Why we started Solarize
Measurably accelerate humanity’s transition to renewable energy.
Much has been written about a new wave of start-ups that is looking to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. We are raving fans of companies like Arcadia, hastobe and PVCase just to name a few. All of them are united in that they successfully build a bridge between the offline / hardware and online / software world.
We would like to add another venture in this bridge building category and for the curious, here are our top three reasons, why we feel the urge to do so:
Grid Parity. In many parts of the world it is now cheaper to produce electricity on-site, right where it is consumed, rather than consuming it from the grid. Solar / Photovoltaics (PV) plants can yield double digit ROEs for their investors, while producing electricity for less than 7 euro cents / kwh for 20 odd years. Compare that to the cost of energy for commercial consumers in south and western Europe (10+ cents/kwh) and it becomes hard to understand why most rooftops are still empty.
In some countries PV on a per kwh basis is even cheaper than the cost of the grid per kwh — so even if spot prices for electricity turn negative temporarily it is still more profitable to produce electricity locally.
Decentralization. Historically there were few dozens up to hundreds of power plants per country. With the emergence of renewable energy sources, in Germany alone there are now 2000+ power generation facilities — let alone the millions to come on private rooftops. Digital technology, such as virtual power plants and the internet of things make it possible to shift from central control, to controlled decentralization. Yet the challenge to produce and distribute electricity on site within multi-unit properties, where it is most profitable, remains unsolved.
A new narrative. We have some empathy for climate change sceptics — seriously! IPCC scientists painted a fair share of doomsday scenarios, describing all the terrible things that’ll happen if we don’t do something. Some people end up feeling they can do little to solve the challenges ahead so denial is a feasible psychological coping strategy. We won’t engage in climate debate, but believe it is time to talk about things that can be done in a productive and profit-oriented fashion. We hence support claims that transitioning to a low-carbon economy will be the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurship in this century.
That being said, we have about seven years to stay within the budget set out for the 1.5°C warming goal — so here is our contribution:
Commercial multi-unit / multi-tenant properties were historically excluded from energy production on-site, as attribution of consumption to tenants was an unsolved problem— yet their potential impact for the energy transition is undisputed. The emergence of smart metering based on the foundations of the Internet of Things helps to solve that challenge. This allows landlords to offer energy to tenants that is more affordable and carbon neutral, while increasing returns from their property by up to 20%.
Solarize features a highly scalable electricity accounting system, that allows optimization of energy attribution on site based on thousands of smart meter load profile data points. As a result Solarize makes it easy to produce and distribute electricity on-site and enable new revenue streams.
In supporting property owners and other service providers to tap into this new revenue stream we forge partnerships that would not have been possible before:
In just about a year our projects amount to 6 megawatts, we are turning on news sites each month and our software delivers daily value to first happy customers.
Our vision is to measurably accelerate the energy transition and find ways to reduce carbon emissions caused by commercial real estate by 1M tons/year in 2030.
Reach out if you want to learn more about the potential and impact of this emerging trend. We are also keen on hearing from you if you are looking to join our team in project management, engineering and business development roles and help to overcome a few of the rocks on the road towards an entirely renewable energy system.