Green.Org got to connect with Rohini Raghunathan and learn about her solar technology startup, Xponent Power. They have a mission to enable widespread solar adoption in markets that cannot be served by traditional solar solutions, such as recreational vehicles. They plan to positively disrupt the solar industry with a versatile and patented retractable solar technology platform that will enable a wide range of additional applications such as military, emergency relief, and residential power.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am an engineer, an entrepreneur, and a mother of two kids and a dog. I have Ph.D in Electrical Engineering, with an MBA in finance and now wear multiple hats as a founder of a solar technology startup, Xponent Power. Prior to founding Xponent Power, I worked in solar and semiconductor industries for over 25 years in a multitude of roles ranging from designing semiconductor chips at Texas Instruments to leading Mergers and Acquisitions for SunEdison, a solar company.
My entrepreneurship journey began in 2016, when I left a rewarding corporate career to develop a disruptive solar technology that enables solar deployment in markets that are not addressable today. I am a strong advocate for clean technologies and believe that it is incumbent upon us to leave this world a better place for our children.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am an avid gardener and have created a tropical paradise in my small backyard in the zone 9B San Francisco Bay Area. My backyard has 15 different fruit trees including mango, banana, guava, persimmon and pomegranates. And yes, I even harvested some mangoes last year. My backyard also boasts varieties of unusual fragrant flowers like Michelia Champaka, Michelia Alba and Plumeria.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change is the biggest crisis facing us today and humans play a large role in this. The irreversible damage we are doing to our precious environment and ecosystem has put the future of our next generation at tremendous risk. I worry about the future of our children, the extinction of many species and massive destruction of our precious ecosystems from the burning of the Amazon Forest to the melting of Arctic Sea ice.
We need to make big changes in how we live our lives, how we consume, and how we conserve. While the gravity of this issue is large, I have faith in the resiliency of the human spirit and in our ability to innovate out of this crisis.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I envision a world in which every home and every vehicle is powered by solar. This vision is behind the genesis of my startup, Xponent Power, that has developed the first of its kind retractable solar system that can be deployed in applications with very little to no roof space for mounting.
The Xponent technology platform enables vast markets for solar that are not addressable by traditional solar technologies today due of lack of mounting space. For example, millions of tiny homes, mobile homes, apartments/condominiums cannot deploy solar today because they lack large roof space. There are also many applications where there is a need for mobile power generation off-the-grid, like mobile medical units, emergency power relief, recreational vehicles and military vehicles. Xponent power enables solar to be deployed in these applications.
I envision a future where the human consumption is powered entirely by all forms of clean energy and we are able to leave this world a better place for the next generation.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
The most important thing all of us can do is to educate ourselves and understand the impact of our actions on the environment. Even small changes we make in our lives like reducing food wastage, diligently recycling, driving fuel efficient cars (or EVs) or reducing plastic usage can drive meaningful impact to the environment.
If you can afford it, install solar on your home so that you generate enough power to offset all your consumption needs. Understand your carbon footprint and find ways to reduce it.
We can’t wait to see the impact Xponent Power has on the solar industry!
Green.Org is a television show, podcast, social media, and news platform, hosted by Dylan Welch, that highlights climate change scientists, renewable energy experts, and clean tech entrepreneurs by giving them a voice in the mainstream media. The Green Podcast highlights leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Green, click HERE.
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.