Young Entrepreneur of the year, Leigh Storr, is pleased to be in the fastest growing sector of the fastest growing industry.
“The only constraint on our growth, right now, is a lack of investment capital,” he told Westender.
“In America investors would be throwing money at a company like BioSolar, in Australia, the financial institutions see rapid growth and call it risk.”
According to Storr, the secret to his growth is high-quality panels, components and installations and a focus on affordability. He achieves that by providing customers with a payment plan to keep up-front costs down, and rigorous attention to cashflow in his business.
“Many solar companies are selling incentives and are vulnerable to the whims of government policy. As governments slash incentives, our business has soared.”
He explains that customers have simply done the numbers on their power bill.
“If power prices continue to rise at 12.5% p.a. over the next ten years, the average Australian will spend an entire year of their work life, just paying for electricity.”
BioSolar now employs over 400 people and has invested in a workplace culture that has earned it the nickname ‘Google of the Gabba’. It has a vegan cafe, cinema and gym on premises and an independent yoga studio on-site. The company has a major operational centre in Darra and offices in NSW and Victoria.
Storr believes the current focus on propping up the fossil fuel industry will cost the Australian economy dearly as other countries shift to cheap, distributed energy and unleash innovation.
Before the end of the year, BioSolar will be selling low cost battery technology and generators that will allow homes and businesses to be independent of the grid (see sidebar on Guerilla Disconnection).
He points to companies like Google in the USA who are independent of the grid, precisely because they need to guarantee their electricity supply and control their electricity costs.