Driven to take on the war against climate change, Soly has shown in recent years that it can have meaningful impact by making solar energy possible for everyone. Soly is one of the leaders in the Dutch solar energy market, and it is experiencing strong growth in South Africa under their international brandname.
Driven by impact
Brothers Patrick and Milan van der Meulen — once inspired by the climate documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” — founded Soly (formerly known as Enie.nl) with the mission to make solar energy available to everyone and, in this way, to make the most positive impact possible for solving the climate problem. ‘As a social enterprise, we are continuously looking for ways to increase our impact in the world. How much more impact can you have if one of the largest energy companies in the Netherlands and the largest pension fund in the Netherlands support your mission? The fact that ABP and Shell — each with their own convictions and with the support of their own knowledge and networks — are now focusing on this effort is a new milestone for us, but especially for the energy transition’, according to Patrick van der Meulen, founder and CEO of Soly.
The energy company of the future
These two new shareholders enable Soly to take the next step in the quick advancement of solar energy in general and the growth of Soly in particular. Besides the Netherlands and South Africa, Soly will look further abroad to Belgium and Germany, among other countries, in the coming period. ‘Our ambition is to offer our solar energy plans at the European level. The knowledge and capital which has now been added by Shell Ventures and ABP represents an enormous push in the right direction’, says Milan van der Meulen, founder and Chief Marketing & Digital Officer.
The brothers Patrick and Milan will use this investment to work on the energy company of the future. ‘This investment confirms that we have succeeded in making it easier for consumers and companies to easily switch to solar energy. We can obtain a great deal of synergy from the networks of Shell and ABP for the smart offering of other products and services. We will combine solar energy with batteries and charging stations to create an entire sustainable energy solution for home and at the office.’
Why Shell Ventures and ABP?
‘Shell wants to play an active role in the quickly changing energy landscape, and this is a reason for us to fully invest in innovative companies of the future. We have become interested in Soly by its fast growth in recent years, the obvious combination of sun, energy storage and electric charging, and its ambition to expand internationally in the coming years to the consumer and SME markets’, explains Jermaine Saaltink of Shell Ventures.
ABP contributes to the financing of the energy transition in the Netherlands through the ABP Netherlands Energy transition fund (ANET), among other vehicles. For ABP, it is clear that Soly will play a key role in the further necessary growth of solar energy in the Netherlands and abroad. Solar panels currently make up only 9.5% of the total electricity production in the Netherlands. However, solar power is an inexhaustible source of clean energy which will be increasingly used more often.
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