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Speeding Up Solar Project Development: Podcast With Glint Solar

Glint Solar is transforming the renewable energy sector by streamlining the initial stages of solar park development. Their innovative technology helps utility-scale solar developers quickly identify and evaluate potential sites, significantly reducing the time and effort required in the pre-permit phase.

In this podcast episode, we explore how Glint Solar is speeding up the adoption of solar energy and the challenges they face along the way.


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👤 Interview with Praachi Verma

Dunya Jovanovic: Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and explain what Glint Solar does for those who are maybe not familiar with your company?

Praachi Verma: My name is Praachi Verma, and I am the Head of Marketing for an innovative company in the renewable energy sector called Glint Solar. Our mission is to make the renewable energy transition easier for utility-scale solar developers. We assist them in the pre-permit or initial stages of solar park development, making the process easier, faster, and better. This involves finding the perfect solar site, evaluating its suitability, and persuading municipalities or landowners about the potential of the solar park. Traditionally, this process takes around thirty days, but with our innovative AI system, it can be done in five minutes. We aim to accelerate the adoption of solar energy by providing technology that helps people make faster decisions.


DJ: And what inspired the foundation of the company? Where did you find the gap in the solar industry that you wanted to fill?

PV: The solar industry has seen impressive growth, especially in 2022 when we crossed the terawatt scale. This means more countries and locations are adopting solar energy. Various factors like geopolitical concerns, the affordability of solar energy, and the need for energy security have fueled this growth. However, the challenge was that business developers often lacked the skills to analyze potential sites for solar parks. They had to rely on technical experts, creating bottlenecks. We provided companies with the autonomy to analyze and evaluate land on their own, freeing up technical experts for more critical tasks. This has made the entire process more efficient and satisfying for everyone involved.


DJ: Can you share a highlight from one of your recent projects?

PV: One of our recent successes involved a company that saved 2,000 engineering hours per year by using our tool. This is a huge advantage as it reduces costs and allows companies to expand without needing to hire more staff. Another example is a French company that used to rely on 15-20 different websites to find suitable land. With Glint, they can now find a site with just a few clicks, significantly streamlining their operations and allowing them to expand into new regions more easily.


DJ: Do you have any competition? Are there similar software solutions out there, and if so, how do you differentiate?

PV: There isn't any other software doing exactly what Glint Solar does. We focus on the initial stages of solar park development, even before permits are granted. We saw this as a crucial area that was overlooked. Our first-mover advantage and continuous collaboration with our customers to update and refine our tools set us apart. We create solutions for real problems by listening to our customers and involving them in our development process.


DJ: How do you educate the solar industry about the need for your software?

PV: We don't need to teach them the problem—they are already facing it. Our role is to show them how our tool can solve their challenges. It's about demonstrating what might seem too good to be true is possible with our technology.


DJ: Do you see differences in the solar markets across different regions or continents?

PV: Yes. Each country and even regions within countries have unique requirements and challenges. For example, Germany has specific requirements related to autobahns, while Sweden doesn't share grid data details. We have market-specific data that caters to these nuances, whether it's for agri-photovoltaics in France or other local requirements. This diversity is what makes our industry both challenging and exciting.


DJ: What were your challenges while scaling Glint Solar?

PV: Our main challenge is understanding and adapting to the unique requirements of each geography. Marketing-wise, we need to create localized content and strategies. Product-wise, we must ensure our tool meets the specific data requirements of each new market we enter. It's a challenging but rewarding process.


DJ: Where do you see Glint Solar in the next five years?

PV: We aim to be a company that significantly impacts the solar industry. We want to enable faster and more efficient solar park development, helping companies bring more leads into the pipeline and convert them into actual projects. Our goal is to bridge the gap between speed, efficiency, and quality in solar energy development.


DJ: Given your experience, what advice would you give to those interested in working in or adopting solar technology?

PV: Working in the solar industry is incredibly rewarding. It's satisfying to know you're helping the environment and working at the intersection of technology and sustainability. There's always something new to learn, and the industry is growing rapidly. My advice would be to join an industry where you can make a real difference.

