SunContract CEO interviewed on Energetika.net
The future lies in a combination of renewables and blockchain
Full interview available at https://www.energetika.net/eu/novice/new-technologies/gregor-novak-suncontract-the-future-lies-in-a-combination
SONCE energija, the company behind the SunContract platform, now responsible for marketing the services provided by the platform in its new role as a partner for the Slovenian market, has installed more than 200 solar power plants across Slovenia in the last decade. After the idea of an energy trading platform was unveiled publicly last year, USD 2 million was raised fairly quickly to fund its development, ultimately giving rise to SunContract.
How many individuals are already active on the platform? What are the traded volumes?
Right now, the users of the platform could just about fill up a large village, but by the end of the year the number will be comparable to a population of an average Slovenian town. Our goal is to have enough users for the service to be used to its full advantage. Our next goal is to enter foreign markets. SunContract already has users from other countries, but unfortunately, they are still unable to buy or sell electricity due to highly divergent national regulatory requirements. Needless to say, we are meeting these requirements in Slovenia, and we are now working on doing the same in other countries. While I cannot disclose any names of the companies we are in talks with just yet, I can say that we have signed a number of contracts for 2019, including with business users, after only having household users in our system.
So, next year you plan to expand beyond the Slovenian borders?
That’s right. In mid-June, the EU Commission, EU Parliament and EU Council reached a political agreement to increase renewable energy use in Europe. They agreed on a share of
energy from renewables of at least 32% of the EU’s gross final consumption in 2030, a
higher target than in the draft rules but short of the level sought by some
governments and the European Parliament (MORE).
What message do you think this sends to the energy sector?
This was a fantastic event for several reasons. First of all, we could see how strongly IT companies are already present in the energy sector. Huawei, for instance, has become a strong player throughout the entire lifecycle of PV energy generation by developing inverters (SONCE energija has a well-established collaboration with Huawei, Author’s Note), and LG is one of the largest battery makers in the world. So, companies from outside the energy industry are now exhibiting their products and services alongside the world’s biggest energy companies. As for SunContract, as well as the EU Commissioner and heads of development at Siemens and ABB, the exhibition confirmed our assumptions that the future truly does lie in a combination of renewables and digitalisation, i.e. blockchain. One of the exhibitors at InterSolar was Trina Solar from China, one of the largest manufacturers of PV modules, who wanted to simply buy our project. Flattered as we were, SunContract is not for sale (laughing). But what I want to say is that even the biggest players are very well-aware of the value of our project, and this tells us that we are in the right place at the right time.
Author: Alenka Žumbar