The 2016 E&E Trek took place in Amsterdam, during April. We went together with the Marketing Club, which meant that ESADE had over 45 people wandering around the Venice of the North.
On Thursday morning, we headed towards Delft, a town located near Rotterdam, where we visited Bluerise. There, we were greeted by Berend Jan Kleute, one of the Founders.
Bluerise has a patented technology to generate “Ocean Thermal Energy” (OTEC), which consists in generating power through the temperature difference between the cold deep water and the warm surface water of the ocean. In order to make this technology economically competitive, Bluerise has developed several by-products which reduce the overall costs and increase the revenues associated with an OTEC plant. This include Seawater air conditioning, desalinisation, and aquaculture.
Due to the fact that the temperature difference must be considerable, OTEC is only applicable in certain specific areas worldwide, where the superficial water is warm enough. They are currently building their first plant in the island of Curacao, in the Caribbean.
Bluerise is located in YES! Delft, a high-tech incubator, that belongs to Delft University. There, innovation and cooperation complement each other in order to develop breakthrough technologies, giving birth to numerous interesting starups, that we also got to know.
In the afternoon, we headed again back to Amsterdam, to visit Tesla’s service centre’. We were greeted by Nico Decurtins, an ESADE alumni, that is the company’s Marketing Manger for Europe. He told us about the company’s steep growth in the last years and his experience working for the company. He also gave us some insights about he company’s overall strategy, both in the automotive as in the power storage industry, with Tesla’s Powerwall.
Tesla is destined to be one of the most relevant players in the sustainability landscape, so receiving a inside perspective was a privileged and confirmed our previous ideas about the company’s potential
To finish a busy day, we went, together with the Marketing Club, for some drinks with the local alumni chapter, where we got to know fascinating professionals.
On the second day of the Trek, we visited Green Giraffe and Ecofys, both consultancy firms based in Utrech, a charming city, 30 minutes away from Amsterdam by train.
Green Giraffe is a financial consultancy firm, that structures renewable energy projects and that has a strong focus on offshore wind platforms. We were received by Rik Anders, who proved to be an amazing host.
In the presentation, he told us how those usually massive projects, are financed, what is the capital structure behind those deals, who are the typical investors, which rules govern the legal aspects of the deals and the expected economic returns.
Despite some recent setbacks related with the unpredictable behaviour of regulators, the industry has thrived during the last years, and the expectations remain strongly positive for the future.
In the afternoon, we went to Ecofys, where Bob Prinsen kindly received us. Ecofys has a broader focus, compared with Green Giraffe. Not only they provide financial advice, but also analyse trends and prepare research papers for specific industries and for the EU, helping them forecast future energetic requirements. They also provide advise on how to reduce the environmental impact in numerous industries and arbitrate with the different stakeholders involved in large energetic projects.
Finally, after two intense days we returned to Amsterdam, in order to fully enjoy the weekend, touring, visiting museums, and of course, partying
The Trek proved to be a very enriching and enjoyable experience. We go to know amazing people, who told us how their companies are trying to change the world, in order to save it for future generations. We managed to get valuable contacts for the future and had a terrific time.