📝 Full episode transcript

Hello, friends, and welcome to another episode of the Green New Perspective Podcast, your go-to place when you want to learn about innovative technology aimed at combating climate change. I'm hosting today a company that has developed technology that is accelerating solar adaption. If you want to learn how, stay tuned, and enjoy! Hi, and welcome to the Green New Perspective Podcast. Hello, Dunja, pleased to see you. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and explain what Glint Solar does for those who are maybe not familiar with your company? Yes, sure. So first, my name, my name is Prachi Verma, and I'm working as the head of marketing for an innovative company in the renewable energy sector called Glint Solar. So the motto of our company is to make the renewable energy progression easier for utility scale solar developers. So we help utility scale solar developers make the pre-permit or the initial stages of the solar park development easier, faster and better. In simpler terms, if we say that there is a lot of work required for creating a solar park, you have to find a perfect solar site. Sometimes you want to enter a new country and you don't know what specific requirements that country, you know, the concerns required and everything. And we want to make that process easier, as well as a process where you get some leads from people, like some landowners, some farmers, that, oh, you can use the land and you can create a solar park here. Right. So you want to evaluate whether that land is suitable for creating a solar park or not. So that process should also be easier so that you can quickly take decisions, right, that, oh, this site is good and this is not such a good site for creating a solar park. And as well as the stages when you have decided the land, but you want to create, persuade the municipalities or the landowners that, okay, here is what the solar park can look like, you know, here is a 3D view of the solar park. So all this is a very long process. Usually, it takes around close to 30 days with Glint. You can do it in five minutes and it might appear like a hyperbole, but actually there are a lot of specifics associated with the entire process. And as I said, we want to accelerate the adoption of solar energy. So I think the onus lies on us to come up with a technology that can help people who actually want to make the difference so that they can move faster. So yeah, that's in a nutshell about the company and what we do. And what inspired the foundation of the company? Where did you find the gap in the solar industry and you wanted to fill? So as I said, if we look into the solar industry, it has seen an impressive growth. In 2022, we crossed the terawatt scale and to people who don't understand, you know, it's very big, it's very huge. That means more and more countries and more and more locations are adopting this particular source of energy over all the other sources, right? Be it fossil fuel or nuclear energy or whatever. So I think there are a lot of things that fueled this adoption. As we saw some geopolitical concerns lately with the wars and, you know, European dependency on the Russian shale gas reserve. So the solar energy is not just growing. It's not just because it's sustainable, but it's also because it's affordable. You know, the cost that this energy, you can produce this energy and people can use this energy at a lower price. So the cost factor is there. And as well as there is a security factor, because more and more countries, they now want to adopt a security in terms of the energy security. That's why more and more countries and companies, they want to create solar parks. But as I said, that this adoption comes with its challenges. And the challenge was that if I am a business developer and I lack the skills that are required to create an analysis for a solar park, as I said, to analyze whether this park is suitable for generating X amount of electricity or not, I cannot do that on my own. I have to rely on a very technical person. These people are called PV engineers who actually their task is more important when the permission has been granted for creating a solar park. We don't need them to spend a lot of time in the initial stages where we are just evaluating land. We are just trying to see which land this versus that, right? So at that phase, there was a lot of bottleneck that people were facing. They had to wait for PV engineers to do that task for them. So we provided these companies with the autonomy to analyze and to evaluate and find land on their own. And the engineers are happy because they did not want to spend time on trivial tasks. And obviously, their skill set is more needed during the later stage when there is actual construction happening in the park. And so, yeah, it's a win-win situation. We are making the entire process easier and all the people associated happier with how they do the work. And can you share a highlight from one of your recent projects? Yeah, so it's like we are adding new countries every two weeks or every week sometimes. Where do you operate? Sorry for interrupting you. I don't think we mentioned that you're working in Europe. So, it's not that we are working in Europe. We are based out of Norway, but we have got customers from across the world, from Europe and some parts of Asia as well. We have the data and the technology and the capabilities that people from across the world can utilize. And yes, based out of Norway, we are sending the ripple effects of solar adoption to the world. And let's go back to the question about your recent project. Definitely. So there are two projects that I would like to mention. I was particularly very happy because we worked on creating these customer success stories. And they told us that after using our tool, they were saving 2000 engineering hours per year because of Glint. And that's such a huge advantage for any company. Because you see, it's not just the cost that is associated with either outsourcing the engineering work as well as recruiting more people in your team. Because you see, companies that are adopting solar technology, they are expanding the regions that they want to focus on, as well as the project, the number of pipelines that they are generating. So more and more