Letter From the CEO: A Turbulent Year, and Transformation Ahead
It seems an understatement to say that 2020 has been a turbulent year.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a clear reminder that at SimpliPhi Power, we are blessed with inspiring and resilient team members, and I could not be prouder to work alongside all of them. Thanks to our dedicated team and thorough planning, when the initial lockdowns were announced, we were ready.
After ensuring the health and safety of everyone at SimpliPhi, we implemented rigorous new procedures and standards that allowed us to get back to our essential mission – create universal access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy to empower people, communities, and enterprises globally.
While many other companies struggled, our entire team quickly adapted and persevered, and we were back up and running at full speed in a matter of days.
I am inspired every day by our team, and thankful for their dedication to our mission, our partners, our customers, and each other. Despite hardships along the way, we achieved so many significant milestones in 2020:
– Doubled manufacturing throughput to meet increased customer demand
– Launched our proprietary BMS with closed-loop communication in the AmpliPHI battery
– Completed UL 9540A and UL 9540 testing on wide range of PHI storage solutions
– Joined the UN Global Compact of companies
– Won numerous awards in recognition of being a profitable company with purpose, including the Meaningful Business 100 award for leadership in the energy transition globally
But as we look back at 2020 and reflect on these achievements, it is difficult to simply celebrate knowing that so many lives have been lost unnecessarily and so many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet, uncertain and fearful of what comes next.
The pandemic laid bare many of the inequalities and injustices that have long been ignored. These divisions are an ever-present threat to the fabric of our society and erode our very humanity and must be faced head on with a clear mind and an open heart.
And beyond the virus taking and upending so many lives, 2020 also brought with it our clearest messages yet from Mother Nature that she too is sick. Throughout the year, headlines from across the globe have announced devastating disasters due to extreme weather fueled by climate change.
Here in the US, we had our worst Western wildfire season ever, with thousands of severe fires engulfing millions of acres. The most active hurricane season ever, fueled by warming waters spawned numerous storms of growing intensity, so many that we ran out of names and Greek letters to label them. The most devastating inland thunderstorms ever tore through the Midwest, spinning out tornadoes, hail, and a seemingly unending deluge, taking many lives and costing billions of dollars.
Each day, when every team member arrives at our office, we take their temperature – a simple indicator to know if they might be unwell and if we need to intervene for their health. The same metric can be applied to our planet, and 2020 shattered temperature records globally as well.
Just like Covid-19, we know exactly what is ailing the planet and we know what needs to be done. We must rapidly reduce and eliminate the use of fossil fuels to power our society. We must empower communities and expand access to the myriad health, educational, and societal benefits of an electrified world. We must break down political barriers to action and demand that government around the world prioritize our ecological health and the future of our children. And we must ensure that our efforts respect cultures and expand human rights for everyone, because a broken society puts people and planet on a collision course. Businesses have a tremendous opportunity, if not responsibility, to be major change agents across all sectors of society.
2020 may be remembered for its hardships, but this year has not been all doom and gloom. Some things are starting to change, perhaps not as fast as we would like, but we can look to signs of change around the world and be inspired that things can and are shifting.
Turning Our Backs on Fossil Fuels – Despite more than $5.2 trillion in subsidies globally for oil and gas each year, one of the most impactful trends we are seeing is individuals, companies, and even countries beginning to turn their backs on fossil fuels and embracing a sustainable future. Denmark- a country that generates lots of its tax revenue from oil and gas extraction – has committed to ending fossil fuel extraction in the North Sea. The United Kingdom has decided to halt all subsidies for fossil fuel project development abroad. NYC, Seattle, San Francisco and many other major cities are divesting from oil and gas companies in their city funds and pensions.
Empowering Change – As our SimpliPhi energy storage systems are installed around the world – more than 40 countries and growing – we are encouraged for the future by the people and communities that are being empowered. Here are just two examples of the many inspiring examples:
- The Akashinga (‘the Brave Ones’) rangers in Zimbabwe are disadvantaged women armed and trained to protect endangered wildlife and habitat from poachers. With a community-based conservation model creating sustainable economic development, aiming to employ 1,000 women to protect wildlife and habitat in 20 nature preserves in the region.
- Matamoros, Mexico sits on the border with the United States, with more than half a million residents, but also more than 3,000 refugees stuck in limbo while trying to escape violence and poverty. Living in close quarters with virtually no access to basic hygiene products or medical care, this community was at severe risk of a deadly COVID-19 outbreak spreading through the camp and surely claiming the lives of many. In collaboration with the Footprint Project and Rent. Solar were able to deploy a microgrid capable of supporting a fully functional pop-up COVID-19 clinic.
There are so many inspiring stories that give us hope for the future, and the vision combined with hard work of these unsung heroes demonstrate that change is possible with commitment and follow through. They are empowering their communities every day, and we are going to make sure that our own commitments and follow through continues to benefit those that act for the betterment of people and planet.
2020 has been a year marred by superlatives – the driest, the hottest, the most devastating. But each time one of our SimpliPhi products is installed and turned on, we know that we are contributing to addressing the worst impacts of climate change and mitigating impacts on communities around the globe.
We commit to continue working tirelessly at our manufacturing facility with our distributors, partners and allies around the world to deliver Power on Your Terms™.
So in closing, let me say thank you. Thank you for being a part of our community. Thank you for your support. And thank you for the unending inspiration that you provide, imbuing our work every day with purpose and promise.
Together we can continue to inspire change, and we can create universal access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy.