A Ukrainian entrepreneur built vertical solar panels for balconies

It could strengthen Europe's energy independence from Russia.
Derya Ozdemir

Since May, Europe has been one of the world's fastest "heatwave hot spots." And forecasts show no signs of slowing down, with the adverse effects of human-induced climate change climbing to new heights each day. 

As the world continues to feed its fossil fuel addiction, no continent is safe from the impacts of global warming, such as floods, droughts, extreme storms, and wildfires.

In a bid to prevent this, the world is scrambling to switch to alternatives like renewables and nuclear energy, and a Ukrainian woman tech entrepreneur, Karolina Attspodina, has come up with an ingenious way of doing just that.

Attspodina's startup WeDoSolar provides vertical solar power panels that are made to be easily fixed on balconies with weatherproof straps by non-tech-savvy users, according to an initial report by TechCrunch

Remarkably, the product could help Europeans reduce their CO2 footprint by 1,322 pounds (600 kg) and save 25 percent on power. It could also potentially offer relief to the current energy crisis in Europe, which has been aggravated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine as Europe has come to depend heavily on Russian energy sources over the years.

Smart solar panels for balconies

The vertical solar power set was created by German engineers. According to WeDoSolar's website, the set is the world's lightest balcony solar solution. The set consists of 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of eight panels that can be easily fastened to the balcony fence using weatherproof straps without the need for expert assistance. Then, if you ever move apartments, you could take the solar panels with you easily.

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After connecting to a regular power outlet, the process of using solar energy to power all home appliances begins instantly. Moreover, it has a smart app that allows users to track the energy generated by their solar panels. The users can track the amount of CO2 saved in real-time via a virtual "power plant" as well. 

Solar power for everyone

The idea came to Attspodina and her co-founder while they were exploring faster ways to cut CO2 emissions in order to ensure a clean future for the next generations.

"Solar energy is both free and readily available. Existing solar panel solutions are either intended for industrial use or are too heavy to install without the assistance of a qualified technical team. You also have to wait for the monthly bill to determine the effect," Attspodina told TechCrunch.

"We provide a tool that every person, both owner and tenant, could use at home on a daily basis to power home appliances. We want to make sustainable energy accessible, and I see great potential in people taking their energy dependence into their own hands."

The 8-panel set can be purchased directly for $1,331 (€1,299) or as a free rental model for EV owners in exchange for CO2 certificates.

WeDoSolar also provides employee-benefit programs to large corporations. Thanks to this program, employers can receive CO2 certificates for their businesses, and employees enjoy cheaper electricity bills while using the system for free.

"I felt like we can serve not only people who own a home but also part of the market, who is renting. Right now, energy costs are going up like crazy, and they will not stop rising until we will stabilize them and will implement a bunch of ways to generate our own clean energy," Attspodina said.