It was the unwavering vision of Stefan Lodeweyckx of enabling a 100% green energy society, which further transpired in the inception of Enervalis in 2013. Enervalis develops software which provides sustainable energy solutions for electric vehicles, buildings, and microgrids. With his background in engineering in the Electronics- and Telecommunication industry, Stefan was involved in the Internet of Things (IoT) from the very beginning of his career. As the Founder and CEO, Stefan looks after every organizational process and extensively contributes in its development.
The initial years of Enervalis were all about preaching and influencing to get understanding and need of advanced energy software for a sustainable future. Later on, it finally locked down some funded projects and gained enough trust amongst some early adopters. The flip-side of the coin was of not even being sure to sustain in the next month due to its cash-flow problems.
Started as a one-man’s show, Enervalis has now grown into a credible scale-up company of 30 personnel, which is recognized across different EU countries by various players and big corporate customers in providing value by means of delivering novel smart-grid software energy services. The bottom-up broadness of the offering, indepth knowledge of the current and future energy market, advanced solutions, adherence towards the companies vision and the solid tech and (energy) market experience of the team all together provide a significant competitive advantage and reason for these big customers to choose Enervalis.
Resolving the Mismatch
A green energy system ultimately leads to a high volatility of energy supply. Augmenting this result with the increasing electrification of heat, mobility, and the mismatch between demand and supply provides a dangerous cocktail of failed energy systems. Resolving this mismatch by utilizing advanced software is the core focus of Enervalis. With this vision it provides cost-reductions to operate these networks while simultaneously providing financial benefits towards customers using its software.
The above overall software approach is made tangible in 4 product groups including smart EV charging, smart buildings, smart microgrids, and smart settlement. They all share in common capturing diverse data-sets, with AI forecasting and optimally controlling the assets, buildings and clusters. All the optimizations are driving towards a more cost-effective green energy system and are capable of taking the form of self-consumption, energy efficiency, day-ahead energy trading, congestion/local grid management, and ancillary services.
The Next Version of the Platform
In the initial years, mixing the right funded projects with early customers, and understanding the growth and iterations in the service were instrumental for Enervalis to at least start building up a first pebble on the path towards full execution of the longer-term product roadmap.
Certainly, the EU funded projects allowed Enervalis to build up a strong international exposure and credibility, and some early commercial customers/partners, which actually came out of these projects. Building up a new service for a market in denial, a non-existent home-market and hence, unavailability of financers was a challenging exercise, which allowed Enervalis to still be around, building up something the market would need. Also, keeping the initial highly skilled technical team of 3-4 employees on board during this difficult journey was fundamental to deliver on the projects and gain trust. All this efforts led to a solution in the form of software to deliver up real paying customers’ needs, along with a market starting to understand the values of this type of solution.
This success further resulted in the closure of a significant round of an investment in the beginning of 2017 from good and credible investors, which then enabled the team to grow and start building the next version of the platform and services for the market to be able to scale and grow faster.
According to Enervalis, the main challenge in providing mass-market novel energy services is the regulation which currently prevents the value from these services to translate into actual financial benefits for the end-customers. The company does not be in a stand-still, till regulation changes and yet stay prepared. Hence, the key is to provide commercial basic/local services and be ready to switch to more advanced services. Scaling beyond the conventional, Enervalis also tends to provide advanced but commercial smart-grid services to projects which are capable of generating real financial value.