint in Nigeria. They are focused on democratizing the way the world experiences cooling. The company’s goal is to develop ice cooling systems through research and development and make them affordable and accessible to those that need them the most.