CEO Wrap up 2022

Coming out of a rollercoaster year, it's time to reflect on 2022. To review what we learned and what that means for next year.

By Jan Pieter Versluijs.

It is Christmas time again! Coming out of a rollercoaster year, the days in between the festivities are a great time to look back and reflect. To review what we learned and what that means for next year. To prepare ourselves for an even better and more rewarding 2023. In this post I’ll share my insights from the past year and shed some light on what you can expect from Solar Monkey next year.

The Solar Monkey year 2022 in numbers:

  1. 360,000 projects realised (bringing the total to >1,000,000)
  2. 18,170 installations monitored
  3. 774 clients (organisations) served
  4. 9,282 users that use our software
  5. 5 active countries (we launched in UK and Germany)
  6. 20 new colleagues hired, out of 1585(!) applications

Solar panel demand has surged to unprecedented levels, installers stood up to the job

Our mission at Solar Monkey is to accelerate the adoption of solar energy, making solar the world’s leading power supply. With that in mind it makes us incredibly proud to see how the markets are progressing.

There have been external factors – the war in Ukraine and the following gas crisis being a very dark one – to boost the demand to even higher levels than what they were before. But to cope with this demand the market has proven to be tremendously effective.

Production has skyrocketed and installers have scaled up impressively. Bloomberg and the International Energy Agency (source) mention that 2022 is expected to close on >260GWp installed capacity. That means a growth rate of >50% compared to 2021, an unprecedented result!

We saw the numbers in Solar Monkey increase accordingly, growing to a rate of 500,000 projects (unique addresses) per year. BE Solar – a remarkably successful client of Solar Monkey – was the happy client to have created the 1 millionth project in Solar Monkey. Time to pay them a visit and thank them for our collaboration!

The people make Solar Monkey successful

At Solar Monkey we pride ourselves on playing a key role in the adoption of solar energy, by helping our clients work much more effectively. It makes me even more proud when I think of all the passion and dedication going into all the challenges that we continuously face.

We’ve welcomed 20 new colleagues this year, now bringing our team to ~50 FTE. Next year we expect to grow to 80-100 people. This is a big challenge for our people team, led by Greetje. We’re looking forward to welcoming new passionate colleagues! A growing team means a changing organisation. And although some things change, the soul and passion based on our cultural values remain strong.

Highlights always include our quarterly strategy days. We have a very international team with people working from our offices in The Hague and Malaga, but also from Germany, Poland, Israel, Canada, Romania and Finland. On strategy days we bring everyone together to learn and review, to discuss the next steps for Solar Monkey and how to achieve our ambitions. A key tradition that’s been valuable and fun for many years!

Customer success and support teams helping get most value out of Solar Monkey

One key focus of 2022 has been upscaling the customer success team. They do a great job in helping our clients get the most out of Solar Monkey and integrations. We choose a strategy in which we do not develop our own CRM or ERP system, because there are many world class solutions already on the market. But setting up the right integrations and implementing them properly is important. Our CSM team headed by Eline has experience with optimising hundreds of solar businesses. And they are eager to help even more of them. If there are still any questions, our support team led by Eric is always ready to help our clients get the most out of Solar Monkey.

Furthermore the CSM team is vital for keeping clients happy and getting feedback on our products and services. And of course have some fun whilst we’re doing that. Last month we enjoyed a good dinner with some respected clients. During the dinner we found out that many of our clients love football. So who knows, next up is a Solar Monkey football tournament?

Investment of €4M from Eneco and Helen Ventures

It was hard to miss it: we attracted a new investment round of €4,000,000 from both existing investors and new investors Eneco and Helen Ventures. The growth capital allows us to invest even stronger in expansion and accelerate our plans and impact. Also we got direct connections with powerful energy giants that will further help our international expansion.

Strengthening our software product

In 2022 you have seen a number of new features and product improvements to make our software stronger than ever. Some worth mentioning are:

  1. Battery storage

Although in our home country the Netherlands battery storage is still upcoming, for new key markets such as Germany, Spain and UK it has been a vital component for years. That’s why we included the option to add battery storage. The software automatically calculates the impact on the self consumption. This makes it super simple to create and compare multiple quotes, either with or without a battery.

2. Dynamic usage profiles and pricing

As a standard, Solar Monkey uses a fixed consumption profile that is equal every day. However, that assumption is far from reality and the resulting self consumption figure is a rough estimate. Users that want more accuracy e.g. for commercial systems, can now upload a full year’s data on consumption. Also variable pricing can be used to take into account differences between day and night, summer and winter, or even fully dynamic tariffs as we see coming up.

3. Upgrades on imagery and interface

To make the use of high quality imagery and automated shading analysis even more accessible.

4. Outsourcing service and aftercare

Our clients have been so busy that they are happy to outsource all the work not related to sales and installation. Service can cause major headaches, especially with growing numbers and ageing installations. Together with our partner Solar Service team we can now fully own the service, so our clients never have to attend to an installation anymore after the installation date. That way our clients keep their hands free for even stronger growth!

Which product improvements can you expect in 2023?

We’re not going to tell you everything just yet, but some areas on which we are working are:

  1. Some high value features that we wanted to build for a while. Upcoming most soon is a feature to design a building from scratch. This is useful for situations where there is no aerial image yet.
  2. Solar Monkey software is an important part in the process and software stack of an installer, but definitely not the only one. Hence integrability is super important. You can expect upgrades on our API and integrations to make integrations so smooth that it feels like a single product.
  3. Furthermore we plan to work on user management and invoicing. Making this available for our clients makes both our clients and our own teams much happier.

Moreover we are working on some improvements that make Solar Monkey even quicker, simpler and more reliable than ever. Follow our newsletter and stay up to date!

The year of international expansion

With great pleasure (and success!) we set foot into both the UK and Germany. First act of presence was visiting the conferences of Birmingham and Dusseldorf. We are really enthused to take our Dutch software innovation to the rest of Europe, and are proud to see confirmed that there is equal demand for our software in key markets like UK and Germany!

We are looking forward to 2023!

What a journey has it been to see Solar Monkey grow to where we are today. I am proud of our employees, our clients and partners. We will go into 2023 with just as much passion and energy as before, driving another record year for solar!