Dulas Ltd (then Dulas Engineering) began as the engineering arm for the Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) assisting with the everyday engineering issues at the visitor centre whilst developing new products and technologies aimed towards using energy efficiently or generating heat and electricity from renewable sources. A key driver for the business was and still is to develop sustainable solutions to assist the poorest of the poor and Dulas’ mission statement is: ‘To improve lives through renewable energy and sustainable technologies’. A difficult decision was taken to leave CAT and set up independently as Dulas Ltd, a bold move that could only be taken by people with a strong belief in their products and services. In the early days, Dulas effectively had to create their own market, something that the company is proud to have succeeded in and still persevere to do.

Success Factor

Global awareness of the reality of climate change has meant that agreements have been made with binding commitments across many nations to reduce CO2 emissions. These commitments have led to the introduction of energy policies by governments that will increase the take up of renewable energy technologies across their countries. The UN Millennium Goals and the Kyoto Protocol are but two examples of these overriding policies. Governments have also introduced incentives to go along with these policies the most recent and significant UK example being the Feed-in Tariff recognising that both sticks and carrots are essential for these technologies to successfully enter the mainstream and effect climate change. These incentives have an immediate, significant and positive impact on Dulas’ operations and confidence. Governments, NGO aid institutions and charitable bodies are also helping with international activities as they deal with the issues above as well as working towards achieving the Millennium Goals and the eradication of various diseases. This leads to the installation of solar powered water pumps to supply potable water, irrigation and water for livestock, the building of remote medical centres that require solar power due to the lack of local grid infrastructure and introducing large immunisation programmes that require large quantities of vaccines which all need to be stored at the correct temperatures.

The Future

Dulas have ambitious growth plans across the UK as witnessed by the recent acquisition of Chillwind in Scotland. The firm’s Scottish presence opened in October 2010 in Stirling and continues to experience considerable growth. In 2011, 33 people were recruited with around two thirds being permanent full time roles and in 2012, a further 13 positions have been taken on. Dulas has a successful distributorship in the UK for the Endurance 50kW wind turbine and have successfully installed the first of such turbines in Europe at a farm in Devon where the turbine is exceeding expectations by more than 25%. Subsequent to this, the team has installed numerous Endurance turbines across the UK. The company aims to continue to expand and stay top of the game in a fast moving exciting market place that they have been instrumental in developing, from designing the first wind farm planning tools and environmental impact assessments, installing and monitoring the first 100% funded grid connected PV systems in the UK for the DTI. Dulas is also looking to support the Scottish Government in their ambitious renewable energy target to meet the equivalent of 100 per cent of gross annual electricity demand from renewables by 2020.