Dr. Ronan Doherty, CEO ElectroRoute, claims that Donegal is as relevant to the power and energy global markets as anywhere else.
“We operate around the world in Ireland, Europe and Japan. Here at CoLab, we have access to talent, professional space and IT resources to make that happen.” ElectroRoute conducts trading of energy-related commodities, such as power, gas, CO2 and renewables, for clients who need access to specialised energy trading capabilities. So, how windy it will be in Ireland will have an impact on how this surplus energy is traded elsewhere. Established in 2011, the company handles €3 billion trades a year and employs 65 people.
“The energy sector is undergoing huge change with the decarbonising of energy and disappearance of subsidies for renewables,” explains Ronan. “Our business tries to understand the markets, using algorithms, and relies on monitoring around the clock.” In 2016 ElectroRoute completed a major deal with the Mitsubishi Corporation. “We can do things now we couldn’t have done in the past,” says Ronan, “It opened up new opportunities in Europe in the wind farm space. We have an office in Tokyo to look at the deregulating market there and have grown our client base and service offerings significantly.”
Ronan acknowledges the role employees have played in the company’s success. “It’s really satisfying to see young, driven professionals develop so much. We transformed the business and adapted it to a new set of electricity trading arrangements in Ireland. This was managed entirely by the team themselves.”
“CoLab has been a good for us. The energy-trading sector is quite traditional,” explains Ronan. “It’s essential for us to have a professional location with excellent connectivity and facilities. CoLab gives us the right image.” ElectroRoute has offices in Dublin too. “Only at CoLab did we get the opportunity to meet the Taoiseach, and the Minister for Energy. I don’t think that would have happened anywhere else!”
“The ElectroRoute culture is innovative and sometimes ‘counter-intuitive’. The team at CoLab are always helpful and supportive. We enjoy being part of the network of growing businesses. It’s a natural hub for ideas. From here, we enjoy a great vantage point on the wider business community in Ireland.”
Ronan believes Ireland is a good place for entrepreneurs. “We’ve had support from Enterprise Ireland and other Government agencies. Based on a recent analysis, we’ve returned 17 times more to the Exchequer than we’ve received.” The future is exciting for ElectroRoute. “We are planning to continue our expansion to Japan and other markets. We’re not going anywhere, you can go global from Donegal.”