The Story


The idea of an ERP for RESCOs started being conceived at the beggining of 2002, when Marc Torra was working in Kiribati, the first country that could disappear because of climate change (see Marc was implementing a project aimed at assisting the Solar Energy Company (SEC) to expand its service from 3 to all the 18 outer islands. The SEC is a Government owned company and the oldest RESCO in the world.

The first thing Marc noticed was the lack of a software application tailored to the needs of RESCOs. Hence, to manage the service, which was expanding five-fold, he designed a software application. A Fijian company programmed the software as a desktop app and Marc implemented it in 2004. He also made the project contribute towards a new battery recycling fund, to make sure the SEC recycled the old batteries once they reached the end of their effective life. Finally, he set a component replacement fund to guarantee that enough funds were available to buy the new batteries.

By 2009 all the outer islands had already gained internet access. On that year, Marc started developing a second version of the software, this one open source and web-based, to help coordinate the service and track components between the headquarters and the outer islands. However, a change in the management at the SEC prevented this new version from ever being implemented. With new management, the SEC started using the funds provisioned for the replacement of batteries in something else. As a result of that, when the the old batteries needed replacement in 2012, the company had no funds to finance the new batch. Government resolved the situation by transferring equipment ownership to the users and with it, the responsibility to buy new batteries. Without an entity responsible for recycling the old batteries, instead of sending them to the capital to claim the money from the battery recycling fund, most of the users disposed them by pouring the acid into the ground to extract the lead for their fishing rods.