Started from the simple concept of providing the world the ability to cover their own energy needs, Sonnen managed to find a way to fill in a gap: which is the need for affordable and clean energy for all.

As a pioneer in renewable energy, Germany has successfully become the poster child of energy revolution in Europe and the world, promising even further cuts in emissions by 2020. This makes Sonnen all the more relevant and impressive. Sonnen quickly understood the changing relationship between consumers and energy providers by deciding to help put matters in the consumer’s hands. This in turn empowers consumers to manage energy consumption on their own or with the help of energy communities.

Sonnen is “cutting out the middleman”

Sonnen does that by providing consumers with batteries that act as high-tech storage system. The combination of the batteries and a PV system that allows them to cover about 75% of yearly energy needs through clean and self-produced energy. The key element is though is the sonnenCommunity. If you buy a battery from Sonnen you not only safe your own energy but rather share your energy with other Sonnen-battery owners. This community enables every battery owner to receive or share energy when needed. This decentralized energy market is not only lowering the energy costs for the Sonnen-battery owners by a flat rate – it revolutionizes the energy market and thereby endangers the traditional energy corporates. Nevertheless, Sonnen has received support from General Electric, and venture funds.

 

“I first came across Sonnen when I was at the 2012 German-Russian Young Leaders Conference in Munich. Here I met Philipp Schroeder at this time Director of Sales and Business Development at Sonnen before he became Country Director of TESLA Germany and Austria. What impressed me was his restless commitment to push for a paradigm shift in the energy market. With his dedication of spinning a new energy supply system and be at the forefront of innovation with Sonnen, he had inspired the people around to share his vision.

 

The branding and marketing knowledge he gained at TESLA was a perfect reason to re-join Sonnen as Managing Director (Sales & Marketing) and add value to a more technically matured product. Philipp is in my eyes a perfect example for Reid Hoffman’s vision of managing talents in the networking age. For Hoffman letting talents pass on to new challenges instead of holding them back so is the best option for an employer. The reason is that if you part with a good feeling the talent will once come back to you – with more experience and motivation. For Sonnen this was definitely rewarding.”

Julian von Blücher

 

The sonnenCommunity keeps growing

While Germany is still considered one of their biggest markets, according to Sonnen’s Managing director Phillip Schroeder, there are many emerging markets and the evident success of Sonnen is quite clear, as he mentioned in an interview with Energy Storage News “We’re growing very fast in Italy which has become an important market for us. The same goes for the US where we just combined our R&D and manufacturing operations in our new innovation hub in Atlanta. Last year we also entered Australia and the UK quite successfully where we see a lot of growth potential”. In addition, Sonnen is currently working with the authorities in Puerto Rico, to help fix the power grid that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Maria.

One of the key factors for the success of renewable energy innovators and entrepreneurs is political support and correct policies. As Mr Schroeder stated “we hope that politicians become more aware of the importance and the great opportunities residential storage offers for the energy infrastructure”. This is definitely one of the challenges facing new clean energy technologies nowadays, amongst many others such as: the slow market development for advanced grid storage, as well as the time and expense required to put into developing these technologies. What makes the job of clean energy startups like Sonnen more difficult but even more rewarding.

Accordingly, we are extremely proud of the companies we support, the teams we work with, and the candidates we match. We continue partnering with clients that value environmental protection as much as business growth, and support companies that aim for digital climate championship. Nevertheless, good support – financially as also in view of a motivated team – is essential when it comes to highly innovative startups. Having said that, Talent Tree reinforces its position as the leading Executive Search Boutique in the field of green technology.

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