Today we met with Gil Kroyzer, SolarGik’s CEO & Co-Founder, and Moshe Horowitz, SolarGik’s Business Development VP
The Climate Journey
Gil, equipped with a background in mathematics, physics, and computer science, brings a unique perspective to the energy challenge. After working in the concentrated solar power industry for many years, he felt a calling to bring innovation to the photovoltaic sector. Fueled by his passion for positive change, Gil co-founded SolarGik to bring cutting-edge solutions to the energy industry.
Moshe's journey to SolarGik was a reunion of sorts. He first crossed paths with Gil at age 18, while they were both students. Moshe then spent 13 years in the US getting his MBA and working in management consulting for several large companies on sales and marketing. Later, he reconnected with Gil and joined SolarGik, where he now leads global sales, marketing, and business development initiatives.
SolarGik's smart PV tracker solutions and tracker control system bring cutting-edge technology to the energy industry. This system aggregates information such as wind data, camera feeds, radiation, and cloud coverage. They use AI tracking algorithms to boost energy generation and stability while cutting down on operational costs.
We asked Gil and Moshe a series of questions.
Q: What’s the story behind SolarGik?
Gil: SolarGik was founded by me and my co-founder, Israel. We both have many years of experience in the energy industry, specifically from the CSP (concentrated solar power) world. With the understanding that the energy industry was a conservative one in desperate need of innovation, we had a vision to bring new technology to photovoltaic power plants and bring this capability to the market. We founded SolarGik with the goal of changing the industry’s perception and move it forward with sophisticated, yet reliable, robust and well-engineered solutions.
Q: What differentiates you from other companies in this specific domain?
Moshe: Most tracker companies’ goal is generating more electricity, and that’s it. Here at SolarGik, we look at a power plant as a whole. We consider factors such as weather forecast, connection to other power components, stability of generation, and overall profitability. We fuse information from different sources to make optimized decisions. We plan, design and supply the PV plant with the right trackers and control systems, with a focus on overall plant profitability.
Gil: We operate in a holistic fashion, and we can optimize operations while using multiple data sets. We already have pilot programs, where we're actively incorporating real-time weather, and solar forecasting together with grid data and even crop data in order to support real-time decision-making. We’re incorporating multiple different hardware and software pieces, not just trackers.
Q: How is being acquired by SolarEdge affecting SolarGik?
Gil: We connected to SolarEdge, because we have a common dream, and we believe that this cooperation will lead to breakthrough and innovative solutions. The combination of tools and abilities that were created here has a huge potential and SolarEdge is the natural partner for this process. So, to sum it up: the acquisition is great for SolarGik and we’re very excited about this collaboration.
Q: Where do you see SolarGik in 5 years?
Gil: We want to see PV as the most significant and dominant player in the energy mix, while being reliable enough to be counted on as a base load energy source, overcoming the current limitations and perceptions of renewable energy such as reliability, dispatchability, and intermittency. Having said that, our vision is for SolarGik to be a leader in market presence, and to promote novel technology, to bring the technology and the industry to a more efficient, robust, and reliable place.
Moshe: When we present at local conferences, the graphics in our booth often include a statement from the Ministry of Energy which says that 80% of renewable energy in Israel will come from non-standard sources such as Agri PV, greenhouses, rooftops, graveyards, etc. and 20% from ground mounts. We focus on enabling this policy globally and that’s where we aim to be in the coming years.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the 100+ Accelerator and what that means business-wise?
Moshe: We’ve been selected as part of Cohort 4 of the 100+ Accelerator and will be partnering with well-known companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, AB InBev, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever. We’ll integrate our trackers in a very large rooftop project in a brewery in Europe. By incorporating these trackers, we will allow the company to reduce the initial investment while getting the same amount of energy and, of course, reducing its carbon footprint. Once we successfully complete the pilot, the goal is to scale across these 4 giant companies, globally.
Q: What are the main difficulties/barriers you are facing? And how did you overcome them so far?
Gil: As I mentioned, the energy industry is conservative, and it poses a barrier for new tech and for new players. If you are both, it's hard to penetrate the market. The industry holds a lot of responsibility and can't afford to make naïve, wrong, or hasty moves, so they prefer well-known players and mature tech. The only way to overcome this is to build the company with a long-term vision, find patient and strategic investors, find the right business partners that share your vision and that understand this market along with its characteristics.
Q: How would you describe your clients' motivations?
Moshe: There may be a mix of different factors, such as net zero commitments or financial reasons. But I believe, and I hear from other people, that everything ultimately comes down to financial numbers and a solid business case, and that’s what drives this industry. The profitability of our product is what motivates our clients to choose us – it's just the right business decision.
Q: What should Israel’s position be on the global scene?
Gil: There is no reason why we shouldn’t be global leaders in the industry. Israel has the knowledge and the entrepreneurial capabilities necessary to lead the global transition to new energy solutions.
Moshe: You can take us as an example; our next meeting is with a foreign CEO that wants to learn more about our solutions. We are constantly getting visitors from Europe, India, and the Middle East to learn more about the solutions that we offer and to explore partnerships. We’ve hosted CEOs from various countries and have already deployed projects in 9 different countries.
I’ll add that I personally feel a sense of satisfaction in representing Israel on a global stage for cutting-edge technology that has a positive impact.
Q: What makes your team a super team?
Gil: We value all our team members here, both on a personal level and on a professional level, and they always come first. The team is very diverse, yet we all love to work together, and we have a deep respect for each other, which is extremely important when building something new together.
Moshe: I’ll just add that at the end of every interview, I say, “Convince me that you'll be fun to work with”.
Q: If you had one tip to give to other climate tech entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Gil: You need patience. Build the right infrastructure. Get the right team. Find the right investors. It takes time. But remember that at the end of the day you’re doing something that has a positive impact on the world, and that will help you through the challenging journey.
Moshe: The most surprising thing about the climate tech industry for me as a newcomer was that it was like "Fight Club," you don’t talk about the being in it and how you are positively impacting the environment. The focus is on dollars and cents, and financial metrics such as IRR, NPV, and break-even point, rather than talking about climate. That’s my tip. Because the industry is mature, you no longer have to talk just about impact. You can talk about incredible business opportunities and that’s what allows the industry to truly grow and scale.