FuGen was founded by energy experts Yaron Feingers and Lorenzo Lanteri, originally from Israel and Italy respectively. They both have solid experience from renewable energy project development and operation. This, combined with a strong belief that it is possible to make actual change and run a viable business at the same time, was the start of their partnership. Here they tell the story of FuGen.
What’s your own personal background?
Yaron: Originally, I was a mathematician and software engineer. When my first daughter was born, I decided to make a change in life and to do something that is also beneficial for my kids, and for the world as a whole. This made me look into solar energy.
Lorenzo: I have practiced as an energy transaction lawyer for over 15 years, with contract negotiation, due diligence, and financing for renewable energy investments. Many of my assignments involved the development of solar projects.
So, you focused initially on solar energy?
Lorenzo: Yes, we constructed quite a few solar projects in Italy, and we actually managed them fully, like asset managers for many years. We were also involved in developing a number of biogas projects in the northeast of Italy.
Why did you start up north?
Yaron: Partly because we realised that the local Italian business couldn’t expand in the way that we wanted. And when the market started to slow down in 2013-2014 – up until then it had been heavily driven by government incentives – we decided to look for where it’s possible to produce renewable energy without too much help from the government.
Lorenzo: Eventually we realised that Sweden has great potential to be a renewable energy country, especially when it comes to wind power. The wind resource is really good, and also the politics are in consensus to go towards 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Why are your first projects situated in northern Sweden?
Yaron: One of the reasons is that we see how the current industrial revolution in the region will generate a fast-growing demand for electricity from renewable sources. We want to be a part of this revolution by creating the energy system of the future – a system that can be the basis for a sustainable and viable society for generations to come.
So, what energy sources are you interested in now?
Lorenzo: Today we are mainly looking at solutions with wind power, solar energy or hydrogen. Which technology we choose depends on what can best serve each unique case, at each unique occasion. We are also driven to find new opportunities at the forefront of technology – so the best solution for a particular project may not even be known today.
Yaron: At the moment we are, for example, looking into creating green hydrogen onsite production with the idea of supplying local green hydrogen to the municipality or to local industries.
Do you plan to keep the productions sites that you build?
Yaron: Yes! From the start we actually took quite a different approach than many financial investors or other investors. We are not the financial investor and we’re not a developer. We are not into building and selling.
Lorenzo: We have a long-term plan for our operations and, among other things, we want to keep the wind farms and other energy solutions that we build. This long-term perspective means that we value close collaboration with various players from the start of the project throughout the entire life span of the asset.