Ask-Me-Anything: Gregor Novak on the Growth and Future Plans of SunContract
We recently held an ‘Ask-Me-Anything’ session with SunContract’s community to discuss the company’s growth and future plans.
Our co-founder, Gregor Novak, and our Chief Marketing Officer, Megan Easey, discussed and answered many different questions from our community. They kicked off their Ask-Me-Anything session celebrating the importance of SunContract’s international recognition as Environmental Project of the Year at SiGMA World’s AIBC Conference in Dubai in March 2023.
How does it feel to be recognized with the AIBC Sigma award for ‘Environmental Project of the Year’?
We at SunContract are thrilled and grateful to have received the AIBC Sigma award for ‘Environmental Project of the Year.’ It’s an honor to have our project recognized on a global scale, and it means a lot to us as we continue working towards our goals for international expansion.
Gregor, which came first, SONCE or SunContract?
SONCE, which means “sun” in Slovenian, was the first business established in 2007 that installs solar power plants. That is what we started with. SunContract, the platform, followed after seeing a need to connect and engage people in renewable energy. SunContract is proud to have a fifth anniversary and be pioneers in the market. Our goal is to enable people to work together toward the Green Revolution and carbon-neutral planet, as well as provide something for the next generations. SunContract is making an impact on green energy worldwide by connecting people and providing unique services such as moving, sharing, and selling energy.
Is the SunContract platform also open to other installers of solar power plants?
SunContract welcomes potential partners who may be considered competitors of SONCE to join our platform and collaborate with us. The platform is available to anyone, including those who have their solar power plants installed by other installers.
Is there more selling pressure or buying pressure for energy on the platform?
That depends on the given moment. We are currently looking for more pressure on our platform, but I know that some customers are joining us now, and we are designing some contracts for the next quarter. Towards the end of the year, there will be more buying pressure, so it depends on how many customers on the other side are joining us.
We are trying to balance things as much as possible to ensure that the peer-to-peer system works best. We welcome all types of users, from households and small businesses to industrial users, and we promote and sell to get new customers and new projects, or to increase the size of our project.
SunContract is also working with renewable energy producers, such as small businesses, power plants, and solar installations, which are booming in Europe and Slovenia right now. The SONCE group, of which SunContract is a part, is going to install about 2000 solar power and 50 megawatts of solar installations itself this year. We are experiencing a 100% growth per year, which shows the great work we are doing.
What trends are you observing in the energy sector in Europe, and how has SunContract adapted to these challenges?
The energy sector in Europe has been volatile, with significant price spikes in recent years. Just last year, we saw spikes in energy prices that went up to 10 or 12 times higher. During these turbulent times, SunContract has provided the perfect solution with our blockchain model, peer-to-peer approach, and flexibility.
In just a few months, we established a dynamic peer-to-peer energy marketplace and introduced it to our customers. They love it because it allows them to negotiate energy prices, an opportunity not available to classical energy consumers or producers. Our dynamic marketplace also allows customers to hedge energy prices when other consumers and producers cannot.
Why is blockchain crucial for SunContract’s peer-to-peer energy trading model?
Blockchain technology is essential for our business, primarily because of the transparency it provides. To give power back to the user, transparency is necessary, and that’s what SunContract and blockchain offer. Furthermore, blockchain is a global solution that allows for increased trust and potential on a worldwide scale.
How is SunContract improving people’s lives through the use of blockchain technology?
Trust is at the core of our work. “As the chief marketing officer, I believe this is news we need to share with the world,” Megan added. Our mission is not only to attract customers through traditional marketing, but also to offer a solution to the energy crisis and a life solution through the power of blockchain as a decentralized tool.
This puts power back into the hands of people. Therefore, it is really important that people have the right impression of how powerful blockchain is as a decentralized tool.
Could you tell us how SunContract is growing and expanding?
Our company has experienced significant growth in the last year. We have increased our team by 100% and now have over 80 employees. In addition to our office in Tallinn, Estonia, we have recently opened another office in Zagreb, Croatia.
We have also purchased real estate in Slovenia, which includes an additional 900 square meters of office space. We continue to grow and hire new employees each week from Slovenia and all over the world.
“We are always short on space because we hire people faster than we can rent or buy offices,” said Gregor. He added, “We are getting bigger and bigger.” While this growth is exciting, it also means that we are working on putting new processes and new ways of working with people in place.
When do you expect to launch the NFTs and an NFT Maketplace?
Our main goal for this year is the launch of SunContract’s new products: NFTs and an NFT marketplace, which are expected to be released in the summer. We are excited about these new services and happy to bring this opportunity to you. Through the launch of NFTs and an NFT marketplace, we are democratizing the energy sector and empowering SunContract’s community with new possibilities.
Could you tell us more about these new products? Will they only be available for the Slovenian market?