projects are coming. But it's not so easy and it's not economical. And sometimes it's not even possible to add those many people to accommodate for that increase in the portfolio size. So I'm really happy that we are working in a company that's making things so easy. And they told us that it's not just easy, it's fun to work in your tool. And because of sometimes it happens that because of the tool, they were able to enter a country that was not possible for them to do it without without the tool. So that's so good to hear from the happy customers. And one more example is I'll not tell the name of the company because you can go to our website and read the case studies there. But this is a company. It's based out of France. And they used Glint tool to reduce the time that they were spending on finding the land. So they told us that they were using 15 to 20 different websites, you know, every time they had to find a land, they had to go to 15 to 20 website and they had to evaluate, oh, this site is not fulfilling this criteria or the other one. And so it was a lot of back and forth and a lot of time was getting wasted on just evaluating and finding, you know, the perfect site that they need. And with Glint, it's like the click of a button, you know, you just have to make three or four clicks and voila, you can find, let's say, I want to find a site that 15 kilometers from a substation. I can do that very easily on Glint. And I don't have to worry about, you know, which country specifically, because we have the market specific data. So I want to, sitting in France, I can expand the operations in Romania or Spain or Germany. So, yeah, I think that's very impactful. And do you have any competition, like are there some similar softwares? And if yes, how do you differentiate? I guess that's a perfect question for you. Yeah, I think coming from marketing, I think differentiating the differentiating factor is something that we absolutely want to be clear upon. But I'm so happy that there is no other software that is doing all the things that Glint Solar can provide these companies with. As I said, that we are specifically focusing upon the initial stages or to be more precise, these other stages when you have not gotten the permit that, OK, now you can start building a solar park on this land. So we are sitting before that phase. And I don't know. But the reason that maybe companies were not seeing it as that important an area to focus upon. But we saw the opportunity there. And a lot of companies are they were looking for a solution like that. So we were the first mover advantage. It's what we got in the market. So and also our roadmap and even the feature updates that we do is more and more aligned with what our customers are telling us. And we from every now and then we go to them, we discuss with them that, oh, this particular feature is helpful for you or not. And we create the entire roadmap in collaboration with our customers and so that they know what kind of updates are important and they can be a part of that process as well. So I think that's a very big advantage that we are creating a tool for real people to solve the real problems. And that's where the differentiator is right now. And on the communication side, since your product is unique, how do you educate, well, the solar industry that they need this kind of software? Actually, to be honest with you, I don't have to actually teach them because I just have to know the problem, you know, and we just have to tell them that, hey, if you are facing this problem, then we think that we have the solution for you. And it's the education part is more around telling them how is it possible, how is it possible to do the 30 days worth of task in just five minutes. So, yes, there is already a challenge that they are facing. Yes, there is already a need for the tool. So we just have to tell them that this is not too good to be true. It's actually true that there is a tool like this that exists and it can be where we were hearing you. We were hearing you and without you even telling us that you needed something like this. And do you see differences in the markets for solar in different regions or continents? You mean in terms of how different the solar energy scenario and requirements are for different countries? Especially when we talk about land, they use solar parks, which is your expertise. Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it's largely different, you know. Let's say, for example, for Germany, they have a certain requirement with Autobahn. And in Sweden, they don't share the grid data details and things like that. So there are a team number of challenges and differences, you know. It's different for every region, for every country. And sometimes within the country itself, there are certain regions where there is a lot of data and there are certain regions where the data is not so good enough. But yeah, as I said, that because we have market specific data and we know what specific things are required, let's say for France, they are more inclined toward Agri PV, which is agriculture plus solar energy. They want to create a system where they can plant maybe strawberries so that they require some shade, you know, things like that. So we are also creating a new research and we are updating the tools so that we come up with a bespoke solution for Agri PV projects as well. Yeah, as I said, it's very different. And that's what is the beauty in the industry and the challenges that they face. And yeah. And where were your challenges and Glint Solar while you were growing, scaling the company? So I think the challenge for us, to be honest, is that, as you said, it's different for every country, right? So you have to explain to every geography, like if we want to open a market, it's not just one approach that we can take for every other country that, OK, this is our secret sauce and we are going to reach every other country in Europe with that value proposition, with that knowledge or with that data requirement. It's not like that. So we have to create a system where we understand the requirements for each and every geography. So be it localization, creating messaging and content pieces in their own language, as well as the keyword strategy to understand what kind of challenges people are