Chapter 3/3: the battle goes on with a new team

Adrien de Vriendt
4 min readApr 6, 2023


This post belongs to a 3-post series gathering my learnings after 18 months as a Climate Tech founder at adapt. I hope sharing my experience will help others trying to avoid climate chaos. In the two previous posts, I detailed our climate impact and the 5 different business models we’ve tried out.


  • Profound systemic change will make Climate Tech, such as, more profitable for taxpayers and businesses
  • New volunteer team keeps the current web app up and running as long as there are thousands of adapters using the tool on a recurring basis
  • Many similar ‘low-carbon hours’ tools exist — succession is guaranted!

We need systemic change to make Climate Tech profitable

Individual actions, like using to charge your EV, are fine, but insufficient to support massive deployment of cleaner technologies.

We haven’t made a lot of money with our solution. Maybe we’ve not been patient enough. Some Climate Techs now have “costs lower than the [fossil] reference”. But it takes decades to make Climate Tech profitable. The first multi-MW wind turbine was built in 1978 in Denmark. +40 years later, subsidy-free wind is still a myth (except 1 or 2 iconic offshore wind projects)…

There are 4 main ways governments can develop low-carbon technologies, simplified below. The most popular is to restrict fossil energy with a carbon tax (orange box).

Beyond this very simplified and macro version, there are important barriers in the electricity market that limit the use case of flexibility in the residential sector.

Citizens & private actors are just 2 sides of the “Triangle of Inaction”. Next time you submit a ballot, make sure your politician knows how to grow a low-carbon economy! I’m happy that is testing a new way to fight for systemic change.

Every laundry must be launched during a low-carbon hour to avoid climate chaos

Even if is not making money, we don’t have the luxury to abandon an existing tool reducing dozens of tons of CO2 per year. The impacts of climate chaos are already frightening — we should absolutely mitigate our negative impact as much as we can.

I don’t think our kids and their descendants will like a dark red planet

As long as we have thousands of recurring users, we’re keeping the tool live as a non-profit with other volunteers!

Being an adapter, you’ll never walk alone

Thanks Climate Enthusiast friends

Beyond the very nerdy learnings about energy and start-ups, I also realised that there is a powerful movement of thousands of citizens who want to change the world together.

The mindset when you work in a Climate Tech

I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank my partners in crime: adapters obviously, co-founders, employees, clients and all those who have selflessly put forward adapt (we never bought any advertising on Meta or hired any press agency!).

To reduce the carbon footprint of electricity consumption, we can count on many similar projects all over the world! All have been contacted to explore potential synergies!

NGOs, start-ups and research spin-offs visualise when electricity will be cleanest all over the world

One last challenge: education to change behaviour

In the end, scaling such tools is not a problem of technology, but rather of education and habits.

“I have 100% green energy! I don’t care about WHEN I should use electricity.”
(The typical person who wants to show that they have the money to buy more expensive green energy, but that they are not going to question their lifestyle.)

It’s very difficult to change behaviour when people have been brainwashed for decades. Advocating about the climate impact of our daily carbon-intensive habits requires a huge amount of time & energy.

I strongly recommend participating with your relatives in the collective challenges hosted by Ma Petite Planète or to change your energy habits :) a true life-changer for me!



Adrien de Vriendt

I write about energy & climate. Founder of adapt, the live & forecast climate impact of electricity.