By: Naomi Baron
Three and a half years ago, amidst wedding festivities where COO and Co-Founder Andrew DeMille presided as the officiant and his close friend as the best man, an unexpected conversation unfolded between the two and sowed the seeds for his startup: Quantum Energy. Quantum Energy is a startup dedicated to educating and reshaping the approach businesses take toward integrating and prioritizing environmental sustainability in their renewable energy investments through predictive impact analytics covering a broad range of factors beyond just carbon emissions. DeMille and his friend, Dr. Daniel Howard, who recently graduated with a PhD in energy system optimization and who now acts as CEO of Quantum Energy, delved into the far-reaching implications of society’s reliance on fossil fuels for energy.
“He shared so much with me about the gravity and magnitude of the pollution that comes from our energy system, how much damage it does and the burden of our current fossil fuel centric energy system,” DeMille said. “And I just was astounded.”
This conversation ignited a realization within DeMille and served as the catalyst for him joining Howard as Co-Founder of Quantum Energy, Inc. Since its inception in 2019, Quantum Energy Inc. has guided businesses navigating the landscape of environmental responsibility. By leveraging data-driven solutions, Quantum Energy Inc. empowers businesses to make informed decisions for profitability and environmental stewardship and help businesses meet their ESG goals by creating predictive impact analytics to build the business case for renewable energy.
“Just doing the right thing doesn’t often work in business because there’s competing priorities that’s driven by the need to make profits,” DeMille said.
DeMille said he believes the importance of sustainability transcends ethical considerations and has become a strategic imperative in business, especially with the younger generation. Until recently, the selling point for renewable energy primarily revolved around cost savings, DeMille said. However, businesses now struggle with the challenge of constructing a compelling business case for renewable energy solely based on cost considerations. According to DeMille, carbon emissions are now a dominant consideration in energy decisions, and while crucial, they present only a fraction of the picture.
Quantum Energy Inc. works to quantify the potential of renewable energy to reduce harmful effects of fossil fuels encompassing a broader spectrum of issues—from increased hospitalizations and exacerbated respiratory conditions, to cancers, air and water pollution and biodiversity loss.
“If you’re trying to make decisions based on carbon emissions alone, it’s almost like trying to manage your diet based on calories alone,” DeMille said. “It’s incomplete. It’s outdated, and it’s missing the vast majority of the positive impacts these energy decisions are going to have on public health ecosystems and ultimately, our economy.”
Primarily targeting energy developers and their corporate buyers, their services can be used by large corporate buyers and developers to build the business case for renewable energy purchases and or to measure, track and reduce their emissions as they report it to comply with regulations.
Looking to the future, Quantum Energy Inc. is shifting gears from a service-based model to developing a user-friendly software tool, called the TotalView Energy Platform, which they plan to launch in the second quarter of 2024. This new AI-driven software tool is currently utilized within the company. However, Quantum Energy Inc. is now striving to transform it into a cloud-based version accessible to clients over the internet. The updated platform will allow clients to input project specifics or technology details into the cloud-based system. Within just a few hours, the software will process this information and generate a detailed Impact Analytics report.
Moreover, the new system is designed to seamlessly integrate quantified impacts across various energy software platforms. This means that clients can easily share and receive comprehensive impact analytics, enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of data-driven decision-making for renewable energy projects. The report will produce a “full nutrition label” for a client’s energy projects and include quantifiable data covering a range of environmental and societal factors. For example, the avoided emissions and impacts per megawatt hour, how many human life years are saved, how many local species are saved and what are the impacts on the economy.
Recently, Quantum Energy Inc. won a Small Business Innovation Research Grant SBIR, phase one, from the National Science Foundation. The startup was awarded over a quarter of a million dollars in non dilutive funds. DeMille said next steps will be applying for the phase two and three, another 1.5 million in available funds.
“It’s just inspiring to be part of something like this because in simple terms, I want to be part of reducing pollution on this planet,” DeMille said. “We’re creating data that helps to make it more obvious and more valuable in terms of profitability, too, to do the right thing and to reduce pollution. And it feels inspiring to be part of that.”