MADISON — Robie Kight called his trip to Copenhagen last month to attend the World Climate Conference inspirational. He also called it successful as he returned to Madison and his start-up company Kight Energy, LLC, with three new exclusive licensing agreements.
“There’s nothing quite like Copenhagen at Christmas time,” said Kight.
Kight attended the conference’s opening ceremonies, and found the excitement contagious. He stuck around to see the royalty of Denmark, Norway and Sweden make their entrance, and then was whisked off on a weeklong networking tour of Sweden and Norway.
“I got out of there before (President Barack Obama) and (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) arrived,” Kight said with a smile, and added that Europeans’ attitude toward the U.S. and Americans seemed markedly better than it was during the Bush administration. “I guess they think we’re headed in the right direction now,” he added wryly.
Kight was immediately struck by just how far ahead the Europeans are in energy conservation compared to Americans. One of the first stops was a Christmas tree in the center of Copenhagen. The tree was lit not by electricity, but rather by children riding bicycles.
“The bicycle paths over there are enormous, and you better watch out or you’ll get run over,” Kight said with a smile. “It seemed like everyone was riding bicycles. In a city of 2.5 million people or so, there are probably a million bike-riders.
“They are way ahead of us in energy conservation, but they’ve had to be.”
Kight said he was inspired by the Europeans’ example. He returned to Madison and Kight Energy confident that the U.S. and Mississippi will catch up.
He certainly returned with boosted confidence in Kight Energy’s future. Founded in mid-2009, the company offers residential energy audits and solar solutions. Now, Kight Energy has more solutions to offer.
Kight successfully negotiated exclusive agreements with three Swedish companies. He worked a deal with SunMax for a heat exchange product, the street lighting company Cellux and a solar cell phone charger from Suntrica.
Interested parties will soon be able to see these products in action. Yazoo City native and Mississippi State University graduate Kight plans to have these products installed at his home in Madison, which will serve as a showroom/test bed for the solar solutions. At press time, he was hoping to have the products up and running in a couple of weeks.
Kight is hoping the success of his trip benefits not only his company, but the Madison community as a whole. His European trip and successful negotiations were greatly assisted by The Swedish American Chamber of Conference, which is based in Madison. Kight said talks have begun with these Swedish companies to manufacture components of their products in the Madison area.
“It makes no sense to ship these products when they could be produced here,” Kight said.
He also envisions Madison becoming a “green tech” cluster. He said work is underway on a web site designed to lure green energy companies to Madison.