Power-up: Flicking the switch on alternative energy

Alternative energy company Rubenius, a leading light in the provision of affordable and reliable water and energy to communities around the world, has established some of the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient utilities systems ever seen

“Our mission statement is ‘clean water and green energy for everyone on the planet’,” says Claus Rubenius, founder and Chairman of Dubai-based alternative energy company Rubenius. “It’s something to aim for, and as you can see, we have set our sights high.”

If Rubenius is confident, that’s perhaps because the genial Dane has already come a long way in just a few years. His company’s origins lie in ‘utility intelligence’ firm Amplex, which Rubenius founded a decade ago and which has since installed technology in 15 countries around the globe. Amplex is now a subsidiary of his self-titled energy-efficient utilities group, which was launched a year ago and is in the process of establishing local representations in China, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and the US.

This ambitious global expansion will see Rubenius build a team comprised of experienced academic and industrial specialists sourced locally and from around the world.

Rubenius’ business is in ‘smart grids’: the installing of intelligent meters and control devices throughout utilities systems, in order to better direct power and water supply across the communities they service. Through real-time monitoring of power and water networks, the firm’s technology can minimise or remove altogether the threat of outages and overloads, while reducing the potential financial and physical damage inflicted by leaking pipes and burst water mains.

Some of Rubenius’ most groundbreaking recent work has taken place in the UAE. In Abu Dhabi the company has supplied massive sodium sulphide batteries as part of a strategic plan to install energy storage facilities at all electricity substations in the emirate.

“Energy storage is something the industry has been dreaming about for many, many years,” he says. “The idea is to store energy at night and discharge it during the day. This allows generation to run at a more even capacity, and offsets the need for investment in new generation, because you are using existing resources more efficiently.”

His company is already a significant global market participant in energy storage, as evidenced by its recent securing of a deal to build a US$4bn storage facility for electricity in the Mexican state of Baja California. However, the Chairman is keen to widen the Rubenius offering to encompass catch-all renewable energy and water solutions for communities of all sizes and technological sophistications.

“I want to bring this and all of our other products together into one fully renewable utilities package,” he explains. “We will aim this at developed countries, and offer them a full renewable system tailored to their requirements, whether that includes solar or wind power generation, storage, desalination, wastewater treatment or anything else.”