SunContract Approved for Estonia License, Triples Electricity Production Contracts for 2021
2020 Project Updates and Recap
This year, the global pandemic hit households and businesses left, right and center with unthinkable difficulties: from closed borders that disrupted entire supply chains, to lockdowns that paused business operations. Despite this, SunContract has proven its grit, working against all odds to meet its customers’ needs with the strong support of our partners and governing entities.
As 2020 comes to a close, we would like to share with you some important information regarding:
- An approved Estonia license application
- Event driven architecture (EDA) development that will make the SunContract platform scalable to 1M+ users
- Tripled energy producer contracts signed for 2021
Without further ado, here’s a quick recap of the year that was…
In response to COVID-19, SunContract offered customers reduced electricity prices
At SunContract, we believe that charity begins at home. Home for us as a business means our customer base, community members, teams and partners. At the end of March 2020, and in response to the global crisis we are currently experiencing, SunContract together with its local energy partner collaborated with the state to lower its energy customers’ electricity costs by up to 40%.
While the government issued a 3 month decree to eliminate network charge costs, SunContract contributed to these lower costs by introducing a 6 month special electricity offer to residential customers and small businesses which were adversly affected by the change in economic climate.
We revamped our invoicing system
After analyzing customer suggestions and keeping in mind to provide the best customer experience, we rolled out a much more clear and transparent invoice this year.
Here are some of the changes we implemented:
- Necessary details for the payment of customer energy bills are now clearly indicated in the new invoice. We also added a QR code which customers can use to easily settle their electricity bills with via the bank.
- In the new invoice, we also prioritized displaying customer savings information on the marketplace which allows customers to very clearly see how much money they were able to save due to using the SunContract energy marketplace, as opposed to if they opted for a single tariff contract price by an alternative energy provider.
Disclosure of the Project’s Financial Position:
While we were restricted by the current global climate from opening new markets, our financial position which we disclosed earlier this year revealed that our balanced approach by business mix and focus underpinned our ability to continue to perform well against our medium-term objectives — despite the COVID crisis.
SunContract & Partners Approved for €4.659M Horizon 2020 EU Grant
At the beginning of 2020, together with a consortium of partners, our Proposal on the Horizon2020 call under the topic Building a low-carbon, climate-resilient future: secure, clean and efficient energy (LC-SC3-EC-3–2020), was submitted and the project approved and confirmed.
The official start of the project titled “BRIGHT” — was launched on 12–13 November with an online kick-off meeting — where partners from different European countries had an opportunity to present themselves and the project’s activities for the upcoming years. The BRIGHT project aims to boost demand response through increased community-level consumer engagement by combining data-driven and blockchain technology tools with social science approaches and multi-value services design.
The proposed approach and the underlying enablers will be deployed and validated in 4 demo sites across 4 EU countries where around 1000 mostly residential consumers will be engaged along a variety of different community configurations. SunContract’s involvement will primarily be in the Slovenian pilot project. (More on the project will be shared in the upcoming year.)
We tripled the energy producer capacity contracts signed for 2021 compared to 2020
As we approach the end of 2020, 2021 is already shaping up to be a good year. We have tripled the energy capacity contracts signed on SunContract in 2021 from 2020. It is estimated to be at about 30 GWh of renewable energy production (solar, hydro and CHP) and the expected consumption is expected to follow the ascension trend. The expected turnover on our energy marketplace in Slovenia alone is anticipated to be at about 4 to 5 million EUR.
The trend is very much the same with our energy self-sufficiency products (solar power plants etc) which performed very well in 2020 too, their best year yet.
AI and ML based event driven architecture on cloud infrastructure for SunContract to be ready for 1M+ user scalability
This year, our dev team increasingly adopted cloud computing to gain technical and business advantages. The strategic use of compute resources and effective coordination between application components are critical architecture design goals of the team which is working on upgrading the SunContract platform to be scalable to 1+ million users.
As a part of this shift, our platform’s architecture is evolving to a more distributed, modular, and portable model that can be easily deployed and run across cloud infrastructure, both on-premise and on public or private clouds. This hybrid approach reduces infrastructure costs and increases the operational efficiency of SunContract’s applications.
Event-driven architectures (EDAs) like the one the SunContract is working on implementing are ideal for hybrid cloud applications, they enable multicloud, and are also capable of spanning across different geographies. This results in architecture components that are better suited for cross border energy trading (a goal of SunContract’s), where decoupling of runtime and protocols are required to achieve fine-grained scaling.
We were approved for 2 in 1 Cryptocurrency Licence in Estonia
Last year, SunContract opened its new operational headquarters in digital Estonia, where it also applied for cryptocurrency licences which would be essential for the introduction of some new services for our community.
Towards the end of this year, we finally were granted these licences — something we consider a huge accomplishment given only a small fraction of the applicants were approved.
Estonia, one of the countries lauded as being among the most crypto friendly in the European Union, also revoked the licenses of more than 1,000 crypto firms in 2020. According to news outlet Postimees, Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, or FIU, has revoked the licenses of roughly 70% of virtual currency companies operating in the country this year and SunContract is one of the remaining 400 companies with a valid licence.
We were issued a license that will enable:
- us to operate as an exchange — fiat to crypto and crypto to fiat and
- to provide e-wallet services for virtual currencies i.e providing custodial services of the required credentials to access the virtual currencies.
As soon as we received these much needed licences, our IT team went straight into dev mode. As such, our community can expect exciting, globally accessible services in the near future.
Onboarding 10 new employees and financial partners for market share expansion
Working with partners has always been an effective way to test markets at a lower cost and reduced risk. In 2020, we explored funding avenues that align with SunContract’s business goals and professional values. We’re happy to mention that we are currently in talks with some instrumental partners — who come not only with financial support, but also with strong connections, relevant experience, and valuable advice.
Our team also grew significantly, with about 10 new members joining the IT and sales team. Keep an eye out for the new faces on our new website which we will be rolling out in the very near future.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year
We thank you all for remaining with us through this exciting journey, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a festive Christmas season and a prosperous 2021.