facing and what kind of searches that they are actually conducting on search engines and everything in between. So we have to understand that. And I think that's the challenge marketing wise that we are facing. If you want to ask about the company level or the product level challenges, I think it is the same. That, yes, we are moving, as I said, we are increasing the number of countries that we can deliver to. And then for every country, the data requirement and the tool requirement are different. So we have to understand that and we have to explain it to everyone. And I think that's challenging as well as satisfying at the same time. So and we learn a lot when we talk to people, when we move to new countries. And that's a learning and evolving process, I would say. I think collaboration is the key here in clean tech. But where do you see Glint in, let's say, next five years? So next five years, it's something that we have discussed internally quite a lot of times. We want to be a company that's actually making a difference to the world. And we want more and more solar companies to start, you know, creating a tool that can help them accelerate or move fast towards the later stage or later project stages. So that means they are bringing more and more leads into the pipeline, and they are converting more and more leads to the later stages. So we see ourselves as a company that is bridging that gap between speed and efficiency and also the effectiveness of how quality projects or lands are going to later stages. So we see ourselves as someone who is enabling that growth for the solar industry. Since your company is aiming to accelerate the adoption of solar energy and help solar companies to grow, what do you think that needs to change so the global energy landscape moves into a more renewable direction? I think there are a lot of recent events that have fueled that kind of a growth, the renewable energy growth. And I've mentioned previously that be it the geopolitical events that we saw, more and more countries, they want to be self-reliant when it comes to energy. It's not just about self-reliance. It's also about understanding that, you know, a sustainable way of producing and securing energy is far better than going the fossil fuel or nuclear way. So I think there is a transition that is happening. And as we speak, the solar industry is witnessing more than 40% growth year after year, and that's quite impressive. And even within that growth, if we look into the utility scale solar growth, that is more than 70%. So I think that we are moving in the right direction, right? But how far will we be able to sustain this growth is the question. And for that to happen, because there is a limited amount of land and everyone wants to win the solar race. And yeah, we think that it's important for everyone, for each and every country who wants to invest and develop in this sphere. They find the right lands or locations for solar park development. And yeah, let's see how it goes. But right now, the scenario is looking very promising for the solar industry particularly. And for our listeners who are interested in either working in solar or adopting solar tech, what advice would you give them based on your experience? See, based on my experience, I think I personally enjoy working in an industry. I know where I know I'm doing the right thing. I'm helping the environment. That's so satisfying. But at the same time, it's also a cross section of technology and speed, as I said. So yes, you get to work in an industry which is technologically very advanced. We see more and more advancements are happening, you know, in terms of the manufacturing or in the solar panels, the kind of capacity or energy yield they can generate. So I think being at the intersection of technology is always better because the technology always grows. So if you want to get into an industry which will... So you can look at your children and you can say that, oh, I'm working for the right cause, you know, I'm actually working on saving the planet. That is very satisfying. If you are interested in technology and you want to learn more about a bee, you know, at the epicenter of technology, then it's good to come to such an industry where technology is always growing and changing. At the same time, as I said, there are many conferences happening related to solar industry where you learn a lot, you meet people. Suppose if it's a wind developer and they want to move into solar and vice versa, you know, you explore various different options. And so, yeah, my suggestion would be to definitely go to such an industry where you can make a difference. And where can people get informed about Glint? Website, socials, share all your links. We are going to add them in the description of the video. Definitely. So, yes, if you want to learn more about Glint Solar, you're more than welcome to our website. We have all the information there. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well. And obviously, you can get in touch with me specifically on LinkedIn and a lot of us, and we'll be happy to help you with whatever questions you have. Well, thank you, Prachi, for being my guest here on the Green New Perspective podcast. Thank you so much, Judith. It's such a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for watching another episode of the Green New Perspective Podcast. And a big thank you to our sponsor, New Perspective, a Boston-based marketing agency working with clean tech clients only. And if you're interested to learn how our sponsor is helping clean tech companies to grow and to succeed in this market, check out the info that we shared in the description of this episode. You have their website there and social media. And if you want to support us and what we do here at Green New Perspective, you can consider subscribing to our channels. We are everywhere on YouTube, Zencastr, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you stream your podcasts. And we appreciate your feedback and your support. I hope that you enjoyed this conversation and that I'll see you in the next one.


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Host & Co-Producer: Dunja Jovanovic 
Executive Producer: Marko Bodiroza
Creator: Nathan Harris
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