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dez 19, 2017

Brazilians create innovative clean energy trade platform

A free, safe platform that allows buyers to negotiate electricity prices directly with producers might sound too good to be true – especially if, on that same platform, consumers are even able to choose between conventional or clean energy sources. But in Brazil, one company is turning that concept into a reality: that’s the idea behind Enbox, an independent online trade mechanism for energy.

The platform was designed by management specialist Pedro Villaça and engineer Leandro Nunes, two Brazilian young entrepreneurs who envisioned a market in which energy consumers could be connected to producers without barriers, resulting in better prices and more competitiveness for small generators.

Available for companies in this early stage, Enbox has already been used to reach trade energy deals totaling approximately 25 million dollars in its first two years alone. It promises immediate and efficient interaction with the market, reduction of operational costs and sharp data processing to help traders in the decision-making process. Such improvements, says Villaça, can reduce costs by about 5 percent for buyers and increase profit at approximately the same rate for suppliers. In annual contracts, those numbers can rise to around 20%.

An estimate by the energy sector authorities in Brazil shows that there are already around 3,000 agents operating in the energy free market. However, experts also believe that there are tens of thousands potential agents which haven't registered themselves to operate in this trade – yet.

“We realized customers had difficulty finding alternative suppliers, and small producers had a hard time finding buyers because they can't afford a robust sales team”, said Villaça in an interview to Thadeu Melo. Enbox operations are similar to platforms like Inex, from India, and other energy trading platforms that exist in countries like England.

Using the platform is a simple process for buyers and suppliers. Enbox offers open tutorials in a series of videos uploaded to its YouTube channel explaining each step of the negotiation. “The biggest energy consumers in Brazil are represented by medium and large businesses, such as shopping malls and supermarkets. Now, they have hundreds of potential energy suppliers from the most diverse sources available”, says Villaça in a presentation for Enbox.

Customers can pay for their operations as simply as by using a credit card, and Enbox doesn't charge any percentage over the transactions. The platform's business model includes premium versions that enable buyers and suppliers to get more features, but the “basic” plan can be used for as long as the companies want to, with no need to commit to an upgrade.