The Energy Transition on Your Own Roof

Interview with Stefan Korneck, Managing Partner of scm energy GmbH

scm energy GmbH Solar Panel Installation
scm energy stands by its customers as a partner, from planning through implementation to after-sales service

Solar energy is a pillar of the energy transition. Following the crisis in the German solar industry from 2011 to 2013, the sector has now repositioned and emancipated itself, increasingly freeing itself from political dependency. Scm energy GmbH from Salzwedel is one of the pioneers of the German solar industry. The company focuses on holistic individual solutions that mean increased self-supply and more independence for customers.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Kornek, how do you assess the current market situation, especially given the strong production in China?

Stefan Korneck: The low cost of production is part of the industry's competitiveness. However, it is paradoxical that we currently have very good conditions, but simultaneously face consumer reluctance because public perception is different. Previously, the legal parameters were more challenging and the prices were higher. The EU has the duty to foster such future technologies here in Europe to avoid an excessive dependency on Chinese products.

Wirtschaftsforum: Could you please give us an example of a typical project?

scm energy gmburg Stefan Korneck, Managing Partner
Stefan Korneck co-founded the company with a partner back in 2004 – a pioneer of the German solar industry

Stefan Korneck: We serve private customers as well as businesses, including smaller companies and medium-sized enterprises. In a year, we build between 500 and 700 PV systems. For private customers, it has become standard to consider heating when dealing with electricity generation, meaning converting to a heat pump and, in some projects, already incorporating electromobility. This sector integration requires larger installations. We are now talking about 10 to 20 kWp, which then secure house electricity, heating electricity, and electromobility to some extent. In the commercial sector, the solutions are of course even larger and more customized. We always talk about solar modules, but in reality, battery storage technology plays a significant role in the private sector to ensure around-the-clock supply including management.

Wirtschaftsforum: What demands do you have for politics?

Stefan Korneck: Politics must create reliable framework conditions as quickly as possible. The cabinet decision for the solar package was made in August 2023. Since then, we've been waiting. Particularly larger investments, for example over 100 kW, are repeatedly postponed. Consequently, the expansion paths are sometimes not where they should be. However, I want to emphasize that this is not about subsidies but better framework conditions. A keyword here is deregulation.

Wirtschaftsforum: You are a pioneer in the German solar market and have been successful in the market despite all crises since 2004. How have you managed this?

Stefan Korneck: We place great emphasis on planning, consulting, and project planning, on a very individual level. We strive to design each renewable energy project for increased self-supply and greater independence sustainably, regardless of whether it's for a private or commercial customer. This comparatively high effort in consulting, planning, and project planning has always paid off for us. This sets us apart from many other providers who often advise very standardized. We stand for quality and service, and even after the completion of a project, we remain a partner alongside our customers.

Wirtschaftsforum: What future plans do you have, and what do you expect from the market?

Stefan Korneck: I am very optimistic. Solar energy is not a transitional technology, but a key technology for central and decentralized energy supply. We have repeatedly succeeded in strategically developing further, against and with the market trend, by the way we do things. We are open to new developments and transformation processes, such as currently smart electricity tariffs. Two years ago, we began to digitalize the entire company, from the first customer contact to the craftsmanship implementation. This has made us even more powerful. We are involved in a future technology that still has a lot of potential. Investments are made in solar energy, regardless of feed-in tariffs and requirements. The connection of economy and ecology is a great story, for private customers as well as for investors. We are passionately involved in convincing people of this.