Photo's: Greener


Batteries on building sites

How Greener Power Solutions became the innovative leading company in a conservative industry

By Bénine Buijze

During a backstage visit at a festival, three young students from TU Delft were shocked by the amount of diesel being used. Isn’t there another way? they thought. In 2018 they founded Greener Power Solutions: a company offering a solution for temporary electricity demand. From festival to construction site: Greener helps minimize their clients carbon footprint with the use of their smart battery containers. Chief commercial officer Anna van Nunen explains how this is put into practice: “We’re challenging the establishment of temporary energy suppliers and we’re effective.”

A conservative industry

The temporary energy industry is dominated by polluting diesel power generators Van Nunen explains: “The use of diesel generators is still preferred. It’s quite a conservative industry in which the innovation is not going as fast as in the permanent power infrastructure.” Little alternatives are on the market and the industry itself is not swift to radically change gears. “There are some smaller companies and some generator lessors who have small batteries, but not on the scale Greener is doing it. In four years, we have obtained a market-leading position.”

How Greener does it

If there’s a temporary power demand, Greener will supply power as sustainable as possible with their big smart batteries. Together with the client Greener researches how a project can be best organized. A lot of planning and calculating is involved in this. The battery is combined with a power source on location. This can be in the form of a (green) grid connection or mobile solar panels, but sometimes they have no choice but to use a diesel generator.

Battery vs. diesel power generator

Using a generator can’t always be avoided. The downside of a battery is that it’s a limited energy source. When it’s empty, it’s empty. “That’s why Greener combines it with energy sources on location, like a fixed grid connection or a diesel generator.” A battery and a generator are two different things. “Therefore, the application of both is also different,” Van Nunen says. “A generator produces energy as long as you put diesel in. A battery stores energy. You can choose what energy is being buffered. In this way you are able to use the energy sources on site more efficiently. You can generate more capacity as well as power when you’re using a diesel generator with a battery inbetween. But a diesel generator works 80 % inefficiently. Even when you don’t have to use a lot of power, the generator will run at full speed. You use more diesel than you would like. The software in Greener’s batteries makes sure that the generator only runs when necessary.”

But what’s there to gain from using batteries? “Quite a lot,” Van Nunen says. “You can look at it in several ways. Since starting our company, we have saved 1.2 million litres of diesel. That’s enormous. We monitor this well, because we measure everything we do.” But even per individual project, there are concrete profits. “In construction the savings on diesel vary from 30 to 100 percent. With current diesel prices that’s a huge financial gain, but even more for the environment. It’s seriously a lot of CO2 and nitrogen reduction.”


We save 30 to 100 percent of diesel per project.

Not only are Greener’s batteries environmentally friendly, they’re also smart and are able to communicate via the messenger-app Telegram. “Projects have access to the dashboard ‘Greener Projects’”, Van Nunen says. “Here, clients can monitor what their battery is doing: what kind of power does it provide, how does it do that, is it still charged, etc. Moreover, we’ve got a chatbot in every battery. We do this via Telegram.” Batteries can also be operated via the app. “We, but the client too, can ask for statistics, but also ask it to run a different program, charge quicker or stop. This is the real time part of the monitoring. Alongside, we have a data analyst on staff who calculates what gains are realised when it comes to operating hours of the generator. With this, we quantify what we have saved on diesel, nitrogen and CO2 emissions. We put effort in these reports, because we find it important that the advantages of our batteries are measurable. It gives good insight in how a project has performed, both for the climate and the client.”

Foot in the door

Despite the current success of Greener, the start-up needed a lot of vigour and stamina to get a foot in the door with the construction industry. “Starting out, we had to take a step back and explain what clients can obtain from using a battery on their construction site. We took the time for that in the beginning. It took us a year before we did our first project in construction. In the mean time we did a lot of pilots to show what’s possible: your tower crane will not malfunction when it runs on a battery.”

Financial stimulus

Another challenge for Greener were the tight margins of the construction industry. “When it comes to our prices, we still compete with diesel,” Van Nunen explains. “In some countries, Belgium for example, they still have so-called red diesel. This means that they can use diesel for a cheaper price, because they are a company. It saves them about half. From this, you see that the financial stimulus works. The transition to sustainable construction is slower over there.” In the Netherlands, we lead the way when it comes to sustainability in construction. The nitrogen crisis halted a lot of building projects. “That’s undesirable, but it has hastened the sustainability transition. A lot of clients are governmental, like municipalities or the National Water Management. They reward working sustainibly by means of grant schemes. In this, we see a change and that’s because the brakes were put on so drastically.”


Your tower crane will not malfunction when it runs on a battery


The financial stimulus works

Greener Power Solutions started as a start-up that wanted to challenge the establishment in temporary power supply. After four years of hard work, the green market leader notices its effects. “This year we saw larger diesel generator lessors starting to invest in batteries for construction sites.” But Greener is not afraid of their competitors. Is their impact more important than competition? “Yes, actually it is. Of course, we are overjoyed when our batteries win a project instead of a diesel generator lessor. But we also regard it to be a blessing that these parties start investing in their own batteries. Of course, it’s competition, but the marketplace is big enough.”

Benieuwd naar Anna haar hele verhaal? Anna van Nunen (Greener Power Solutions) over groene stroom op de bouwplaats en festivals

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