We are launching a global energy NFT marketplace which will allow anyone worldwide to purchase NFTs and support renewable energy. Our NFTs will be connected to renewable energy assets and provide revenue to the owners. This is the first-of-its-kind product that will tokenize renewable energy assets and connect them to the real world, which is revolutionary.
SunContrats NFTs will provide access to the profits of the solar panels over a period of time on the platform, even if the buyer is not in Slovenia. By purchasing an NFT on an existing solar panel, customers can enjoy the revenue of that physical solar panel represented in their digital assets.
Our NFTs are a license for a solar panel or solar panels, and the revenue from the panel is linked to the NFT. This is a revolutionary opportunity for everyone, regardless of where they are in the world.
Are these NFT-connected solar panels already installed, and how many will there be?
We have already built 2,112 existing solar panels, which will be put up for sale as digital assets on the NFT marketplace. These are existing solar panels, not future funding. Our goal is to provide access to renewable energy and encourage investment in it, by offering literal physical solar panels.
Sun Contract’s peer-to-peer trading platform is the base layer for the NFT marketplace, which is working and is an awesome project for everybody. Additionally, we are not only building this project but are also enabling others to join in.
Who will be able to join this project and how?
Partners and investors who own solar power plants can offer their assets on the marketplace. This introduces new assets to the global community, creating a revolution that enables everyone to support renewable energy. Of course, we assure due diligence and full transparency being a marketplace on the blockchain.
This project is a revolutionary opportunity for people who want to care for the planet, be self-sufficient, and invest in renewables. It allows them to benefit from solar panels from anywhere in the world.
What other products are you working on?
Additionaly, we are developing new hybrid products for our renewable peer-to-peer energy marketplace in response to changing market demands. Our development time is much faster than that of classical energy companies, with new products being developed in as little as two weeks, or up to a month. This gives us a significant advantage.
When will SunContract expand to other countries and how are you addressing increasingly tighter regulations?
Our community sometimes asks us to move faster, for example, by expanding more quickly to Italy or Germany. However, it is better to take things step by step, moving a bit slower but more safely and still faster than our competitors.
Ensuring compliance with regulations increases our sense of security, particularly in the crypto space. However, compliance in the energy sector is even more urgent. Non-compliance can result in being shut down within a week, as Gregor explained, adding: “This is not a game.”
Regulations have become stricter, particularly in Estonia. SunContract still holds its license there, but the licensing process has become more rigorous, resembling that of a bank license. This is beneficial because it allows serious companies and players to stay in the business, while also weeding out scammers and less serious projects.
What are SunContract’s future plans?
Our future plans include expanding into new markets, developing new products and integrating the SNC token into the Metaverse and DeFi projects. We are committed to making renewable energy accessible to everyone and want everyone to join us in the renewable energy revolution.
We believe that the future is bright and green when it comes to energy. There are many ideas and opportunities, including the Metaverse and other spaces that we are already exploring. We were present in the Metaverse at COP 27 in Egypt, and we will continue to explore these spaces one by one.
Will you continue to stay on the Ethereum network?
Yes, Ethereum has a very solid blockchain and the biggest development community. We believe in Ethereum, we started with Ethereum, and we’re staying with Ethereum. However, we’re also open to looking at other options in the future. We aim to interconnect different blockchains, which is the goal of everyone working in blockchain.
We have already had discussions with partners regarding the interconnection of different blockchains. There is a lot of interest in this, and we plan to work on this in the future. We want to connect not only with Ethereum but also with other blockchains to reach even wider communities worldwide.
What are your plans for the SNC token price, which has been relatively stable recently?
It is important to note that the SNC token is not a stablecoin, but rather a utility token with specific purposes on the SunContract platform. It is a key component of the ecosystem as it is used for all sales and trades of electricity on the platform. The SNC token serves a specific purpose within the platform, and approximately 35% of SNC tokens are already in the hands of customers, highlighting its utility and importance in the platform’s operations.
Moreover, we have plans to introduce new utility functions for the SNC token in the future, which will further increase its value and importance within the platform. As a result, the SNC token is an integral part of the SunContract ecosystem and serves as a testament to SunContract’s commitment to using blockchain technology to revolutionize the energy sector.
Have you had any problems with banks or payments as a crypto company?
No. We are working normally with banks and everything because we are, in essence, an energy company. We are using blockchain technology in this case to help us develop new services. That’s why banks recognize us as a normal energy company and we have no problems with them.
Our Community loves to see you, Gregor! Can we expect to see more of you engaging with the community?
At SunContract, we highly value and actively engage with our community. We appreciate your continued support, belief, assistance, proposals, and teachings. Your feedback, including constructive criticism, helps us improve and make necessary repairs. We are grateful for your support and remain committed to returning the favour. I will make a point of participating in community discussions more frequently in the future, while we build our Global Energy Marketplace.