Recap 2022: The SunContract energy marketplace is a winner even during the energy crisis
In the fall of 2021, we faced an extraordinary jump in the prices of energy products in the energy sector. The only long-term solution that protects individuals, companies, and other users from volatility, is investing in energy self-sufficiency. There are more and more companies, households and others who are aware of this and have decided to take care of energy self-sufficiency. This is also proven by numbers recorded this year at SONCE energija and on the SunContract platform.
In the second half of 2022, the Slovenian government established regulated electricity prices by decree, which are several times lower than the prices of electricity that we buy on the electricity stock exchange. Unfortunately, the government forgot about us, who are a privately owned company. We warned the government about this and submitted and initiative to the Constitutional Court. After that, however, government decisions began to move in a more constitutionally acceptable direction. At the end of the year, the parliament also adopted a law on price regulation and support for large business customers, where it already stipulated in the law that the restriction from the regulation must also be replaced from state budget funds.
- We are recording more than 100% growth in revenue and generated electricity.
- The number of produced surpluses has tripled.
- We’ve installed more than 1.300 solar power plants with a total power of approx. 25 MW of peak installed power.
- Our team increased by 100% (January 37, December 73 employees).
- We have introduced new ways of working and improved information support, which facilitate work processes.
- The company SONCE energija reached the criteria of medium-sized companies in 2022 in accordance with the law.
For 72 shipping containers of solar modules installed
In the installation of 1,300 solar power plants with a total power of 25 MW, SONCE energija used 55,000 modules, which would fill as many as 6 shipping containers per month. We sold as many as 1,750 solar power plants.
At the same time both, our company, and our competitors, are faced with rejections of approvals for the installation of power plants by the electricity distribution company. In our company, the connection power was thus reduced in approx. 10% of all submitted approvals, and a further 20% of submitted approvals were flatly rejected. We all want to reduce this trend of rejections, because otherwise it will be difficult to follow the European goals for increasing renewable energy sources.
For next year, we are planning to set up 2,000 solar power plants or 50 MW of total peak power, which is again 100 % growth.
Already 14 self-sufficient communities and 11.000 users on the SunContract platform
On the SunContract platform, we are recording a tremendous jump in the number of users who are already taking advantage of the benefits it provides. Now, SunContract already has 11,000 users. The number of self-sufficient users on the platform has also increased greatly, reaching 2,300 at the end of this year. We are even more pleased that we currently support as many as 14 self-sufficient communities.
An extraordinary increase, by as much as three times more than the year before, is the amount of produced surpluses that our users can dispose of themselves. This year, 5,300 MWh of surpluses were produced, which users can freely dispose of only on SunContract platform. Some will pass on the surpluses to their relatives or friends, and some will use them for themselves next year.
In 2022, there was 46,100 MWh of traffic (consumption and production) on the platform. In our balance group, 24,500 MWh of electricity was produced.
In 2022, 14,000 P2P agreements were concluded between producers and consumers, which is a remarkable increase compared to previous years.
With SunContract to P2P and indirectly also to the energy stock market
This year, we offered a new service on the market, where in addition to P2P agreements, which are the basis of trading, the remaining uncovered capacities between participants are closed on the platform at a dynamic price linked to the energy stock market price. Most of our producers have chosen it, and this way of determining the price has also convinced the customers. For 2023, however, we are completely switching to this new dynamic service of the energy market. This new service has proven to be the most efficient of all models on the market despite government regulation of electricity prices.
In addition to the introduction of dynamic prices for customers and producers, this year we updated the Monitoring tab, enabling the display of a simulation of prices achieved on the market for different types of customers and the display of stock exchange prices in retrospect. We improved demand and production forecasting models.
We implemented the Kriptomat widget on our platform and made it possible to buy SNC tokens with euros.
Successful in international projects
This year, we successfully completed the BETAi project (Blockchain Energy Trading with Artificial Intelligence) with a total value of 2.1 million euros. Together with consortium partners, we have connected, upgraded, and developed the most advanced digital technologies (blockchain, smart contracts, artificial intelligence) to improve processes and services with high added value in the field of trading, distribution, and energy management.
This year, we also participated in the first reporting on the results achieved in the Bright project, which takes place within the framework of the European Horizon program (H2020). The main goal of the project is to promote digital development and blockchain technology tools for greater customer participation at the community level. Its value is around 2 million euros. In 2022, we received 70% of the share of co-financed development funds.
SunContract also participates in the I-NERGY project, which is also a H2020 program. This project aims to develop, expand, and present innovative solutions in the use of artificial intelligence in the energy sector, which must meet the growing demand for renewable energy. All knowledge will be used in 9 pilot centres (15 use cases) in 8 countries. The value of this project is 5.5 million euros.
This year, we were successful in conducting a call for incentives for the digital transformation of the Slovenian Enterprise Fund, where we obtained 100,000 euros in funds for the digital transformation of the company through the introduction of smart systems and machine learning. This amount represents 60% of the value of the company’s digital transformation project this year. The value of the digital transformation of the company SONCE energija with the introduction of smart systems and machine learning was more than €187,000.
The latest project Your Piece of the Sun — Advanced Management of Renewable Energy Sources is being carried out with the consortium partner COMCOM. This project represents the merging of procedures and the use of advanced technologies with the aim of reorganizing the energy sales system in a way that is currently not commercially available and will represent a revolutionary change in the field of energy marketing. The service will enable the upgrading of blockchain services of existing or new investments in renewable energy sources and will provide significantly greater flexibility in the use of renewable sources for end users. The total value of the project is more than 500,000 euros.
SunContract is entering foreign markets
In 2022, we opened a new balance group in Estonia. The process of establishing a balance group in Croatia is also underway. “For the next 10 years, investments in renewable resources will be key for Europe,” says the company’s co-founder and president of SunContract Gregor Novak, who is aware that SunContract has no competition in the field of blockchain in energy, neither at the Slovenian nor at the European level. “Our approach to P2P blockchain services in the energy sector comes from the user and his needs, which makes us unique compared to others who are also trying to position themselves in the energy market, but from the point of view of a distributor.”
Towards new challenges with an excellent team
“We’ve been growing 100% for several years, so we’re doing the right thing, we’re doing it well and right. The key to this is an excellent team of driven, dedicated and exceptionally knowledgeable individuals. What I especially appreciate is the fact that the atmosphere in the company is positive, that there are good relations between people, that the employees like to come to work and get along well with each other,” Gregor Novak reveals the key to the company’s success.