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Analyst Report: Upgrade for access Farm to Flame Energy Offers Green Generators and a Long Timeline
Farm to Flame Energy is developing a generator system that uses dry biomass instead of fossil fuels. But the startup is far from commercialization.
- Company: Farm to Flame Energy
- Security Type: Convertible Note
- Valuation: $10,500,000
- Min Investment: $100
- Platform: Wefunder
- Deadline: Apr 30, 2023
Better Alternative To Harmful Diesel Generators
I’m originally from Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta. And even though Jakarta is supposed to be the most advanced area in the country, power outages were normal when I was there. While I was growing up, the state power company would send us letters informing us that there was going to be a rolling outage to either save power or work on stabilizing the power.
It’s been some years since I’ve lived in Jakarta. And I thought that maybe the city would have gotten better at preventing these blackouts as it’s continued to develop. But no. In 2019, Jakarta experienced its second largest blackout in 14 years. The outage worsened traffic congestion — which is notoriously bad to begin with — due to traffic lights being off. The city’s new metro system was evacuated, stranding passengers. In total, 21 million people were affected. If that’s how the capital handles electricity, I can’t imagine how much worse the electric grid must be in rural or underdeveloped areas.
No matter how much Indonesians have requested better and more dependable power, it never seems to happen. So people and businesses figure out their own solutions to ensure they have electricity when they need it. Those who can afford it commonly use diesel generators that are well-known for hurting the environment. Despite the pollution they cause, these generators are reliable and easy to get.
But now there is a cleaner and cheaper alternative to costly diesel generators. Farm to Flame Energy recognized that there are countries that lack access to reliable and affordable electricity. So it designed a two-part system that can provide 24/7 electricity for companies that produce large amounts of dry biomass — like woody debris, yard trimmings, and dry crop waste. The first half of Farm to Flame Energy’s solution takes the biomass and converts it into a highly efficient carbon powder. The company’s generators then use that powder as fuel. The generators are installed at the clients’ locations, alongside a storage tank that disburses the fuel as needed. The operation is completely automated and remotely monitored, so that clients can completely ignore the generators.
You might be wondering why renewable energy isn’t the more obvious solution. And the answer comes down to a combination of reliability and cost. Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, end up being dependent on the weather. In order to supply constant electricity on demand, solar- and wind-based systems need batteries for energy storage. But the need to use batteries makes the cost the same price as your normal electricity bill.
Farm to Flame Energy delivers massive value by presenting dual-sided functionality. Its generators offer affordable electricity at $0.15 per kilowatt hours ($0.15/kWh) compared to solar batteries and diesel generators ($0.45/kWh and $0.30/kWh respectively). Its generators also act as a smokeless combustion processor, eliminating biomass waste. This dual-sided functionality serves a few types of clients — those who need to repurpose or reduce their biomass waste, those who lack grid connectivity (or, of course, both).
The company is adopting an electricity-as-a-service model. It will serve as the operator, installer, maintainer, and owner of its generators — with plans to provide clients its generators for free and charge them for the electricity costs. With this business model, I expect Farm to Flame Energy to have a smoother market adoption, which is crucial for a new technology such as this. In the future, however, the company plans to utilize third party project financing (Learn the lingo: project financing loans typically fund long-term infrastructure, industrial projects, and public services. The loans can then be paid back with cash flow generated by the project). And I think that could be an even better monetization strategy than supplying electricity-as-a-service. Using project financing could help mitigate the initial funding risk of manufacturing the generators. And this model will potentially generate a higher annual return rate as the upfront cost will be lower.
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