Although coal has played an important part in Newcastle's history, the current climate emergency has shown that we need to change the way we think about energy as the world increasingly moves away from fossil fuels.
The prevailing energy distribution model is to have large power plants that provide electricity to a wide area, but the idea of decentralised energy is growing in popularity. In Newcastle, SwitchDin is leading the charge, developing technology that makes distributed energy resources visible and controllable, providing ground breaking multi-vendor data integration systems.
The brainchild of Newcastle local Andrew Mears, SwitchDin was founded to overcome key barriers to scaling renewable energy and drive international change in the way we use electricity systems. It has grown dramatically since its inception in 2014, creating 27 jobs in Newcastle and raising more than $7 million in funding from Australian and international investors.
SwitchDin provides solutions in both Australia and overseas, with the European market providing opportunities for future growth. Working internationally is something Mears is very familiar with, having spent 15 years outside Australia working on providing clean energy markets in Africa and Asia.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a good year for SwitchDin. Apart from securing extra funding and spreading globally, the company was named winner of the Start Up Energy Transition (SET) award in the Digital Energy Systems. SwitchDin was the only Australian company among 570 entrants for the award.